Family: Nasturtium (Tropaeolaceae)
Vining perennial wirth flattish, palmate leaves and large, multicolored, spurred flowers. Highly desired garden flower. The thin-skinned, tuberous roots are harvested very late in the season, and are used in soups, being kint to the liver and kidney, also purportedly an antiaphrodisiac that gets served up when the lady of the house is feeling exhausted. When fresh, they are as peppery as a Nasturtium bud, but when cooked they are mild and yummy in taste. Plant like a potato. Trellis. Benefits from growing in soils of relatively low fertility but good structure. Hill up. Give plenty of water late in the growing season to encourage formation of tubers. Potted plant or pot containing the large, dormant tuber. Potted Plant, Certified organically grown
This plant is usually grown outdoors in a suitable environment, but it is also recommended for indoor growing as a houseplant. Following, find some recommendations for growing mashua in indoor culture (an indoor windowsill, under a skylight, in a sunroom, but without auxiliary growlights):
Pot size: Gallon to 3 gallon. Does well in deep pots.
Soil: Standard potting soil mixture for houseplants as fully described on page 107 of "The Medicinal Herb Grower" by Richo Cech, but in short: Mix together 1 gallon of hydrated coir, 1 gallon of compost or composted manure, 2 Tbsp micronutrient mix, 1/2 gallon coarse, sharp sand, 1 gallon pumice. We sell high grade horticultural pumice on this website.
Light requirement: Low to medium.
Watering requirement: Low to Medium (every 3 to 6 days or so)
Fertilization: Monthly foliar or root feeding of kelp tea, mycoblast, or compost tea.
Potential toxicity to pests or young children: none.
Setting outdoors: OK, but protect from beating sun and hard frost.
Vacations: Probably OK to leave unattended for 2 weeks without water. If necessary, it may help to encase the plant in an inflated plastic bag, in which case it could hold for a month, more or less.
Other recommendations for growing this plant indoors: Mashua likes to climb and will do well planted next to other larger houseplants in which case it will climb up on them, or lacking living trellis the plant will drape itself on the drapes, ride any convenient rail, or plummet down from a hanging pot like a bungee jumper from a bridge. Mashua are slow growing and thus long lived indoors, and will rarely flower unless given adequate light, but the leaf form is so interesting that flowers are not really needed in order to fully enjoy the plant. These are herbaceous perennials and should be cut back in October and overwintered in a cool, somewhat dry location. The plants may be awakened around April and will vitally reassert themselves, envigorated by their long winter nap.
Feel free to order this plant at any time, but please be aware that we SHIP PLANTS APRIL 1 to DEC 1 only. Orders received outside these months will be automatically backordered. Please order seeds separate from plants for easier shipping.
You have chosen a PLANT* (marked with a *), which means that it is short enough to fit in a Flat Rate Priority Mail box. To make the most of your shipping dollars, feel free to choose up to 5 more PLANTS* (marked with a *). They can be shipped along with this PLANT* for $14.90. (The shipping may be more if you buy other things as well as plants.)