Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Nasturtium Plant Profile

Nasturtium Plant Profile

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum spp.) is an annual flower that is often grown in vegetable gardens as well as in mixed flower containers. There are trailing Nasturtiums that are vining types that will need trellises or supports and bush-type Nasturtium that grow in a more compact mound. They are native to Central and South America.

Depending on the variety you choose, the flowers either bloom in bright, fiery tones or muted peaches and butter yellows. The leaves are round and usually deep green.

Nasturtium can act as a trap crop in your edible garden drawing away aphids from other vulnerable plants. They are also attractive to pollinators and are visited by bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Nasturtiums are easy to grow from seed. Just soak the seeds overnight and then direct-sow them in the ground or a container after the last spring frost has passed. They like growing in “lean” soils and do not need any fertilizers. The soil should be well-draining and the location must be in full sun for best flower production.

The only care they need is regular watering, but not too much water as they don’t like overly moist soils.

Nasturtiums are edible! The leaves and flowers have a peppery, sharp taste. They are often used as a colorful garnish in salads.

The large seedpods can also be pickled and used like capers. To do this, harvest the seedpods before they harden. Once they harden, you can collect the seeds to plant next year.

Nasturtium: You Can Grow That!


The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine as part of our Plant Profile series for Mid-Atlantic USA gardeners.

Audio and text by Kathy Jentz

Video and editing by Jamie Oberg


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~ Podcast: GardenDC


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