Friday, June 8, 2012

Nasturtium flowers

Surprisingly fragrant.

Tropaeolum majus. Personally, I find nasturtiums to be rather temperamental. They are my gardening omelette syndrome: apparently simple yet giving me trouble. I now think they are happier with some shade. I grow them for their peppery, medicine-chest leaves: if you are sick, eat nasturtium leaves.  Antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, potent antioxidant, and more.

And I love the flowers, not for food, but for scent.


  1. Maria,
    I am speaking at The Hort! I thought you and your readers would want to know: I would be very honored if you and your food and garden friends would attend my book talk and reading event at The Horticultural Society of New York, Thursday, June 14.
    And to let your blog readers know of the event. I think your audience would be keen to attend - as well as you!

    Here are the details from The Hort's online invitation:

    The evening will consist of me doing an overview of my just-released book: The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbookbook, a reading from the profiles of the two chefs and the growers who most inspire them that are featured in the book and who are graciously joining me: Chef Tom Schaudel, CoolFish and Chef Bryan Futerman, Foody's.
    The chefs will demo cook one of their recipes from the book - followed by a tasting and and some wine!

    And book signings, of course :)

    It will be fun, free, and delicious.

    See you at The Hort!

  2. My Father used to plant nasturtium seeds, the variety color pack. It always stumped him that while the photo shows nastutiums of every color-the flowers the seeds produced were always the same shade of orange.
    I knew you could put the blossoms in a salad, didn't know the leaves were edible!

  3. I LOVE nasturtiums, and try to grow them every year... in Arizona, in Virginia, wherever I am.

    I am rarely successful.

    What I do is combine a bunch of packets into my hand, and then push seeds into the ground randomly all over the place, in hopes that one of the conditions and varieties will be successful.
    I should probably be more systematic and problem solve my growing issues - but I am somewhat of a lazy gardener, and accept "chance" as my partner.

    I am SO jealous of anyone that gets a giant plant!

    I love the leaves, flowers, scent, and taste.

    Nasturtiums and Sweet Peas... always make me smile!

  4. I read somewhere that skimping on the food for nasturtiums helps encourage more flowers. I love nasturtiums too, but it has been a chilly spring in the Northwest, so I haven't seen any blooms yet. Hopefully I will see some soon!

  5. Sara-You are correct on the light feeding for more blossoms. Too much food goes into trails and trails of green leaves and few flowers.
    I like "Peach Melba" for the pretty flowers.

  6. If your soil is rich, nasturtiums will produce leaves but few flowers. Full sun, don't over water and deadhead. Container plants may need to be pruned back.

  7. Thanks, everyone. Yes, I know the fertilizer trick, and so I plant the nasturtiums on their own, as I feed my other plants. However the potting soil I used has some chicken manure in it and that may be the culprit. I find that their leaves yellow easily, which may have to do with drainage. The plants in full sun are rather stunted. Those with some shade grow fatter leaves, obviously, but fewer flowers. That's OK, though, as mostly I want leaves, for eating...

  8. Maybe that's the problem mine have. I'll try putting them in shade next year - or dig up the ones I have & move them.


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