Archive for February, 2012
Nasturtiums – Cool Season Flowers with Hot Season Flair
Bushy plants can get to about 12″ H – 18″ W.
Trailing types grow about 3-4′ H.
Climbers can get to 10’+ H.
Fall through spring in milder climates.
- Alaska Series – Bushy, dwarf plants with heavily variegated foliage and the blossoms are held above the foliage.
- Jewel Series – Bushy, dwarf with double and semi-double blooms. A profuse bloomer, but flowers can tend to get lost under the foliage.
- ‘Peach Melba’ – Busy, dwarf with semi-double buttery yellow flowers splashed with orangy-red centers. Good for containers.
- ‘Canary Creeper’ (T. Peregrinum) – Perennial vines with yellow flowers that look like bird’s wings.
- Nasturtiums like regular weekly waterings. They will survive some drought conditions, but flowering will diminish and the foliage can begin to look ratty. Deadheading is not usually necessary, unless a plant has been stressed and is holding on to spent blooms.
- They do, however, thrive in lean soil. Don’t feed nasturtium plants at all during the growing season. Fertilizer causes them to put out more foliage and less flowers.
- Pests & Diseases: Nasturtiums are very prone to aphids and are sometimes used as a trap crop in vegetable gardens. A strong blast of water is usually enough to get rid of the aphids. They can also be prone to flea beetles, slugs and the caterpillars of cabbage white butterflies.
Nasturtium ( /nəˈstɜr.ʃəm/) is a genus of five plant species in the family Brassicaceae (cabbage family), best known for the edible watercresses Nasturtium microphyllum (Rorippa microphylla) and Nasturtium officinale (R. nasturtium-aquaticum). Nasturtium was previously synonymised with Rorippa, but molecular evidence supports its maintenance as a distinct genus more closely related to Cardamine than to Rorippa sensu stricto (Al-Shehbaz & Price, 1998; Al-Shehbaz, Beilstein & Kellogg, 2006).
These plants are related to garden cress and mustard, noteworthy for a peppery, tangy (pungent) flavor. The name Nasturtium comes from the Latin nasus tortus, meaning “twisted nose”, in reference to the effect on the nasal passages of eating the plants. Nasturtium foliage is used as food by the caterpillars of certainLepidoptera, including Orthonama obstipata (The Gem). (1)