Nemesia

Available in a rainbow of flower colors, this annual blooms when temperatures are cool during the spring and fall.

Nemesia Overview

Description This charming annual has recently seen a resurgence in popularity, and for good reason. Nemesia makes a colorful addition to any cool-season garden. Breeders have had several recent breakthroughs, creating plants that are much more heat tolerant with beautiful bicolor blooms and pleasant fragrance. Plant nemesia alongside your pansies in the spring and fall for even more of an eye-catching show.
Genus Name Nemesia
Common Name Nemesia
Plant Type Annual
Light Part Sun, Sun
Height 6 to 12 inches
Width 6 to 12 inches
Flower Color Blue, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Foliage Color Blue/Green
Season Features Fall Bloom, Spring Bloom, Summer Bloom, Winter Bloom
Special Features Fragrance, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 11, 9
Propagation Seed, Stem Cuttings

Colorful Combinations

You would be hard-pressed to find another flower with the color diversity of nemesia. Because it comes in almost every color possible (except green), you can easily find a shade suitable for any combination. Many varieties come in lovely bicolor blooms that can look quite stunning and, up close, are almost reminiscent of miniature orchids. Its quick-growing habit also adds to containers and hanging baskets, as it spills nicely down the sides. Plant nemesia near seating areas to enjoy its pleasingly light fragrance.

Nemesia Care Must-Knows

Relatively low-maintenance plants, it's not too tricky to keep nemesias happy. Make sure they're planted in well-drained soils, as anything less is likely to cause plants to rot. They're ideally suited to growing in containers with light potting mix. They also appreciate even moisture and organically rich soils. So keep your plants watered, especially during the summer heat, if you plan on keeping them through the fall.

For the best flower production, grow nemesias in full sun. Giving them a little afternoon shade can extend their blooms a little longer. They tend to go out of flower once night temperatures are consistently above 70 degrees. This is especially true of older varieties, which are especially sensitive to heat. If plants begin to go out of bloom, they can become a little rangy. When this happens, give the plants a good shearing to shape them up and encourage a fresh wave of new growth and blooms. Give them a dose of fertilizer when you cut them back to rejuvenate them.

New Innovations

Nemesia was a popular plant in cottage gardens and other old-fashioned settings, but it fell out of use because of its temperamental growth in warm climates. Luckily, many breeders, especially in England and Germany, recently began revamping this genus with several species. The main goal was to increase the heat tolerance of these adorable annuals, and breeders have had great success. Many recent introductions are capable of growing through the summer and blooming into the fall, especially in mild climates.

More Varieties of Nemesia

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'Aromatica True Blue' nemesia

Nemesia Aromatica True Blue
Peter Krumhardt

Nemesia 'Aromatica True Blue' bears fragrant soft-blue flowers on 14-inch-tall plants.

02 of 16

'Lemon Mist' nemesia

Nemesia Lemon Mist
Justin Hancock

Nemesia 'Lemon Mist' is a recent selection with purple and white flowers blotched in yellow. It blooms profusely in spring and fall and grows 7 inches tall and wide.

03 of 16

'Opal Innocence' nemesia

Nemesia Opal Innocence
Justin Hancock

Nemesia 'Opal Innocence' offers fragrant lavender-gray flowers during the cool seasons of spring and fall. It grows 16 inches tall and 8 inches wide.

04 of 16

'Serengeti Upright Purple' nemesia

Nemesia Serengeti Upright Purple
Justin Hancock

Nemesia 'Serengeti Upright Purple' offers lovely purple flowers. It grows 14 inches tall.

05 of 16

'Safari Violet Rose' nemesia

Nemesia Safari Violet Rose
Marty Baldwin

Nemesia 'Safari Violet Rose' bears violet-pink flowers on 14-inch-tall plants.

