Monday, 1 February 2016

Let No-one Cast Aspersions at Nasturtiums

Flower of the Month - February 2016

Botanical name: Tropaeolum majus



Although they can be vigorous to a fault, swathes of colourful nasturtiums give a garden an almost magical easy-care appeal. 

Nasturtium have over 80 species of annuals and perennials. They are easy-to-grow, whose leaves and flowers are both edible.These plants, with their bright greenery and vibrant flowers are good for either containers or ground covers. Their pretty fragrance also makes them a good choice for cut flowers, bet you didn't think of that! 

With their large seeds and rapid growth habit these flowers are perfect to grow with children. They were the very first seeds my children planted - unfortunately they were so very, very diligent in their watering the plot turned to mud. Not to be beaten though by that minor setback, the kids used this area for their mud pie construction. When their interest waned the area was left alone and low and behold the resilient Nasturtium seeds germinated!. 

They come in the 'warm' colours of red, orange and yellow with some pretty salmon-pink and also creamy yellow flowers with orange centres. The foliage is a lovely bright green with some variegated varieties too. Nasturtiums bloom during summer and autumn.

Tropaeolum tricolour


Their appearance has variable foliage. They may be many lobed (example left), trifoliate or shield shaped and some even tinted a blue-green. 










Position: plant directly either in full sun or partial shade (they bloom better in full sun) in moist, well-drained soil. The plants should appear in 7 to 10 days. Water regularly throughout the growing season. If you are growing them in containers, they may need to be trimmed back occasionally over the growing season to keep them looking good.



Nasturtiums are very easy to care for with the added bonus that they inhibit weed growth. If you don't like them in a particular position, it's an easy task to just pull them out. Drifts of nasturtiums planted in your garden are splendid for that special quiet morning walk where little droplets of dew sit suspended atop the leaves, just beautiful!



For those of you who would really like to make full use of nasturtiums, please visit this link to find out how to make pickled nasturtiums seeds - now there's something really different!

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