A delightful, uncomplicated, and edible (!) plant that also thrives in semi-shaded locations and in less than optimal soil. It is often used for fences or grown in pots as a balcony plant. The lower areas of a facade can be enhanced with nasturtium, especially under climbing plants that tend to bald near their base. Also interesting for interior greening!
lat.: tropaeolum majus
The low-maintnance nasturtium doesn't have any special needs regarding location, but in a sunny and sheltered spot will produce more flowers. It does well in low-nitrogen, sandy or even less than optimal garden soils, but will need good drainage. In shade and damp soil, you'll have more leaves and fewer flowers. Watering is necessary in hot / dry weather. Available as seeds, seed blends, and in spring~ as pre-cultivated potted plants.
The species in its original form comes from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, and was introduced in Europe in 1684 by the Dutchman Bewernin. The nasturtium is an annual in Europe and should be sown at the beginning of May. Soak the seeds in water overnight. Alternatively, the seeds can be sprouted in a greenhouse in late winter or indoors in April and then planted in the second half of May. Sow 2-3 grains per planting hole, approx. 2 cm deep, at a distance of 20-30 cm. When sown during summer, the nasturtium can be a beautiful indoor plant that brings colour in the winter months. It can grow up to 3 meters in height. Nasturtium usually climbs as a rambler, sometimes also with leaf-stem tendrils, and with overhanging / cascading growth. This is a colourful, cheerful plant with flower colours ranging from yellow to red, depending on the variety. Flowering is from June to November. Leaves are themselves ornamental, resembling round lily pads. Shoots, young leaves, flowers, and flower buds are all edible! Taking off withered flowers promotes new flower production. Additional measures against aphid infestation are required for indoor culture.
Trellis cables should be placed close together with a 20 - 30 cm mesh-size grid arrangement, or with even finer-meshed nets. Vertical axes should dominate (so, 'standing' rectangles instead of squares). See the bottom of the page for suitable rope trellises. The 5050 design is a solid choice in conjunction with steel rods. Choose the easy, light, or medium version. Lead the young shoots to the trellis if needed (with a bamboo rod for example). Binding material may be necessary to train the plant upwards.