06 of 16

'Serengeti Red' nemesia

Nemesia Serengeti Red
Justin Hancock

Nemesia 'Serengeti Red' is an especially eye-catching selection with deep-red flowers. It reaches10 inches tall.

07 of 16

'Serengeti Upright Violet + White' nemesia

Nemesia Serengeti Violet White
Justin Hancock

Nemesia 'Serengeti Upright Violet + White' offers lovely violet-purple flowers marked with white. It grows 14 inches tall.

08 of 16

'Serengeti Sunset' nemesia

Nemesia Serengeti Sunset
Justin Hancock

Nemesia 'Serengeti Sunset' shows off red flowers streaked in yellow, orange, and pink. It grows 14 inches tall.

09 of 16

'Sunsatia Cranberry' nemesia

Nemesia Sunsatia Cranberry
Edward Gohlich

Nemesia 'Sunsatia Cranberry' bears bold red flowers on plants that trail to 36 inches over the side of a container or basket.

10 of 16

'Candy Girl' nemesia

Nemesia Candy Girl
Peter Krumhardt

Nemesia 'Candy Girl' bears soft-pink flowers on compact, 12-inch-tall plants.

11 of 16

Juicy Fruits® Kumquat nemesia

Nemesia Juicy Fruits
Denny Schrock

Nemesia Juicy Fruits® Kumquat features large gold, orange, and cherry red blooms. These lightly fragrant flowers are on heat tolerant plants that don't require deadheading.

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Bluebird nemesia

Nemesia Bluebird
Dean Schoeppner

Nemesia Bluebird is a wonderful blue variety with hundreds of small blooms. These plants can stand up to summer heat and bloom through the fall.

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'Sunsatia Pear' nemesia

Nemesia Sunsatia Pear
Marty Baldwin

Nemesia Sunsatia Pear is a frost-tolerant selection that bears white flowers marked with orange. It grows 18 inches tall.

Nemesia Companion Plants

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Dianthus

Dianthus Feuerhexe
Denny Schrock

The quintessential cottage flower, pinks are treasured for their grasslike blue-green foliage and abundant starry flowers, which are often spicily fragrant. Depending on the type of pink, flowers appear in spring or summer and tend to be pink, red, white, rose, or lavender, but they come in nearly all shades except true blue. Plants range from tiny creeping groundcovers to 30-inch-tall cut flowers, which are a favorite with florists. Foliage is blue-green.

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Snapdragon

red snapdragon
Lynn Karlin

Every garden benefits from the easy charm of snapdragons. They get their name because you can gently squeeze the sides of the intricately shaped flower and see the jaws of a dragon head snap closed. The blooms come in gorgeous colors, including some with beautiful color variations on each flower. Plus, snapdragons are an outstanding cut flower. Gather a dozen or more in a small vase, and you'll have one of the prettiest bouquets.

Snapdragons are nice because they're a cool-season annual, blooming in early spring when warm-season annuals, such as marigolds and impatiens, are just being planted. They're also great for fall color. Plant snapdragon in early spring, a few weeks before your region's last frost date.

Deadhead regularly for best bloom and fertilize regularly. Snapdragons often self-seed in the landscape if not deadheaded, so they come back year after year. However, the colors from hybrid plants will often be muddy looking. In mild regions, the entire plant may overwinter if covered with mulch.

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Pansy

Light Blue Pansy
Peter Krumhardt

From tiny, cheerful Johnny jump-ups to the stunning 3-inch blooms of Majestic Giant pansies, the genus Viola has a spectacular array of delightful plants for the spring garden. They're must-haves to celebrate the first days of spring since they don't mind cold weather and can even take a little snow and ice!

Pansies are pretty planted in masses in the ground, but also cherished for the early color they bring to pots, window boxes, and other containers. By summer, pansies bloom less, and their foliage starts to brown. At this time, you'll have to be tough and tear them out and replant them with warm-season annuals, such as marigolds or petunias. But that's part of their charm—they are a brief celebration of spring!

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