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The characteristics of nasturtium
- Type: flower and flowering plant
- Height: from 0 to 30 cm, from 30 to 60 cm, from 60 to 80 cm, from 80 cm to 1 m, from 1 to 2 m, from 2 to 5 m
- Flower colors: red, yellow, orange, white
- Fruit name: achene
- Desired exposure: sunny, semi-shaded
- Type of soil: well drained
- sanitizer: no
- variety: Nasturtium Tropaeolum lobbianum, Nasturtium Tropaeolum minus, Nasturtium Tropaeolum majus, Nasturtium Tropaeolum peregrinum, Nasturtium Tropaeolum tuberosum…
Origins and peculiarities of nasturtium
The nasturtiums are herbaceous plants of the Tropæloaceae family, native to North America and South America. Today there are about 85 species, which can be either annual or perennial. Nasturtiums are flowers that tend to cover the ground and wrap around objects, making them perfect ornamental flowers to be planted in the ground in a garden, but also in tubs or pots for decorate a terrace or balcony. It also makes it possible to flower a decorative arch or a fence on which it can extend while climbing.
The nasturtium flowers, which occur during summer or even early fall, can range from yellow to red, including orange and white. The foliage of this flowering plant is a pretty blue-green, but some species have even more colorful and aesthetic leaves! The nasturtium fruits are tri achenes, consisting of three lodges containing a seed.
Uses of nasturtium
The nasturtium is a flower which is not used simply to decorate the garden! Indeed, its flowers, rich in sulfur and vitamin C, have very interesting medicinal properties, since they are:
In cosmetics, nasturtium is also often used in skincare to strengthen the scalp. But that's not all, since nasturtium is also an edible plant:
- Its flowers and leaves have a tangy taste that works particularly well in salads.
- Its fruits can completely replace capers in preparations.
- Its seeds can be candied in vinegar to flavor dishes.
Planting and cultivation of nasturtium
Fast growing nasturtium is a flower that likes relatively poor but well-drained soil. It prefers a sunny or semi-shaded location and is particularly afraid of strong winds, the nasturtium flowers being delicate and its brittle stems.
This plant is well suited for rock gardens or flower beds, but it can also be used as a weed to keep some pests (especially aphids) away from the vegetable patch.
Sow your nasturtiums in spring or fall. To do this, let the seeds soak for half a day before planting them in a 2 cm hole.
The nasturtium flowers appear from the beginning of summer until the appearance of the first extreme cold and frosts. If they are planted in pots, their soil can be mixed with geranium potting soil.
The nasturtium is a plant easy to cultivate and which requires little maintenance, apart from being well watered in summer and protected from the colds in winter (by bringing the pots inside).
Pests and nasturtium enemies
The nasturtium is often the victim of the black aphid and the Pieris brassicae. The aphid can be eliminated by specialized treatments, but also naturally by using ladybug larvae, or by showering the foliage of the plant with water mixed with black soap.