GROWING AND SAVING SEED OF NASTURTIUM


Latin name Tropaeolum majus is an annual flowering herb. It is a popular flower to plant in the vegetable garden. With its spicy foliage and flowers, which give a nice kick to salad and recipes, it may be the best-known edible flower!


 

HISTORY

Native to Peru, nasturtium was used by the ancient Inca as a leafy green and medicinal herb. Brought to Europe by Spanish conquistadors in the 15th-16th centuries.

USES

  • Popular edible flower with delicious spicy flavor. You can eat the leaves and blooms, and the young green seed pods can be pickled into mock capers.
  • Great for beds, borders, containers, window boxes, cottage garden, kitchen garden or interplanted in vegetable gardens.
  • Visited by hummingbirds, bees and other pollinating insects.

 

 


 

  • Soak seeds overnight in warm water before planting.
  • Seeds germinate in 7-10 days.
  • Start seeds indoors 4 weeks before last frost date or direct seed after last chance of frost has passed.
  • Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 55-65 F.

 

  • Plants prefer full sun but will tolerate some light shade.
  • Provide well-drained soil and do not fertilize or plant in overly rich soil.
  • Plants are fairly drought tolerant will grow in a range of soil, including low- fertility soil, provided that it is well drained.
  • Space plants 8-12 inches apart.

PESTS/SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Aphids can be a pest for nasturtiums. Treat with organic approved insecticidal soap.
  • To prevent wilt and bacterial leaf spot, provide adequate air circulation and do not water the foliage..

 

  • Nasturtiums will often reseed, but to save seeds, allow them to mature and fall to the ground.
  • Collect them and store in a cool, dark, dry place over the winter.