These colorful South African nativesrepresented in nurseries by Nemesia caerulea, Nemesia strumosa, and Nemesia versicolorlove cool weather, although the Nemesia caerulea hybrids show promise for more heat tolerance. Growing to 24 inches high and trailing to 18 inches wide, depend- ing on the species, nemesias need well-drained soil. Use them as bedding or rock garden plants, in hanging baskets, or as a cover for beds of bulbs. Set out transplants if available, or sow seeds directly into the garden in late summer or early fall for color going into winter. In Coastal and Tropical South gardens where winter is mild, they will bloom in winter. In Lower South gardens they endure winter to bloom again when the weather is warm. In Upper and Middle South gardens they can be planted in late winter or early spring for color until summer heat overtakes them. It is helpful to place them where they will receive some shade as deciduous trees sprout leaves. Remove faded flowers to prolong their bloom.
Despite their preference for cool weather, the many hybrids withstand temperatures as high as 95F. Growing about 1 feet high and wide are 'Innocence Compact', with yellow-centered white flowers, and 'Innocence Compact Pink', with pink blooms. The Poetry series (1214 inches high), Aromatica series (1214 inches high), Serengeti series (18 inches tall), and Sunsatia series (612 inches high) all come in a range of colors. Particularly heat-tolerant 'Bluebird' has blue-violet blossoms centered with yellow. The Nessie series has shown excellent heat tolerance, standing at 15 inches tall and blooming in vibrant shades of red, purple, and yellow. Well- established plantings of the species and hybrids are hardy to 15F.