Nasturtiums or ‘Nose-Twisters’?


One of my favorite plants in my garden is Nasturtium.


I love their bright flowers.

Did you know that the name ‘Nasturtium’ literally means ‘nose-twister’?

It’s true.

Nasturtium comes from the Latin words ‘nasus’ for nose and ‘tortum’ meaning twist referring to the mustard oil in the leaves.

If you haven’t grown Nasturtiums before here are some reasons that you should:

The entire plant is edible.  The leaves and flowers are often used in salads.  The leaves have a ‘peppery’ taste.

– They have large seeds, are easy to grow and are the perfect plant for kids to try growing.

– Nasturtiums are great in the vegetable garden.  They help to keep damaging insects away from your vegetables.

– Available in different colors and forms – climbing, dwarf, trailing and traditional forms.  Nasturtiums can grow up a trellis, drape over a container or the dwarf variety can be used as a bedding plant.

Plant Nasturtiums directly in the ground, in full sun, once the danger of frost is past.  They do best in non-fertile soil.  In my fertile vegetable garden soil, I get more leaves then flowers but that is okay as long as they help to repel damaging insects.

In hot summer areas, like mine, they will die off.  But, I simply let them go to seed and they often grow back in the fall.

You cannot find a better annual for your garden…..beautiful flowers and leaves, easy to grow, helps vegetables, edible AND it’s cheap!

So for a couple of dollars for a packet of seeds, you can soon be enjoying the benefits of Nasturtiums.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
8 replies
  1. Bridget
    Bridget says:

    Could'nt agree more…Nasturtiums are fabulously useful plants and decorative too. They come up in my garden every year from the previous year's seeds.

  2. Balisha
    Balisha says:

    Nasturtiums were the first flowers that I planted as a little girl. I sold seeds for my school and Dad always let me pick one package out…it was always Nasturtiums.
    We are having Spring here in No. Illinois. Yesterday it was almost 70 deg.We'll be gardening soon.

  3. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    I just read your 2010 post on separating pups from agaves, and it was most helpful. I have a 4-year old agave from Africa (for the life of me, I can't recall its name) and it has numerous, close-to-the-parent pups.
    I now know that I need a sharp shovel to separate them Thanks!!!

  4. Sweet Life Garden
    Sweet Life Garden says:

    Awe, I love Nasturtiums too. They fit in almost anywhere! This year I planted Cherry Rose, they are a beautiful rosy red color. They look great in salads! Thanks for all the great information!

Comments are closed.