Cutting Back Nemesia: Does Nemesia Need To Be Pruned

Cutting Back Nemesia: Does Nemesia Need To Be Pruned

By: Amy Grant

Nemesiais a small blooming plant that is native to the sandy coastline of SouthAfrica. Its genus contains about 50 species, some of which have gained greatpopularity for the lovely spring blooms reminiscent of trailinglobelia. What about when they are done blooming: does Nemesia need to bepruned? Turns out, cutting back Nemesia post-bloom may just give you anotherround of blossoms. Keep reading to find out how to prune Nemesia plants.

About Nemesia Trimming

Nemesia can be grown in USDA zones 9-10 as perennials and astender annuals in other zones. It is an easy plant to grow and comes in avariety of colors and bi-colors.

Nemesia prefers to be grown in well-drained soil in full sunbut the blooms last much longer in hot climates when the plant is grown in anarea of afternoon shade. Regardless, Nemesia blossoms in the spring and is doneblooming by the time summer heat arrives.

The good news, though, is that while Nemesia doesn’t need tobe pruned, trimming back Nemesia will likely gain you a second bloom.

How to Prune Nemesia

Nemesia plant pruning is a simple process since all you aretrying to do is removethe spent blossoms. Before pruning a Nemesia plant, be sure to sanitizeyour sharp pruning shears to mitigate transferring any possible disease.

After the plant has blossomed, remove the spent blooms withthe shears. Also, as the plant begins to die back in the summer heat, tryaggressively cutting back Nemesia by at least half. This will give the plantsome time to regroup and very possibly bloom again in the fall.

If you want to encourage young plants to branch and grow,just handpinch the tender tips back to just above the first set of leaves.

Nemesia is propagated by both seeds and cuttings. If youwish to propagate cuttings, choose shoots with no flowers or buds and snip 6inches (15 cm.) of a terminal shoot with sanitized pruners. Dip into rootinghormone and plant.

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Nemesia Trimming Guide – How To Prune Nemesia Plants In The Garden - garden

Nemesia 'Aroma Plums and Custard' (Aroma Series)

Other names

Nemesia 'Aroma Plums and Custard', Cape jewels 'Aroma Plums and Custard', Aloha 'Aroma Plums and Custard'


Variety or Cultivar

'Aroma Plums and Custard' _ 'Aroma Plums and Custard' is a compact, bushy, tender perennial, usually grown as an annual, with ovate to lance-shaped, toothed, dark green leaves and, from late spring to early autumn, fragrant flowers with dark purple upper petals and yellow lower petals.

Nemesia 'Aroma Plums and Custard' (Aroma Series) is: Deciduous



Dark-purple, Yellow in Spring Dark-purple, Yellow in Summer Yellow, Dark-purple in Autumn


Dark-green in Spring Dark-green in Summer Dark-green in Autumn

Watch out for

General care


Remove spent flower shoots to encourage a second bloom. Cut back after flowering. If used an annual, remove at the end of the growing season.

Propagation methods

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Where to grow

Nemesia cheiranthus 'Masquerade' (Long-eared nemesia 'Masquerade') will reach a height of 0.4m and a spread of 0.3m after 1-2 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, City, Containers, Cottage/Informal, Edging


Grow in moist but well-drained, ideally neutral to slightly acid soil in sun or in containers under glass. Water freely in dry weather to maintain flower production. Pinch out growing tips to promote bushy growth. Evergreen in mild climates.

Soil type

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH




UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Nemesia cheiranthus 'Masquerade'

Other names

Long-eared nemesia 'Masquerade'


Variety or Cultivar

'Masquerade' _ 'Masquerade' is a tender, bushy annual with lance-shaped, toothed, dark green leaves and erect stems bearing fragrant, two-lipped flowers with deeply divided, purple-marked, white upper petals and bright yellow lower petals.

Native to



Nemesia (Nemesia hybrid)


Nemesia bring color and a light, airiness to the garden or patio with their dainty blooms and leaves floating about on slender stems. These loose, open plants are softening companions to those with more broad, stiff or upright foliage. Generous watering during hot spells is the key to continuous blooms.

