Growing nasturtium from seed

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Introduction on growing nasturtium

nasturtium flower in growing nasturtium

Nasturtium, Latin name: Tropaeolum, is a member of the family Tropaeolaceae. The plant has its origin in South America and was introduced in Europe through Spain in the 16thcentury.

I personally like growing Tropaeolum majus, the climbing species of the plant.
Next to learning how to grow radishes, learning and growing nasturtium is very interesting if kids are involved as this plant is a really easy and fast-growing plant.
The common name nasturtium or nasturtian comes from the flavor and smell of watercress which in Latin is called nasturtium, so don’t mix up the two totally different plants.

 What is nasturtium or Tropaeolum

 seeds of nasturtium

In the same family, there are annual and perennial plants. Some of the species are crawling, others are climbing and you can also find bushy plants.

The blueish green round leaves and the yellow, orange and red flowers are all eatables. They have a quite pungent, peppery flavor. The different kinds of plants, being climbing, crawling or bushy are all very well known in our region.

Where to grow nasturtium

Nasturtium is, in fact, a really easy plant to grow. The plant is not hardy and will grow as an annual in our region. The plant will grow for several years in a warmer climate. Although the plant doesn’t like frost, this doesn’t mean you can have nasturtiums year after year on the same spot, because the plant is really easy and abundant with its seeds.
You can grow nasturtium on any soil as long as the soil has a ph between 6 and 8. With nutrition or without nutrition, the plant always grows. You even have to watch out not to fertilize the plant because this will result in an abundance of leaves but almost no flowers. So the more flowers you want, the less fertile the soil has to be.

Taking care of nasturtium

All the plant really needs, is a bit of water when the soil is really dry due to high temperatures. As mentioned above, the plant gets more flowers with fewer nutrients.

The plant is a good host plant for aphids, who will crawl in the tips of the plant. Cutting off the tips from time to time and destroying the tips (with the aphids) will keep the aphid population down.
Another nice point about this plant is the fact that it attracts the hoverfly. The larvae of the hoverfly love the aphids as a good meal. So Tropaeolum is a good companion plant to avoid aphids in the garden.
As soon as the plant is damaged by frost, it’s best to pull it out of the soil and feed it to the compost pile.

 Planting or transplanting nasturtium

Unless you are really careful when transplanting or planting the plant, it’s best to sow the plant in place. Nasturtium doesn’t like to be handled, the roots are really fragile and the plant can go into shock when transplanting to harshly. Of course, it’s always possible to grow the seedlings in paper pots or peat pots to avoid damaging the roots when transplanting. Paper pots and peat pots can be placed in the soil without disturbing the roots because you don’t have to remove the pots.

Harvesting nasturtium

Cut off the young leaves to put in your salad and give it a peppery flavor. Harvest the flowers to give some color to the salad you’re making.

Tropaeolum diseases

 The hoverfly, a good disease for once.

Tropaeolum is a host plant to the hoverfly which can decimate the aphids because the plant also attracts aphids. This is one disease that ‘s positive for the vegetable garden.

Bacterial leaf spot

Bacterial leaf-spot can be a devastating disease but isn’t really a problem in our region. When bacterial leaf-spot infects the plant, you have to burn it or hot compost it. The disease can easily spread.

So this is it for this article on growing nasturtium, I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.

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Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.

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