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The Garden Writers Association


Last Update 06/03/08

Plant of the Month

Tropaeolum

 Nasturtium

Of the family Tropaelaceae, the Nasturtiums range in growth and habit from climbing, trailing, or bushy annuals to herbaceous perennials, many with tuberous roots. Tropaeolums are native to the cool, mountainous areas of Central and South America and are usually grown as cool season annuals in South Florida. The leaves and flowers of these annuals are often edible, and the young fruits of T. majus can be pickled.

Nasturtium sp.

Plant Facts:

Common Name:   Nasturtium

Botanical Name:   Tropaeolum

Family:  Tropaelaceae

Plant Type:  Climbing, trailing, or bushy annuals to herbaceous perennials

Origin: South and Central America

Zones: 8 - 10

Height:  9" to 24"

Rate of Growth: Fast

Salt Tolerance: Low

Soil Requirements:  Most, well-drained, fertile soil. Most hybrids and cultivars of T. Majus flower best in poor soil.

Water Requirements: Low drought tolerance

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced low nitrogen fertilizer monthly

Light Requirements: Full sun

Form:  Climbing or trailing plant. Dwarf, bushy varieties available

Leaves:  Rounded to palmate, light green to blue-green in color

Flowers: Single or double flowers, funnel-shaped, come in yellow, orange, mahogany, cream or mixed.

Fruits:

Pests or diseases:  Cabbage white butterfly caterpillars, flea beetles, aphids, slugs, whiteflies, leaf-tunnelers, and viruses

Uses:  Can be used in beds, borders, patio pots, hanging pots, or planters, ground cover, mass planting, or on a pergola, fence, or trellis

Bad Habits: 

Cost:  $$ -- Very reasonable

Propagation:  Cuttings, tubers, or by seed

Sources:  AMERICAN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY A-Z ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GARDEN PLANTS

 
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