Nasturtium - Gardener's Trophy
The name of nasturtium comes from the Latin word ‘trophae’ - a trophy in the helmet form of some parts of the flower and thyroid leaves.
Nasturtiumor Capuchin (Tropeolum) - a genus of herbaceous plants of the Nasturtian family (Tropaeolaceae), which includes about 90 species native to Central and South America.
Nasturtiums are annual and perennial herbaceous or semi-shrub plants. The stems are fleshy, juicy, highly branched, erect, creeping or curly, up to 200 cm long. The leaves are arranged in the next order, rounded, thyroid, with a solid edge, on long petioles and with a waxy coating.
Nasturtium flowers with a delicate, pleasant aroma, irregular, on long peduncles, solitary, located in the axils of the leaves. Calyx with spur at base, brightly colored. Corolla free-standing, of five yellow, orange or red petals. The fruit of nasturtium is a combined one, breaking up into three identical, round-kidney-shaped, wrinkled fruits. In 1 g of 10-40 round-kidney seeds, the germination of which lasts 4-5 years. When sowing seedlings appear on the 12-14 day.
In ornamental horticulture, species are most often grown: Nasturtium is large (Tropaeolum majus), Foreign Nasturtium (Tropeolum peregrinum) and Beautiful nasturtium (Tropaeolum speciosum).
In pre-Columbian America, perennial nasturtiums, which form underground tubers, were widely used for food. it tuberous nasturtium (Tropaeolum tuberosum), which was cultivated by the ancient Indians in the mountainous regions of Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and thin-leaved nasturtium (Tropeolum leptophyllum) - it was grown in Ecuador and Peru.
There are five secrets to growing nasturtium that must be taken into account by beginner growers.
- Nasturtium is very thermophilic, so there is no need to rush to sow nasturtium seeds in the garden. Seedlings of nasturtium that are frozen will inevitably die. For landscaping the balcony and for early flowering in the garden, plant nasturtium seedlings in April.
- Nasturtium does not tolerate transplantation (this plant has a superficial and tender root system). Therefore, it is better to grow seedlings in peat cups or in cups with a retractable bottom.
- Nasturtium loves a bright location - plant it in the sun or in light partial shade under the trees. With a lack of light, nasturtium has a miserable appearance: it forms stunted shoots, grows and almost does not bloom.
- Nasturtium prefers moderately fertile and drained soil. On fertile and manicured soil, nasturtium develops a lot of greenery, but it blooms very weakly; does not tolerate fresh manure. The plant responds well to fertilizing with potassium and phosphorus, continuously forming an abundance of flowers.
- Nasturtium prefers moderately moist soil. Young plants need to be regularly watered, then they grow well. After the beginning of flowering of nasturtium, it is necessary to water it only with strong drying of the soil (otherwise the plant will have few flowers and a lot of foliage). On heavy soil, with an excess of moisture, the roots of nasturtium rot.
Under favorable conditions, nasturtium sets a lot of seeds, which, crumbling, are able to overwinter in the soil.
Nasturtium seeds are large, enclosed in a thick protective shell. The seeds on the plant do not ripen at the same time, as the flowers bloom (40-50 days after the petals have fallen). Seed germination lasts 3-4 years.
Ripened seeds - “peas” of nasturtium fall spontaneously, so be careful if you want to collect the seeds. Take off the seeds as they ripen (from green they become whitish, easily separated from the peduncle). If seeds in large quantities are not needed, then to prolong the abundant flowering, faded flowers should be regularly removed.
- Directly in the ground, nasturtium seeds are sown in May, after soaking them for a day in water.
- Swollen seeds are planted in the garden with nests: 3-4 seeds in each well, maintaining a distance between holes of 25-30 cm
- Seeds of nasturtium germinate in two weeks.
- Flowering begins about a month and a half after the emergence of seedlings.
- Up to the beginning of flowering, nasturtium seedlings are fed with complete complex fertilizer (3-4 times a month).
