Tips For Care Of Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are beautiful and versatile plants that are easy to care for. They can be grown in a variety of locations, including containers, hanging baskets, and in the ground. Nasturtiums are known for their brightly colored flowers and edible leaves, which can be used in salads, soups, and other dishes. Here are some tips for caring for nasturtiums:

  1. Sun and Soil: Nasturtiums prefer a soil pH of 6.0-7.5, which is slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. If your soil is too acidic, you can add lime to raise the pH. If it's too alkaline, you can add sulfur to lower the pH. Nasturtiums also prefer soil that is rich in organic matter. You can amend your soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility.

  2. Watering: Nasturtiums prefer to be watered deeply but infrequently. When you water, be sure to saturate the soil to a depth of at least six inches. This will encourage the roots to grow deep and strong. Avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can promote the growth of fungal diseases.

  3. Fertilizing: Nasturtiums do best with a low-nitrogen fertilizer that is high in phosphorus and potassium. These nutrients will encourage the plant to produce more flowers. You can use a 5-10-10 or 10-20-20 fertilizer every four to six weeks during the growing season. Avoid fertilizing too much, as this can cause the plant to produce more foliage than flowers.

  4. Pruning: In addition to deadheading, you can also pinch back the tips of the plant to promote bushier growth. This will encourage the plant to produce more lateral branches and more flowers. You can also prune back any leggy or overgrown stems to keep the plant looking neat and tidy.

  5. Pest and Disease Control: In addition to aphids and whiteflies, nasturtiums can also be prone to powdery mildew and bacterial leaf spot. To prevent these diseases, avoid getting water on the leaves, provide good air circulation around the plant, and avoid overcrowding. If pests or diseases do occur, you can use organic treatments such as neem oil or copper soap to control them.

  6. Harvesting: Nasturtium leaves and flowers are not only edible but also packed with vitamins and minerals. The flowers have a slightly spicy, peppery flavor, while the leaves are milder. You can use them in salads, sandwiches, and other dishes. Be sure to pick the flowers and leaves early in the morning, when they are at their freshest. Rinse them thoroughly in cool water before use.

In conclusion, nasturtiums are beautiful and easy to care for plants that can be grown in a variety of locations. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your nasturtiums thrive and produce plenty of colorful flowers and edible leaves.

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