When we speak of Nasturtius we are referring to a plant belonging to the family Tropaeolaceae, which grows in the land of Peru. Its scientific name Tropaeolum refers to the Greek word tropaion, which translated literally means trophy. This plant would, in fact, be linked to a pole on which in ancient times some objects of defeated enemies, such as swords and helmets, were placed as a sign of victory. It is said that Nasturtius arrived in our country and all over Europe, thanks to Spain. The flowers, besides being a beautiful sight, give off a sweet and delicate smell, some also call it spicy. The leaves are rounded and have an intense green colour.
Best Known Varieties
The original Nasturtium has gradually evolved over time giving space to very interesting hybrids. Among the countless varieties of Nasturtium certainly one of the most famous is the T. majus, which arrived in Europe in 1684. Specifically, this plant has climbing stems, flowers rich in color and particularly fragrant. They strike, among other things, also the leaves that have a very particular circular shape. The varieties of Nasturtium differ for their more or less intense shades and also for the leaves: not all of them, in fact, are climbing. Like those, for example, of the T. minus which is striking for its golden yellow flowers. The T. peregrinum with frayed petals in evidence is also very popular.
Exposure of Nasturtium
The best exposure of Nasturtium is to the east and prefers a fairly cool climate. The plant likes to be warmed tenderly in the morning by the sun’s rays, while during the day it wants some shade. This is the best way to make it grow and flower. You can also decide to expose the Nasturtium in the late afternoon, in this case positioning it northwest.
The Flowers of Nasturtium
As far as the flowering of Nasturtium is concerned, it is important to stress that in order to have an excellent yield of the plant it is necessary not to use too fertile soil. The flowering times of Nasturtium are also different depending on the variety of the plant itself.
The fertilization of Nasturtium is fundamental. In the period between spring and summer it is absolutely necessary to use a good fertilizer. This must be introduced into the watering water at least every two weeks. An excellent fertilizer must have elements such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and copper.
When to Irrigate Nasturtium
The irrigation of Nasturtium must be absolutely stopped at a very precise moment. This period coincides with the arrival of autumn. When, in fact, the leaves of Nasturtium begin to acquire a yellow color means that the plant is ready to enter into vegetative rest. Watering can then be resumed in the spring season.
How to Prune it?
Unlike other plants, Nasturtium should not be pruned in any way. What you have to remove is only the leaves that dry out, precisely to prevent the development of unpleasant parasitic diseases.
To avoid the onset of bad Nasturtium diseases, it is necessary to follow certain rules. It is possible that the leaves are invaded by tiny whitish insects. If this happens it means that you are in the presence of lice. It is advisable to intervene immediately on the plant to prevent the situation from getting worse and Nasturtium becomes irreparably ill. The right remedy is to treat the plant through the use of specific pesticides. These products are able to enter the lymphatic circle of the plant without any difficulty. A fungal infestation can also occur due to water stagnation.
The Nasturtium has good stamina. It is true that they do not like the hot sun very much and prefer low temperatures. Although, it should be borne in mind, that they do not like frost. In winter it is recommended to remove the tubers from the ground. They can easily be stored in a dry and cool place until the spring season arrives.
When repotting Nasturtium it is suggested to use a soil type not too rich in nutrients. This is to avoid an excessive development of the vegetative part compared to the reproductive part. It is essential, among other things, to avoid water stagnation.
The substrate of Nasturtium must be not only permeable, but also rich in nutrients.
Nasturtium: how to Propagate it
The Nasturtium, after the flowering, gives life to groups of three seeds. It is advisable to collect them when they appear swollen and green and let them dry on a simple sheet of paper. These seeds can be stored in a dry place for later sowing. The propagation of the plant can also easily take place thanks to the cutting technique.
It is said that Nasturtium is often chosen to create original and unmistakable bouquets for brides, precisely because of the pleasant scent of flowers and their cheerful colour. Another interesting peculiarity of Nasturtium is that both the flowers, the fruits and the leaves of the plant can be eaten. In fact, there are some people who use these elements of Nasturtium to enrich their salads. It is even said that budding flowers can be used in the kitchen instead of capers.