04 May

Nasturtium, Jewels in My Garden

I love Nasturtium for many reasons: its flowers stand out like small jewels, it is not so demanding and repels pests, it makes perfect plant to fill edges, empty garden beds, and containers… and i like its peppery flavor in salads 🙂

Nasturtium is a self-seeding annual and perennial herbaceous plant that bears white, yellow, orange, maroon and pink flowers. Nasturtium belongs to the Tropaeolaceae family and comes from South and Central America. It is a popular ornamental plant that grows well in direct and filtered sunlight.

Nasturtium Flowers

Image © Patricia Hamilton

Nasturtium also makes a good companion plant as it repels pests and caterpillars. Because Nasturtium attracts black fly aphids, it is usually grown as companion plant to save crops from aphids by acting as defense shield.

All parts of Nasturtium are edible. The seed pods are picked, tubers of some species are used as source of food, and flowers of nasturtium are used to garnish salads or prepare Nasturtium Lemon Butter. Nasturtium flowers can also be used in potpourri.

Growing Nasturtium

Nasturtium is an easy and fast grower. It grows well in well drained soil under full or partial sun. Nasturtium does not require rich soil; in fact, it produces more leaves and less flowers in soil is too rich. Leaves are light-green and round in shape. Flowers are shaped like a funnel.

Nasturtium Leaves

Image © Ken Mccown

There are many commercially grown varieties of Nasturtium available today that slightly vary in habit. Dwarf varieties make good plants for edging whereas the climbing varieties can be grown against fences in the garden or in pots with trellises. The cascading varieties are wonderful for hanging baskets.

Popular Varieties of Nasturtium

Alaska Series – These Nasturtiums remain dwarf and bear prominent flowers.

Jewel Series – Nasturtium in Jewel Series bear relatively larger flowers; the plant remains bushy and dwarf.

Canary Creepers – Canary Creeper Nasturtium is a climber and grows as perennial flowering vine. It can be grown against trellis.

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