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Nasturtium Companion Plants: The Perfect Addition to Your Garden

nasturtium companion plants

Are you looking for a plant that can add color and beauty to your garden while also serving as a natural pest repellent? Look no further than the nasturtium! This versatile and easy-to-grow plant is the perfect addition to any garden, and it makes an excellent companion plant for many other species. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of growing nasturtiums as companion plants, how to grow them, and some of the best plants to pair them with.

The Benefits of Nasturtium Companion Plants

Nasturtiums are known for their bright orange, yellow, and red flowers, which make them a popular choice for ornamental gardens. However, these plants also have many practical benefits when grown as companion plants. For one, they are natural pest repellents, emitting a scent that deters aphids, whiteflies, and other common garden pests. Additionally, nasturtiums attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings, which prey on harmful pests and help to keep your garden healthy.

Another benefit of growing nasturtiums as companion plants is that they can improve the soil quality. These plants release a chemical compound called benzyl isothiocyanate, which is toxic to certain soil-borne pests and diseases. This helps to keep the soil healthy and free from harmful organisms, which in turn promotes the growth of healthier plants.

How to Grow Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are incredibly easy to grow, making them a great choice for beginner gardeners. They prefer full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. You can the seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost, or sow them directly into the garden once the soil has warmed up in the spring. Nasturtiums also prefer moist soil, so be sure to water them regularly.

Best Plants to Pair with Nasturtiums

While nasturtiums are beautiful on their own, they can also be paired with other plants to create a stunning and functional garden. Here are some of the best plants to pair with nasturtiums:

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes and nasturtiums make a great pairing because tomatoes are susceptible to aphids and other common pests. Nasturtiums help to repel these pests while attracting beneficial insects that prey on them. Additionally, the flowers of the nasturtium plant add color and beauty to the tomato garden.

2. Cucumbers

Cucumbers and nasturtiums are another great pairing for similar reasons as tomatoes. The scent of the nasturtium plant deters cucumber beetles, which can damage the leaves and fruit of the cucumber plant.

3. Beans

Beans and nasturtiums have a symbiotic relationship, where the beans provide a trellis for the nasturtiums to climb, and the nasturtiums add nitrogen to the soil, which is essential for bean growth. Additionally, the bright flowers of the nasturtium plant add color and interest to the bean garden.

4. Brassicas

Brassicas like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are susceptible to cabbage moths and other pests. Nasturtiums help to deter these pests while also adding color and beauty to the garden.

5. Herbs

Nasturtiums can also be paired with herbs like parsley and thyme, which attract beneficial insects and add flavor to your meals.

How to Care for Nasturtium Companion Plants

Nasturtiums are incredibly easy to care for, requiring little maintenance beyond regular watering. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your nasturtium companion plants are healthy and thriving:

1. Pinch Back the Flowers

To encourage bushier growth, pinch back the flowers of the nasturtium plant when they first appear. This will redirect the energy of the plant towards foliage growth, resulting in a fuller and healthier plant.

2. Deadhead Regularly

Deadheading the spent flowers of the nasturtium plant will encourage more blooms to grow, resulting in a longer blooming season and a more beautiful garden.

3. Fertilize Occasionally

While nasturtiums don't require heavy fertilization, occasional feeding with a balanced fertilizer can help to promote healthy growth and blooms.

FAQs

1. Can I eat nasturtiums?

Yes! Nasturtiums are edible and have a slightly peppery taste. The leaves, flowers, and seeds can all be consumed raw or cooked.

2. Can I grow nasturtiums in containers?

Absolutely! Nasturtiums are great container plants and can thrive in pots or hanging baskets.

3. How often should I water my nasturtium plants?

Nasturtiums prefer moist soil, so be sure to water them regularly, especially during hot and dry weather.

4. Do nasturtiums attract bees?

Nasturtiums are not known for attracting bees, but they do attract other beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings.

5. Are nasturtiums invasive?

While nasturtiums can self-seed and spread, they are not considered invasive and are easy to control.

Nasturtium companion plants are a must-have for any garden. They are beautiful, easy to grow, and serve as natural pest repellents and soil improvers. Pair them with other plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, brassicas, and herbs to create a stunning and functional garden that will thrive for years to come.

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