Plant of the Week

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Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)

Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus, is a beautiful cool-weather annual, perfect for a little winter cheer. There are so many different beautiful cultivars of this plant, it will be hard for you to choose just one.

Nasturtiums are also edible, and that includes the flowers and the leaves. The flowers do make a beautiful addition to the top of any salad. Nasturtium flowers can also be lightly dusted in sugar and used to decorate a holiday cake. They’re also lightly fragrant, and although they may not last long in a vase, only a couple of days, they really brighten up a room in part of cut flower arrangements.

Seeds are easily sprouted right in the garden, which make them great for gardening with kids.

Plant nasturtium in full sun for the best floral performance, but a little shade is okay too, and be careful not to overwater.

The biggest problem with nasturtiums might be choosing just one, or even a few, of the gorgeous cultivars to plant. In addition to different flower colors, including white, yellow, orange, pink, red, and all variations thereof, there are also different sizes; from more upright choices, to more trailing choices, and everything in between.

The leaves are also beautiful—round, and water lily shaped, and most are a deep, luscious green. But there are also cultivars with variegated leaves, which can be quite stunning too.

Since seed packets are sold across the nation, seed companies have to put pretty generic information on them. So the seed packet that you get might say to plant nasturtiums in the spring, after all danger of frost has passed. And that would be true for more northern climates.

But here in Central Texas, where we barely get cool before we start to heat back up again, nasturtiums really thrive in winter gardens.



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