Nasturtium “Jewel of Africa” is a gorgeous trailing variety. The bushy plants bloom profusely with double and semi-double flowers. This mix from the series, gives blooms in mahogany, rose, gold, peach and primrose, many with mahogany-red markings in the throat.
Uniform and compact in habit, it is excellent in containers, producing low, compact, round clusters, the beautiful flowers are carried well above the foliage and the colour combinations change almost daily.
Nasturtium is one of the most foolproof and versatile of all summer annuals; they will thrive in soils where few other plants will even live. They can be grown as a groundcover as path edging or in the border, or can be planted in hanging baskets, containers or window boxes. They will bloom after only six weeks from sowing and will last well into autumn.
Nasturtiums can be used along the edges of flower and vegetable beds, they will help deter white-flies and rabbits from your crop. The flowers and leaves are both edible and can be used as a peppery addition to salads, pastas, omelettes, or used as a garnish.
This seed is organically produced. The seed has been harvested from plants that have themselves been raised organically, without the use of chemicals.
Sow indoors in early spring or direct sow in late spring to early summer
Soak the seed overnight to enhance germination. They should come up in a week to ten days depending on the soil temperature. In very hot summer regions, plant in autumn for winter bloom.
For earlier flowering they can be sown indoors in spring at a temperature of 15 to 18°C (60 to 65°F). Sow in peat pots or trays of moist seed compost and cover with a very fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged; germination will usually take 14 to 21 days. Transplant to larger pots if required or directly to their final position. Gradually acclimate them to outdoor conditions for 10-15 days before planting out after all risk of frost.
Planting nasturtiums is as simple as poking a hole in the soil with your finger and dropping in one of the rather large seeds. Sow directly where they are to flower in late spring onwards. They prefer a sunny open site but will grow in most sites and soils. Seeds germinate in 7 to 21 days and grow quickly in warm weather. The distinctive seedlings and can be told from nearby weed seedlings quite easily.
Plant nasturtiums in well-drained soil in full sun. They will grow in partial shade, but will not bloom well under those conditions. Although they like dry soils and will tolerate drought, water them during the growing season to keep them blooming. They are excellent in pots and containers, but may have to be trimmed back periodically to prevent them from crowding out the other plants.
Nasturtiums perform well in poor soil, but it is comfortable in average garden soil with loose, light texture as long as the soil is not overly fertile with nitrogen. Do not fertilise, except on extremely poor soil, as fertilization will promote leaf growth and suppress flowering. Dead-heading or picking the flowers will prolong blooming. Nasturtium will continue blooming until frost.
One thing to note: if you grow it near other nasturtiums it will hybridise. The following year you will have a mix of all colours. If you grow it on its own the colours will stay true.
Cottage/Informal Garden, Borders and Beds, Hanging Baskets and Containers, Ideal for Children.
Nasturtium is an excellent companion for many plants are generally thought of as a sacrificial plant for insect pests. Studies say it is among the best at attracting predatory insects.
Nasturtium are a good companion plant to many crops but especially to members of the cabbage family, deterring aphids, and beetles while improving growth and flavour. It is a great trap crop for aphids in particular the black aphids and they also deter woolly aphids, white-flies, cucumber beetles and other pests of the cucurbit family.
It has been the practice of some fruit growers that planting nasturtiums every year in the root zone of fruit trees allow the trees to take up the pungent odour of the plants and repel bugs. It has no taste effect on the fruit.
Use near to tomatoes, radish, cabbage, cucumbers and other squashes and plant under fruit trees.
Rabbits hate nasturtiums and keep well away.
Nasturtium flowers and leaves are edible, so long as your garden is organic and make an attractive addition to salads. They have a slightly peppery taste reminiscent of watercress, with a spicier flavour when grown in sunnier, hotter weather. They taste better when young; older leaves can be bitter. The flowers are less intensely flavoured than the leaves. The flowers are particularly dramatic when mixed with dark greens, such as spinach.
If you're in a Martha Stewarty frame of mind, cut up a handful of petals, mix them into a half-cup of softened butter, roll this into a log and re-chill it, and you'll have nasturtium butter to slice and melt atop grilled salmon to impress your dinner guests!
This common name refers to the fact that it has a mustard oil similar to that produced by watercress (Nasturtium officinale). Early English herbalists referred to nasturtiums as "Indian cress" after the conquistadors discovered them in the jungles of Peru and Mexico and brought them back to Spain in the 16th century.
- Additional Information
Average Seed Count 16 Seeds Family Tropaeolaceae Genus Tropaeolum Species majus Cultivar Jewel Mixed Common Name Trailing Nasturtium Other Common Names Indian Cress or Watercress Hardiness Hardy Annual Flowers Mixed, each with mahogany throat. Natural Flower Time June to October Foliage Mid Green Height 15 to 30cm (6 to 12in) Spread 30cm (12in) Position Full Sun Aspect West or South facing. Exposed or Sheltered Soil Well Drained (Can thrive in poor soil) Time to Sow Sow indoors in early spring or direct sow in late spring to early summer Germination 7 to 21 days