Learn about growing nasturtiums and how you can easily enjoy this beautiful edible flowering plant this season.
Nasturtiums are beautiful flowering plants that grow as annuals in my part of the woods. However, some say they can be perennial in very warm zones where there is no frost date.
Types of Nasturtiums
Tropaeolum majus comes in two types. One is trailing or vining and the other is a bushy or mounding type.
The mounding type remains compact and can really fill up a container or hanging basket while trailing or vining nasturtiums are perfect for window boxes or can be trained to climb up trellises, arbors, or fences.
How to Grow Nasturtiums from Seed
Start by soaking the seeds in water for 6 - 12 hours. This will help soften the large tough seeds and speed up germination time.
Next direct sow your nasturtium seeds into a pot or in the garden about 1-2 inches deep. Then cover them with soil as they need darkness to sprout.
They really don't like to be transplanted so if you want to start them indoors consider peat pots or this simple newspaper pot idea.
This way they can be planted without disturbing the root system.
Make sure to place your seedling in an area with full sun. They will grow okay in a spot with partial shade but will have less blooms.
Water them regularly. Don't over water. They are somewhat drought tolerant and like well draining soil. Fertilizer is not necessary.
The foliage that looks like lily pads can be bright green or a deeper blue green in color.
Here's bright yellow nasturtium. Most nasturtium varieties come in a range of colors from yellow to orange, red, and combinations in between.
Many gardeners plant nasturtiums as companion plants in their vegetable gardens to attract pests such as aphids to them and away from the other crops. Bees, butterflies, and other friendly pollinators love them too.
Nasturtiums are Edible
Both the nasturtium flowers and the leaves are edible. Typically they have a slightly peppery taste somewhat like watercress.
They can be harvested at any time, however, the younger leaves are tastier.
Use them to make pretty herbal vinegar. See how just one flower turned this white wine vinegar (above) pink.
They are also very pretty and tasty in a garden salad and make it look so pretty.