Nasturtium

Tropaeolum majus

Kappertjie (Afr.)

profile iconTropaeolum majus - Kerti Sarkantyúka
by Takkk (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 11
A close up of a green Tropaeolum majus plant with a red flower
profile iconTropaeolum majus - Kerti Sarkantyúka
by Takkk (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 11
Tropaeolum majus is an annual species from the family. It has a climbing habit, and will readily scramble up support or across the ground. This plant produces distinctive circular leaves with wavy edges, held on a central stalk attached to the leaf in the centre. Flowers are long spur structures and are typically red, orange or yellow in colour. Flowering occurs from summer-autumn and they are a popular garden choice, commonly known by the names Garden Nasturtium and just Nasturtium, which is a shared name for another genus, use with care! This plant has a wonderfully peppery taste. In Latin, nasturtium literally means "nose twist" and one of the easiest edible flowers to grow. Uses: Culinary, medicinal, cosmetic.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer, Autumn

Fruiting time

Summer, Spring

Harvesting

Pick leaves, flowers and seeds when available.

Propagation

Seed

Sowing time best in summer/autumn. For faster sprout, soak seeds in some warm water overnight. Sowing depth should be around 10 - 12 mm.

Special features

Repels harmful insects

Repels aphids.

Wet sites

Attractive flowers

Attractive leaves

Attracts useful insects

Attracting hoverflies, which will destroy aphids. Also often used as a trap plant around vegetables, slugs and snails love them and you can keep them away from other plants!

Special features

Origin

Peru, South America

Natural climate

Temperate to warm

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Chalk, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Neutral, Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Half-Hardy

Uses

Edible

Leaves, flowers, seeds.

Personality

Family

Tropaeolaceae

Flower colour

Red, Orange, Yellow

Scent

Mild

Problems

Wilt - Infected plants yellow, wilt, and eventually die. Avoid overhead irrigation since these bacteria are easily spread in splashing water. Disinfect any tools used. Bacterial leaf spot - minimized by improving air circulation (thinning out the plants) and by avoiding overhead irrigation.