Nasturtium – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Flower Glossary

I. What is Nasturtium?

Nasturtium, scientifically known as Tropaeolum majus, is a flowering plant that belongs to the Tropaeolaceae family. It is native to South and Central America but is now grown in many parts of the world for its vibrant flowers and edible leaves. Nasturtium is a popular choice for gardeners due to its easy cultivation and attractive appearance. The plant is known for its round, shield-shaped leaves and brightly colored flowers that come in shades of red, orange, and yellow.

II. What are the different varieties of Nasturtium?

There are several varieties of Nasturtium that gardeners can choose from, each with its own unique characteristics. Some popular varieties include Alaska, which has variegated leaves and bright flowers, Empress of India, known for its deep red blooms, and Jewel Mix, which features a mix of vibrant colors. Other varieties include Whirlybird, Peach Melba, and Black Velvet, each offering a different color palette and flower shape.

III. How to grow Nasturtium?

Nasturtium is a relatively easy plant to grow and can thrive in a variety of conditions. To grow Nasturtium, start by planting seeds in well-draining soil in a sunny location. Water the plants regularly, but be careful not to overwater as this can cause root rot. Nasturtium plants do not require much fertilizer, but a light application of a balanced fertilizer can help promote healthy growth. The plants can be grown in containers or directly in the ground and will bloom throughout the summer months.

IV. What are the uses of Nasturtium?

Nasturtium is a versatile plant that has many uses beyond its ornamental value. The flowers and leaves of the plant are edible and have a peppery flavor, similar to watercress. They can be used in salads, sandwiches, and as a garnish for various dishes. Nasturtium flowers can also be used to make a colorful and flavorful vinegar or infused into oils for a unique culinary experience. In addition to its culinary uses, Nasturtium has been used in traditional medicine for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

V. What are the benefits of Nasturtium?

Nasturtium offers a range of health benefits due to its high content of vitamins and minerals. The plant is rich in vitamin C, which can help boost the immune system and promote healthy skin. Nasturtium also contains antioxidants that can help protect the body from oxidative stress and inflammation. The plant’s peppery leaves and flowers have been used in herbal medicine to treat respiratory infections, digestive issues, and skin conditions. Additionally, Nasturtium has been shown to have antimicrobial properties that can help fight off harmful bacteria and viruses.

VI. How to care for Nasturtium plants?

Caring for Nasturtium plants is relatively simple and requires minimal effort. To keep Nasturtium plants healthy and blooming, make sure to water them regularly, especially during hot and dry periods. Deadhead the flowers regularly to encourage new blooms and prevent the plant from going to seed. Nasturtium plants do not require much fertilizer, but a light feeding with a balanced fertilizer can help promote healthy growth. Keep an eye out for pests such as aphids and caterpillars, which can damage the plant, and treat them promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil. With proper care, Nasturtium plants can thrive and provide a colorful addition to any garden.