For earlier flowering of nasturtium, seedlings can be grown. Sown in early May in 9 cm pots of 3 pieces. Shoots appear in two weeks. Landing is carried out only with an earthen lump in early June.
Propagation of nasturtium by cuttings
Propagation of nasturtium is possible by cuttings, which are perfectly rooted in water and in wet sand. This technique is used when propagating new, and especially terry varieties. Since nasturtium is a perennial plant, you can leave the most outstanding specimens wintering in a pot in a bright, cool window with limited watering, and cross them out in spring.
Use of nasturtium in design
Low-growing species and varieties of nasturtiums are suitable for vases, borders, flower beds in the form of wide ribbons. Species and varieties with long shoots are used as ampelous plants, for vertical gardening, and as ground cover.
The use of nasturtium in cooking
In ordinary garden nasturtiums, all parts of the plant, except the roots, are edible. Fresh young leaves and stalks rich in vitamin C add some piquancy to salads and sandwiches, flower extracts are added to cheeses and butter, vinegar is infused on nasturtium flowers, they are stuffed with various fillings, and they are also used as an edible decoration in salads, soups and drinks. And finally, dried, peeled and ground seeds have a spicy pepper taste and are used as a seasoning for a wide variety of dishes (they say that in many countries the ground seeds of nasturtium were used quite actively instead of black pepper during the Second World War).
Useful properties of nasturtium
Nasturtium is used not only as a decorative and edible plant, but also as a medicinal one. It is treated with vitamin deficiency, anemia, skin rashes, kidney stone disease, bronchitis and other diseases, it contributes to hair growth. Nasturtium is particularly well established as an anti-zingotic agent. The amount of vitamin C in it is ten times higher than in ordinary lettuce leaves!
It is even richer with strong antimicrobial substances: phytoncides and provitamin A. Clinical trials of tropolein, a substance isolated from nasturtium essential oil, showed that when it was used in patients with chronic coronary insufficiency due to atherosclerosis, the attacks of angina stopped, pain disappeared, and health improved. Nasturtium began to be very popular when it was established that dishes from it have dietary and medicinal properties in a number of diseases, and especially with atherosclerosis and metabolic disorders associated with age-related changes. It has been established that tubers in tuberous species contain substances that reduce the level of testosterone in the body and act, therefore, as anti-Viagra
Popular varieties of nasturtium
- Nasturtium Vesuvius - The bush is erect up to 30 cm tall, as it grows, it becomes semi-spread. The leaves are large, rounded, dark green. The flowers are simple up to 5 cm in diameter, salmon pink with an orange tinge, on the upper two petals a dark red spot with strokes around. The cup is yellow.
- Nasturtium Garnet Jam (Garnet Gem) - The bush is erect, compact, up to 30 cm tall. The leaves are large, rounded, light green. Terry flowers, rather large, up to 6 cm in diameter, garnet red with an orange tint. On the upper two petals are brown strokes. The cup is bright yellow.
- Nasturtium Golden Globe (Golden Globe) - The bush is compact, spherical, erect, 25 cm high, up to 40 cm across. The leaves are rounded, light green. Terry flowers, large, up to 6.5 cm in diameter, golden yellow, without spots. The cup is yellow.
- Nasturtium Globe of Fire (Globe of Fire) - Bush erect up to 45 cm tall. The leaves are light green. Terry flowers, large, up to 7 cm in diameter, bright orange. On the upper two petals are dark brown strokes. Calyx is dark yellow.
- Nasturtium Kaiserin von India (Kaiserin von Indien) - Bush erect, 20-25 cm tall, compact, spherical. The leaves are small, dark green with a purple bloom, gray on the underside. The flowers are simple, up to 4.5 cm in diameter, dark red with brown-red strokes at the base of the two upper petals. The calyx is orange-red outside.
- Nasturtium Foyeoglants (Feuerglanz) - Bush creeping up to 25 cm tall. The leaves are large, light green. The flowers are large, up to 6 cm in diameter, double, fiery orange with dark red strokes on the two upper petals. The cup is orange-red.
We wish you success in growing this beautiful plant! Waiting for your advice!