Nasturtium ‘Blue Pepe’


Nasturtium ‘Blue Pepe’ is a unique European variety bred specifically for culinary use. The name is derived from its wonderful steel-blue leaves with purplish undersides.

The flowers themselves are also edible and their bright-red hue makes an attractive addition to salads, as well as being perfect for garnishing stir fries. The leaves have a slightly peppery taste, reminiscent of watercress. The flavour becomes spicier when the flowers are grown in sunnier, hotter weather. The flowers are less intensely flavoured than the leaves but they add a dramatic, colourful zing to any recipe. Nasturtiums were first cultivated in Perù and were introduced to Europe by the Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century.

Common name Nasturtium
Latin name Tropaeolum majus
Variety Blue Pepe
Quantity 10 seeds
Plant size Height: 20 cm
Width: 20 cm
Container size Height: 20 cm
Width: 20 cm
Companion plant(s) Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, radishes, cucumbers, salads
Planting indoors Feb to Apr
Planting outdoors Apr to Jun
Germination 7 to 15 days
Harvesting 50 to 70 days
Planting 3 cm to 5 cm apart at a depth of 2 cm
Thinning 5 cm to 10 cm
Light Full sun to partial shade
Soil Well-drained, light and moist soil
Watering Regular watering, allow to dry out
Feeding Not required
Caring Do not fertilise because this will promote leaf growth and suppress flowering. Dead-heading or picking the flowers will prolong blooming.
Beneficial wildlife Attracts bees, butterflies and birds.
Pests Repels aphids, bugs and rabbits.
Harvesting Pick nasturtium buds, petals and leaves in the cool morning air when the flowers have just opened. Interestingly, the more stressed the plant is, the more pungent its flavour will be. Stressed plants will lead to a more pungent flavour.
Eating Medicinal properties: Ancient South Americans used nasturtiums as a hair-growth supplement – perhaps it’s worth a try?!

How to eat: The edible flower trend has been around for a long time but has had a resurgence in recent years. These blooms are great for adding colour and a peppery flavour to salads and cold dishes. Not everybody knows, however, that nasturtium seeds are nutty and peppery, too, and can be pickled to produce what are known as ‘poor man’s capers’.

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