The flowers wilt quickly, however, so cut the plants with long stems and store them in a glass of water, just like with any cut flowers. They love cool, damp, well-drained soil. You can use them later in the day, or store them in water in the refrigerator for use the next day. They can also be used in cooked dishes, but should be added in the last few minutes to avoid overcooking. Harvesting nasturtium plants as food is easy, as long as you know a few simple tips. It is not only pollinators that will be attracted to … Plants shouldn't need supplemental fertilizing during the growing season. Although you can eat the whole flower, if the flavor is too strong use only the milder-tasting petals. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Soil should be well drained and not overly fertile. The leaves, flowers and seeds are all edible and good sources of nutrients, including antioxidants like lutein, vitamin C, manganese and others. You can even stuff the larger leaves, like you would grape leaves. When roots show through the pots' drainage holes, transplant the seedlings, peat pot and all, into the garden. Nasturtiums are available in flower colors ranging from the palest yellow to the deepest red. Nasturtiums come in varieties ranging from trailing to upright and in brilliant sunset colours with peppery flavours. Sign up for our newsletter. More ambitious cooks can try grinding the seeds to use as a pepper substitute and in flavored oils, and pickling the flower buds or immature seedpods to use as a substitute for capers. Edible Nasturtium Flowers and Leaves Many people assume it is the leaves that are edible, like an herb or salad green, but you can use the flowers too, for culinary decoration and for eating. Nasturtiums are a genus of herbaceous flowering plants that have big, bright flowers and large green leaves. Nasturtiums grow quickly from seed and, depending on the variety, can be grown as climbers on fences and trellises or as bushy plants in a window boxes and containers. Sow seeds 10 to 12 inches apart in the garden about a week before the last frost date for your area. Both the flowers and leaves, chopped, can be used in vinaigrettes, sauces, and dips. They prefer full sun to a little bit of shade. In the world of edible annual flowers, nasturtiums are one of the tastiest and easiest to grow. Both the flowers and leaves of the nasturtium are tasty eaten raw and fresh. Blossoms have a sweet, spicy flavor similar to watercress. Plus, it's not just the flowers and buds that are packed with a zippy flavor; the young leaves are tender and edible as well. As A Companion Plant For Your Fruits & Veggies. The biggest surprise with nasturtiums is the taste. Picking nasturtiums to eat is as simple as plucking off flowers and leaves as needed throughout the growing season. Your nasturtiums will taste best under the right growing conditions. Nasturtium seeds are large and easy to handle. Nasturtiums rank among one of the most common edible flowers. Use the flowers to decorate desserts too. If the plant gets stressed, the flavor will be off-putting. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Seedlings can also be started indoors, but their taproots make them difficult to transplant. If plants begin to flag in the heat of summer, cut them back and they'll regrow and flower again when cooler weather arrives in fall. Nasturtium Flowers - How To Grow Nasturtiums, Spicing It Up With Exotic Culinary Herbs: Exotic Herbs To Grow In Your Garden, Nasturtiums As Pest Control – Planting Nasturtiums For Pest Management, Prickly Kale Leaves – Does Kale Have Thorns, Corn Husk Wreath Ideas: How To Make A Corn Husk Wreath, DIY Air Plant Wreaths: Wreath Making With Air Plants, Making Beets Sweet: Tips For Growing Beets That Are Sweeter, Aleppo Pine Information: How To Grow An Aleppo Pine Tree, Oxblood Lily Info: How To Grow Oxblood Lilies In The Garden, What Is Boxwood Decline: Learn How To Treat Boxwood Decline, Thanksgiving Tradition: Turning Homegrown Pumpkins Into Pie, Growing Thanksgiving Dinner – Must Have Turkey Side Dishes, Interesting Uses For Pecans: What To Do With Pecans, The Bountiful Garden: Bringing The Garden To Thanksgiving. Tropaeolum majus is a trailing type that can be trained to climb. Tropaeolum minus is a bush type. Both the leaves and the flowers have a peppery, spicy flavor and add a bite to green salads. The more heat-stressed the plant, the more pungent the leaves and flowers will taste. The flowers are great for eating but also for decorating. These flowers are gorgeous in beds, climbing trellises, and in containers, and they provide food for your vegetable drawer. In all but the richest soils, amend the planting area by mixing in a 1-inch layer of compost. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); © 1972 - 2020 National Gardening Association, Times are presented in US Central Standard Time, Today's site banner is by zuzu and is called "Salpiglossis". While most edible flowers have a subtle flavor, nasturtiums knock your socks off with their peppery taste. Nasturtiums thrive on neglect and don't require rich soil. In fact, if you amend soil with too much nitrogen-rich fertilizer or manure, you'll get lots of dark green foliage and few flowers. The flavor of the plant will actually get spicier as the day wears on, so pick early for milder tastes and later in the day for more kick. In frost-free areas of the South and West they grow so vigorously that many people consider them weeds. The mounded shape of nasturtiums makes them a nice border plant, and the water lily-like leaves are as edible as the bright flowers. You can purchase seed mixes that produce plants in a variety of flower colors, or single-color packets. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Fortunately, it’s easy to grow nasturtiums. Nasturtiums grow quickly from seed and, depending on the variety, can be grown as climbers on fences and trellises or as bushy plants in a window boxes and containers. Most modern varieties have been bred so the flowers stand above the foliage, making them especially striking in the garden. Although treated as annuals, these fast growing plants are technically herbaceous perennials. Terms of Service apply. 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