I have always thought that Nasturtiums were flowers, but the author of the article quoted below describes them as herbs. However you describe them nasturtiums have many uses as well as being attractive flowers in their own right. The flowers are edible and make a great addition to a salad. They both repel certain pests and attract other beneficial insects. To learn the other reasons why you should grow nasturtiums read this article by Anne Gibson which I found on The Micro Gardener website.
Colourful nasturtiums are one herb that?s easy to fall in love with.?This plant is an absolute winner in my book. Whilst many think of nasturtiums as just pretty flowers, these attractive herbs have an amazing array of benefits to offer you.
Aside from stealing the limelight in any garden with their dazzling display of colour, nasturtiums are one of the most multi-functional plants you can grow.
Nasturtiums look great growing in a pot or in the garden. They?re definitely on my ?Great Value Plants to Grow List?.
I?m so thrilled with this plant. I just have to share 20 uses for nasturtiums that I?ve learned about these decorative ?quiet achievers.?
1. Nasturtiums are?edible😕 Not only do they look good, but they taste great too ? in fact, you can eat the ENTIRE plant! The leaves have a slightly warm peppery flavour similar to watercress. The flowers are milder and the seeds, though hot and fragrant, are edible too. (More about that later!)? A word of warning however, never eat any flower or plant that has been treated with pesticides or other chemicals!
Whilst the root or tuber of this particular variety is not suitable for eating, Tropaeolum tuberosum (tuberous nasturtium) is grown for the delicious tuber and CAN be eaten raw like a radish or cooked as you would a potato.
2. Nasturtiums are rich in minerals: The leaves are high in vitamin C, iron and other minerals and the flowers are plentiful in vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C and also contain manganese, iron, phosphorus and calcium.
3. Pest repellent: These herbs work in several ways to deter pests. Nasturtiums mask the scent of plants that are commonly targeted by pests, disguise the leaves of food plants that pests are looking for and actively repel certain pests and attract others as a trap crop. ?They pack a real punch by secreting a mustard oil that some insects are attracted to.? (More about this in a future post!)
Interplanting with nasturtiums like in these strawberry pots helps confuse pests.