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This charming, old-fashioned annual has recently seen a resurgence in popularity, and for good reason. With a rainbow of colors available, nemesia makes a great addition to any cool-season garden. Breeders have had several new 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 added interest.
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Part Sun, Sun
From 6 inches to 3 feet
6 to 12 inches
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 small orchids. With its quick growing habit, it also makes a great addition 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
Fairly low-maintenance plants, it's not too tricky to keep nemesias happy. Make sure they are planted in well-drained soils, as anything less is likely to cause plants to rot. Because of this, they are 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 heat of the summer, 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 also help extend their blooms a little longer, as they do 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 do begin to go out of bloom, they can become a little rangy in habit. This is the perfect time to give the plants a good shearing to shape them up, as well as encourage a fresh wave of new growth and blooms. Give them a dose of fertilizer when you cut them back to rejuvenate them.
Nemesia used to be a popular plant to use 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.