The perfect choice for beds and borders. Superb for baskets, containers and window boxes. Wonderful for combination plantings.

Plant Feed

Every two weeks with mild liquid fertilizer.


Basic Care Summary

Very easy to grow in virtually any location. Best in fertile, well-drained soil. Water as needed to keep soil evenly moist, especially in hot weather. Trim back as needed.

Planting Instructions

Prepare the garden by breaking up the existing soil (use a hoe, spade, or power tiller). Add organic matter such as manure, peat moss or garden compost until the soil is loose and easy to work. Organic ingredients improve drainage, add nutrients and encourage earthworms and other organisms that help keep soil healthy. Give plants an extra boost by adding a granulated starter fertilizer or a balanced all-purpose feed (for example fertilizers labeled 12-12-12).

Check the plant label for suggested spacing. Crowding plants can result in fewer blooms and weak growth as the plants compete for light. Exceptions to this might be regions with a short growing season, shade plantings which tend to grow slower and fill in less quickly, or a need to fill an area with color quickly such as for a special event or if planning to entertain guests outdoors.

Remove the plant from the container. If plants are in a pack, gently squeeze the outside of the individual plant cell while tipping container to the side. If plant doesn't loosen, continue pressing on the outside of the container while gently grasping the base of the plant and tugging carefully so as not to crush or break the stem until the plant is released. If the plant is in a pot, brace the base of the plant, tip it sideways and tap the outside of the pot to loosen. Rotate the container and continue to tap, loosening the soil until the plant pulls smoothly from the pot.

Dig the hole up to two times larger than the root ball and deep enough that the plant will be at the same level in the ground as the soil level in the container. Grasping the plant at the top of the root ball, use your finger to lightly rake the roots apart. This is especially important if the roots are dense and have filled up the container. Set the plant in the hole.

Push the soil gently around the roots filling in empty space around the root ball. Firm the soil down around the plant by hand, tamping with the flat side of a small trowel, or even by pressing down on the soil by foot. The soil covering the planting hole should be even with the surrounding soil, or up to one inch higher than the top of the root ball. New plantings should be watered daily for a couple of weeks to get them well established.

Vining annuals require vertical space to grow, so provide a trellis, fence, wall or other structure that allows the plant to grow freely and spread.

Watering Instructions

New plantings should be watered daily for a couple of weeks. After that, depending on the weather and soil type, watering can be adjusted to every two or three days. Clay soils hold moisture longer than sandy soils, so expect to water more frequently in sandy settings.

Different plants have different water needs. Some plants prefer staying on the dry side, others like to be consistently moist. Refer to the plant label to check a plant’s specific requirements.

Ideally water should only be applied to the root zone - an area roughly 6-12” (15-30cm) from the base of the plant, not the entire plant. A soaker hose is a great investment for keeping plants healthy and reducing water lost through evaporation. Hand watering using a watering wand with a sprinkler head attached is also a good way to control watering. If the garden area is large, and a sprinkler is necessary, try to water in the morning so that plant foliage has time to dry through the day. Moist foliage encourages disease and mold that can weaken or damage plants.

To check for soil moisture use your finger or a small trowel to dig in and examine the soil. If the first 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, it is time to water.

Fertilizing Instructions

Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product with a nutritional balance designed to encourage blooming (such as 5-10-5).

Too much fertilizer can actually damage plants so it’s important to follow the package directions to determine how much, and how often, to feed plants.

Pruning Instructions

Prune plants freely to maintain the desired size and shape. Pinching plants back stimulates dense, bushy new growth and encourages more flowers.

Remove old flowers to keep plant looking healthy and prevent seed production that drains the plant’s energy at the expense of forming new flowers.

Some plants are grown only for their attractive foliage (such as coleus, dusty miller and flowering kale). Their flowers are not very showy and any buds should be pinched off to keep the foliage looking its best.

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