Plant of the Month: February 2015

'Sunsatia' Lemon. Photos courtesy of Jenny Wegley.

‘Sunsatia’ Lemon. Photos courtesy of Jenny Wegley.

by Jenny Wegley

Nemesia ‘Sunsatia’ series

Latin name: Nemesia hybrid
Common name: Nemesia
Flowers: Small snapdragon-type flowers
Mature size: 6-18″ high by 6-18″ wide (cultivar dependent)
Hardiness: Early spring annual
Soil: Well drained
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Water usage: Medium
Sources: Local nursery or mail order

'Sunsatia' Raspberry

‘Sunsatia’ Raspberry

Never in the six years that I have been trialing plant material at the Dallas Arboretum Plant Trials would I have ever thought I would be writing about a nemesia! Nemesia is a great spring annual for most parts of the country, but in North Central Texas nemesia tends just to fade away one day, never to return. The heat of our late spring and early summers is too intense.

I am going to eat my words now! There is a new series of nemesia on the market that overly impressed us in container trials last spring. We had no choice but to take note of the Nemesia ‘Sunsatia’ series.

'Sunsatia' Coconut

‘Sunsatia’ Coconut

This series is available in five colors. Raspberry and Mango are taller selections, reaching up to 18 inches in height. Raspberry is a bright pink, while Mango is a pink and yellow bi-color flower. Cranberry, Lemon and Coconut are shorter selections that have more of a trailing habit, reaching 10 inches. ‘Sunsatia Coconut’ is my favorite cultivar, due to its rich fragrance and an off-white flower color. Plant young Nemesia ‘Sunsatia’ plants in containers in early spring. Planting in the landscape is not recommended. ‘Sunsatia’ is hardy to 30 F, so there’s no need to be concerned about a late freeze. The ‘Sunsatia’ series offers bright green foliage with a compact, uniform habit, regardless of the cultivar selected. Plants are quick to establish and to produce early blooms for springtime enjoyment, lasting until mid-summer.

To have the most success with Nemesia ‘Sunsatia’, plant in a container that captures full to part sun. They are heavy feeders, so to ensure consistent bloom, feed on a regular basis. Watering can be a little tricky; do not overwater, but do not let Nemesia ‘Sunsatia’ dry out completely.

The many joys of trialing plant material include finding new cultivars that impress you with their performance. Nemesia ‘Sunsatia’ has done just that. To dress up your early spring containers give ‘Sunsatia’ a go!

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Posted by Jenny Wegley
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