Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why I love Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus)

I can feel Spring coming on. The air smells fresher, the snow is melting and plants around the house are starting to take off. I am more of an indoor plant enthusiast, rather than an outdoor one, therefore I don't plant things that require a lot of extra care. Here is where Nasturtiums come in.

I bought a package of seeds last year and spread them into a couple containers, and in my pitiful front garden. They all bloomed beautifully and once they were done, I collected all the seeds. This year I think I am going to start them early to give them more of time to mature. Mine was still flowering up until the first frost.

(photo courtesy of Flickr)
(I hope I "borrowed" the pic properly,
this should link back to the original site I borrowed the pic from,
I take no credit for this pic)

What is great about these you ask? It would be shorter to list what I don't like about it. Nasturtiums thrive in poor soil and they are very drought tolerant. My kids love them, because they can pick the flowers and make someone a little bouquet (there is so many flowers that picking a few is not even noticeable). Wait, it gets better, Nasturtiums are edible, both leaf and flower. I tasted the leaf, and it tasted somewhat like peppered lettuce. I can't even think if I tasted the flowers. I can't say it was gross, but I can't say it tasted great either I would be iclined to use it in salads, more as a garnish. The flowers can be used as garnish or decoration as well.

I will continue growing Nasturtiums as they are easy and almost free (buy one package then collect the seeds from it, and you never have to buy more). They are so easy to care for. If you want guaranteed flowers in your garden or container plants, think Nasturtium.



Blackswamp_Girl said...

I love your nasturtium pics! I think that the leaves taste vaguely of horseradish, and I run hot and cold on that so I've not used them yet. (Just tasted them.) Maybe they'd be interesting in a slaw, though?

No Rain said...

Nasturtiums are great for containers, and I always have some growing. I like them because of the myriad of colors available, and I really like to use the leaves and flowers in salads.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your nasturtium blog.
I planted my first nasturtiums outside last year. The flowers are such a lovely color and I particularly like the leaf shape.

As to eating the flowers, a local "girly" reataurant here decorates plates with edible flowers, but I am the only one of my friends adventurous enough to eat them. They all think I am crazy to do so!


kate said...

Nasturiums are wonderful plants. I loved the flowers and the leaf shapes. I once came across a garden filled with Nasturiums and it was one of the most beautiful sights I've seen. There were other flowers as well, but the Nasturiums stood out.

Speaking of Mealybugs ... I was really irritated to discover some on my ponytail palm. They were hiding. Grrr... I hate them.

Thanks for your comments - it is good to be in touch with other western Canadian gardeners!

Anonymous said...

I planted some nasturiums for the first time in a pot about 2 mo ago, and they are growing like crazy but have never flowered. The plant stays indoors by an open window. I keep moving it out for 4 or 5 hours, maybe twice a week. The leaves seem to burn and die if left in the sun too long. Do you have any advice why it wont produce any flowers?

Pratik Agrawal said...

I don't know if it's ususef now or not but Nasturtium likes poor soil. Rich soil leads to more foliage less flowering.