For those people looking to add beautiful foliage and bright blooms to their garden or yard, this article will introduce you to the nasturtium. The Nasturtium is one of my favorite plants. It is edible, beautiful, and not very fussy.
The Enjoyable, Edible, Nasturtium:
This is an overview of the Nasturtium plant and its beautiful uses in a home garden.
Nasturtium, A garden Beauty:
Nasturtium (tropaeolum majus) These are one of the most beautiful flowers for most of the year. Here in zone 9 they grow all year long unless we have a super heavy frost and then they melt. I love these plants because they are so beautiful. Not just their blossoms but also their leaves which are a vibrant green and lily pad shaped.
These are a good plant for new gardeners because they require very little care. They like to be a bit neglected and they love poor soil. These plants can be trellised (except the bush variety) or they can spread out over an area. They work well in most gardens because they can tolerate poor soil. They also do not like to be over watered so water every few days.
Nasturtium- Edible Herb:
Anyone who is looking to show off their garden and cooking should consider adding nasturtium blooms to their food. They make great garnish and the blossoms are great in salads. They taste a little spicy and somewhat hot, like a mild mustard. The seeds have been consumed for eons. Pickled, they make what is often referred to as a poor man's caper. The blooms are large enough to stuff and their coloring adds a wonderful dimension to food. Bring the freshness and beauty of the garden directly to the table.
Nasturtiums come in three varieties. The dwarf plants grow about a foot tall and maybe a foot or so wide. These make great plants for contains or borders. They also work well to fill in between smaller plants. The cascading variety will grow up small trellises or sprawl about their area. They can make a great ground cover for small spots or if multiple plants are planted they will cover a medium spot. These will also dangle nicely and are beautiful in a hanging pot. The climbing variety was made to take on fences and large trellises. I remember these as a small child for their beauty and height.
If growing from seed, soak overnight in room temperature water. The seeds are quite large and when dried are very hard. This will help to speed up the germination process. Most nurseries will carry starts too.
Plant these plants where they will be mostly protected from winters cold and they will last the year round.