Tropaeolum majus 'Black Velvet' (Tom Thumb Series)
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: poor, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: June to September
- Flower colour: deepest red
- Hardiness: tender
This compact, non-trailing nasturtium has deep-red flowers that have a velvety texture and look almost black in low light. They appear in great profusion over a prolonged period and the best display is produced when they are grown in full sun with poor soil. The grey-green foliage provides a wonderful contrast to the intense flower colour. The leaves and flowers can both be eaten. The leaves have a peppery flavour that adds a little oomph to salads while the flowers make an attractive garnish. When planted in the kitchen garden they will help repel whitefly, while attracting blackflies away from the crops.
- Garden care:Soak the seeds overnight and then sow an early crop under glass in good seed compost, covering lightly. Maintain the temperature between 13-16°C and water when necessary. When large enough to handle, pot on or acclimatise slowly and plant outside after all risk of frost has passed. Alternatively sow directly outside in mid to late spring. These plants flower best in poor soil, so take care not to over-fertilise. Dead-heading regularly will also encourage an even better display.
- Sow: March-June
- Flowering: June-September
- Approximate quantity: 20 seeds.
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