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Albuquerque Innsights

A local innkeeper knows New Mexico secrets and tells anyone who will listen.

This Plant Loves my Albuquerque Garden

This spring I was antsy to get some color in the yard so I headed off to the nursery and bought some plants to pot up. I was looking for something early blooming, that would bloom through the summer, and was not too thirsty since we have such a dry climate here in Albuquerque. I also needed my plant choice to be able to stand up to strong mid day sun exposure.

Nemesia PlantI found this plant (see photo), and I had never seen or heard of it before. The tag read “Blooms Spring to Fall. All righty…my first requirement fulfilled.  I decided to take a chance and I am so glad I did. The tag also said it likes to be moist, but I did not find that to be the case.

It was blooming when I brought it home, did not suffer one bit from the transplant. Since it wanted moisture I put it in a ceramic pot with no drainage. Out here that helps. The dry climate eventually dries them out, but it definitely cuts down on the water requirement.

Well…I planted it in May, now it’s November 14th, and everything else in the yard has succumbed to the frost. Yet this plant is still blooming. If it ever goes to seed I will be saving some, that’s for sure. Here’s what I could find out about it in Sunset’s Western Gardening book…

Nemesia Flowers up closeNemesia – Scrophulariaceae – Annuals and Perennials
South African native. Not usually happy in high heat situations, but mine certainly is, so I may have a more heat tolerant hybrid. It’s supposed to have upright stems, but mine trails. They come in all colors except green, but including bi-color blooms. It is supposed to be pinched to encourage blooms and bushiness, but I didn’t find that to be the case either.

To me it looks like a cross between snap dragons and pansies. What do you think?

This plant was truly “plug and play”, and it is a big recommend from me!

I know the best things to plant in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!

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copyright 2009 :: sarah dolk, adobe nido bed and breakfast, albuquerque nm :: photos by susan see, abq, nm & marianne groszko, mariannephotography.net