Nasturtiums are beautiful and edible, so it can be disheartening that these wonderful flowers don’t work as expected. The goal of Gardening Know How is to help you avoid, or at least modify, the problems of nasturtium by providing the best possible information for your garden to flourish – and this includes answering the questions about nasturtium that plague us all. Here are the main questions about growing nasturtium flowers.
1) How do you take care of nasturtiums?
Busy gardeners can appreciate nasturtiums, as they are incredibly easy to grow. One reason is that these edible flowers thrive in poor soil. Soil testing or modification is not required. Just choose a place that receives full or partial sun and has good drainage. Nasturtiums are also suitable for container cultivation. Keep nasturtium weeds and water when the rain is low and the top of the soil has dried. For healthier plants, avoid excessive absorption. Once the flowers are spent, dead head the plants to encourage more flowers. In areas that receive frost, nasturtiums are grown as annuals.
2) Why do my nasturtium leaves turn yellow?
Gardeners are right to worry when they see yellowed leaves on their plants. This indicates that something is wrong. When this happens, I like to perform a thorough inspection of the system. I begin by reviewing the growing needs of the plant. Nasturtiums prefer full sun and not so fertile soils with good drainage. Improper quantities of light, too much or too little water, excess fertilizer and poor drainage can make the nasturtium leaves yellow. Next, I look for additional signs of disease or the presence of parasites. The nasturtium leaves will turn yellow even if accidentally hit with an excessive spray from a herbicide.
3) When do nasturtiums bloom?
In colder climates where nasturtium is grown as an annual, expect flowers from the beginning of summer until the plants are killed by the autumn frosts. Shorter varieties of nasturtium bloom earlier than the taller ones, as the latter must achieve more vertical growth before producing flowers. In frost-free climates, nasturtium grows as a perennial plant and can bloom all year round. In both climates, nasturtiums can experience a period of dormancy during an extremely hot and humid summer climate. A common mistake is the application of fertilizer in the hope of arousing the interest of plants for flowering. This generally does not work with nasturtium. A rich culture medium promotes foliage growth which can overwhelm flower production.
4) What to do for long-legged nasturtium plants?
Plants of all types tend to have legs when their sunlight requirements are not adequately met. Nasturtium can survive in partial shade, but their preference is full sun. It is advisable to plant nasturtium where it can receive 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. The lightness is also more evident in the final or climbing varieties of nasturtium. Try pruning 6 to 8 inch (15-20 cm.) Long vines to encourage budding. And although nasturtium grows best in poor soils, a total lack of nutrients can cause leg growth. This is most evident in container-grown nasturtiums. A light dose of balanced fertilizer can help.
5) Are nasturtiums good plants for pollinators?
Definitely! The bright red, yellow and orange hues of nasturtium flowers fall within the visible spectrum of many pollinators, including bees and hummingbirds. In addition, the nasturtium nectar is particularly sweet. It has been reported to contain more sucrose than most other flower species. Nasturtium nectar provides an excellent of energy for hummingbirds, which burn many calories by flapping their wings 50 times or more per second. The nectar is contained within the long spur of the nasturtium flower, making it less accessible to pollinators without proboscis or long tongues. This is great news for hummingbirds!
6) When to plant nasturtium seeds?
In areas that receive frost, nasturtiums are typically grown as annuals. Since nasturtiums are sensitive to cold, the seeds can be started at home 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date. Nasturtiums do not transplant as well as other types of flowers, therefore the use of peat pots is strongly recommended to reduce transplant shock. Nasturtium can also be sown directly into the ground once the frost-free time has arrived. Large seeds can be attacked or immersed overnight to reduce germination times. Nasturtium seedlings can be transplanted or thinned to create a spacing of 8 to 10 inches (20-25 cm.) Between plants.
7) How do you collect edible nasturtium flowers?
It is easy to understand the interest in collecting nasturtium. The fresh leaves and flowers have a peppery flavor that can vary in intensity depending on the time of day when they are harvested. The beautiful flowers can also be used to decorate cakes and desserts. To pick up these edible delights, simply select the young and tender buds or flowers and leaves if necessary. It is best to leave a long stalk when picking nasturtiums to decorate the cakes, but if not, the flowers can be removed near the flower. If you prefer a milder flavor, choose nasturtium at the beginning of the day.
8) Will Deadheading Encourage More Nasturtium Blooms?
Yes, deadheading encourages nasturtium to bloom for a longer period. Deadheading is a gardening term that refers to the removal of exhausted or dead flowers. This technique not only improves the appearance of the plant, but also encourages the plant to redirect energy from seed production to the growth of new flowers. As an added benefit, removing the flowers before they produce seeds helps to control the unwanted spread of the plants, which self-sow freely. For dead nasturtium, pinch or cut the stem directly under the spent flower. Make sure to leave the pair of leaves directly under the flower.
9) Why didn’t my nasturtiums produce any seed?
Nasturtium seeds can be difficult to spot. There is a good chance that they have been overlooked. To find the seeds, you will have to move the leaves aside and look closely. Most often, the seeds will still be green and will tend to merge with the foliage. With nasturtium seeds, size is a better indicator of maturity than color. The larger the seed, the better the germination rate. So go ahead and collect those green seeds or save the brown ones from the ground. Bring the seeds in and let them dry completely before storing them for the winter.
10) How to control the spread of nasturtiums?
As mentioned earlier, deadheading flowers spent before they produce seeds is an excellent way to prevent invasive plants from spreading. If the nasturtiums have already moved to unwanted areas of the garden, manual weeding can help control the overpopulation of these flowers. Boiling water or white vinegar are safe alternatives to chemical herbicides and can be used to restore control. (Care must be taken not to target desirable plants.) Unfortunately, in frost-free climates, nasturtium can grow and distribute seeds all year round. It may be necessary to use herbicides, such as glyphosate, to control its spread.
We all have questions from time to time, whether longtime gardeners or those who have just started. So if you have a question about gardening, you get an answer about gardening. We are always here to help you.