by Sarah Fowler

The scientific name for Nasturtium is Tropaeolum majus. Nasturtium is an annual that originated in Peru. Then it was taken to Europe in the 16th century. Nasturtium is not only used in gardens for its bright colors but for cooking and medicinal purposes.

What do they look like?

Nasturtium is a climbing plant as well as a spreading one, that has round leaves with red, orange and yellow flowers. It is able to grow up to a foot tall and one foot wide.



  • Dwarf Jewel
  • Alaska Mixes
  • Empress of India
  • Climbing Mix
  • Jewel of Africa
  • Strawberries and Cream
  • Tip Top Mix
  • Whirlybird Mix


Growing Nasturium

Nasturium is relatively easy to grow. It will grow in all Temperate Zones. It has different light requirements depending on the climate. If it is grown in a warm climate it will need afternoon shade and if it is in a cool climate then it is reccommend it be planted in full sun. It likes rich, loose, well-drained soil, plus some compost and like most plants it needs a regular watering. The are commonly used as a flower border, in rock gardens, or in hanging baskets. To help the nasturtium germinate soak the seeds in water overnight.. One of the nice things about nasturium is that it has very little problems with insects. The only insect that might bother nasturtium is aphids. If you have a problem with aphids then spray with diluted soap and then rinse with clean water.



  • Nasturtium attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
  • Organic gardeners like to use Nasturtium to attract aphids away from their vegetables.



Nasturtium can be harvested as soon as the plant is established. You should not cut of more than 1/3 of the plant so it can rejuvenate for the next cutting. Harvesting can occur until it frosts.



Tastes: peppery, tangy, bitter, and mustardlike

Flowers: Can be used as a garnish like in cold soups or they can be eatten in a salad.

Leaves: Can be added to salad or can be the only kind of leaf in the salad. Large leaves use like lettuce on hamburgers and sandwiches.

Preserving: The leaves can be blended into mush and then frozen. This can be used in soups for the future.

Pickling buds and seeds: The buds and seeds can be pickled using vinegar. The pickled buds can be a substitute for capers.


Medicinal Purposes

Nasturtium can also be used for medicinal purposes. The leaves are rich in Vitamin C and sulphur.




Culinary Herbs

Capucine Nasturtium, Provence-Beyond

Michigan State University Extension- Home Horticulture


Garden Nasturtium

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South Jersey

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