NEMESIA – nemesia

These popular, bushy, half-hardy annual bedding plants make a colourful show in formal and mixed borders. In hot weather, blooming time is short and a later sowing will provide a succession of blooms.

Suitable site and soil. Plant in an open, sunny position or in light shade in well-drained and manured, slightly acid, soil.

Cultivation and care. Plant out into flowering position in early summer and water well in dry conditions.

Propagation. Sow seed into trays of compost under glass in early spring. When large enough to handle, prick seedlings off 138 into boxes and harden them off before planting out in spring. In mild areas, sow direct into flowering site in mid-spring.

Recommended varieties. Nemesia strumosa makes bushy growth and produces abundant flowers in a wide colour range. It varies in height from 20-45cm – 8-18in. Flowers are trumpet-shaped and are available in white, yellow, orange, pink, red and various shades of blue. Seed is available in single colours, such as ‘Blue Gem’ and ‘Fire King’. Mixed colour combinations are popular and include ‘Carnival’ with large flowers and ‘Funfair’. Most unusual is ‘Mello Red and White’ with bi-colour flowers with top half red and lower half white. Also available is a plain white version ‘Mello White’. For a collection of mixed bi-colours, grow ‘Sparklers’.

Pests and diseases. Generally trouble free but plants may die if attacked by fungal diseases such as foot and root rot.

SECOND FLUSH

When first flush of flowering is over cut back stems to produce a second flush of pretty flowers. At the same time, plant out second sowing of nemesia to provide an unbroken colour display.

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