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Nasturtium, a cute annual climbing vine

Nasturtium vine

Nasturtium is a cute annual climbing vine that will gleefully decorate your garden.

Key Nasturtium facts

NameTropaelum majus
Family – Tropaeolaceae
Type – annual

Height – 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm) up to 13 feet (4 meters) for those climbing
Exposure – full sun
Soil – normal

Flowering: summer → early fall  –  Care: none  –  Special feature: random yellow, orange, red blooms

Nasturtium will climb along hedges, fences, pergolas and low walls and cover them with orange and yellow flowers. Easy to care for and to grow, it can bear all kinds of soils and climates.

Planting and sowing nasturtium

Planting from a seedling

How to plant nasturtiumSimply dig a small hole, tease the seedling out of its pot, and plunk it in the hole. Pack the soil around it without pressing too much. As long as it isn’t sitting in water all day long, it’ll grow swell! No need to amend the soil with fertilizer or anything.

Also, don’t restrict yourself to a single color, your flower bed will be much more beautiful if you blend different colors together.

They’ll quickly cross-pollinate with other plants in the area anyways, so it’s difficult to keep a color or variety true to seed for this species.

Sowing from seed

It is a good idea to sow the seeds in place after the last frost spells during the month of May. You can also start sowing in a sheltered place as soon as March.

  • Summer watering must be regular but without excess.

A few nasturtium seeds in the hand of a gardener.

All there is to know about nasturtium

Nasturtium varietiesNasturtium is particularly well-known for its bee-attracting fragrance, and it also has medicinal properties used in many homeopathic treatments.

There are quite a few different varieties, they differ by flower color, leaf color (like the variegated nasturtium shown above/right), and climbing or trailing habit.

Native to North America, its brightly colored flowers will enliven the edges of your garden, and they will also highlight the shrubs you’ll be planting them under.

  • Nasturtium is an excellent way to fight against aphids.
  • Nasturtium also attracts large white, a cabbage moth that lays eggs on the underside of leaves. Caterpillars will eat the leaves once they hatch.

Smart tip about nasturtium

Edible nasturtium flowerNasturtium is edible and can be used to spice up certain meals. All parts are great: pepper-spicy leaves for greens, flowers with a little piquant… Even the seeds are delicious when pickled while young (eat like you would capers, on pizza like olives for example).

Some varieties like tuber nasturtium also have edible roots.

It’s both sweet and distinctly pepper-flavored. For example, you can pair them with arugula salad… delicious!

Images: Pixabay: Hans Braxmeier, Joletta Brooks, PommeGrenade
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