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How to Grow Nierembergia –Cupflower


Nierembergia–commonly called Cupflower–bears open cup- or bell-shaped, sometimes tubular white or light blue flowers in summer. It can be spreading or upright in form with alternate leaves.

Nierembergia is usually grown as an annual; it is a perennial in mild-winter regions. Plants grow best where summers are cool. Where summers are hot, Nierembergia will need additional water and afternoon shade.

Nierembergia is a genus of more than 20 species; some are annuals and some are perennials. Most perennial species are frost tender but they are easily propagated and are often grown as annuals.

Nierembergia is a good choice to plant as bedding, as border edging, or in containers.

Get to Know Nierembergia

  • Plant type: Annual or short-lived perennial in Zones 7-10
  • Growing Zones and range: Zones 7 to 10
  • Hardiness: Frost tender; grow as a cool-season annual; in Zones 8-9 grow as a perennial
  • Height and width: 10 inches (25cm) tall and wide
  • Foliage: Delicate, threadlike 1/2 inch long leaves
  • Flowers: Open cup- or bell-shaped, sometimes tubular flowers
  • Flower colors: Blue, white, and violet
  • Bloom time: Summer into Fall
  • Uses: Edging or front of mixed borders, mass as bedding, containers
  • Common name: Cupflower
  • Botanical name: Nierembergia
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Origin: Temperate South America

Where to Plant Nierembergia

  • Grow Nierembergia in full sun in cool summer regions in Zones 3-6. Grow in part shade in hot summer areas of Zones 7-11.
  • Plant Nierembergia in humus-rich, well-drained soil.

Nierembergia Uses

  • Use Nierembergia as bedding, as border edging, or in a container.
  • Nierembergia’s spreading, flowering habit suits it for window boxes or hanging baskets.
Cupflower, Nierembergia
Cupflower, Nierembergia

When to Plant Nierembergia

  • Set established Nierembergia in late winter or in spring a week or two before the last frost date.

Planting and Spacing Nierembergia

  • Space Nierembergia 10 inches apart. Plant in mass of 10 plants or more for best effect.

How to Water and Feed Nierembergia

  • Nierembergia needs ample moisture; keep the soil evenly moist.
  • Fertilize Nierembergia occasionally with an all-purpose fertilizer.

Nierembergia Care

  • Mulch around Nierembergia to conserve soil moisture.
  • Cut Nierembergia back by one-third after flowering to prompt new blooms.

Nierembergia Pests and Diseases

  • Nierembergia is susceptible to aphids and whiteflies and can be damaged by slugs and snails.
  • Nierembergia can be infected by tobacco mosaic virus.

Nierembergia Propagation

  • Sow seed in autumn for spring flowering.
  • Seeds germinate in 15 to 25 days at 70° to 75°F (21°-24°C). Seedlings can withstand frost; transplants can be set in the garden 2 ro 3 weeks before the last frost.
  • Take stem tip cuttings of tender perennials any time during summer.

Nierembergia Varieties to Grow

  • Nierembergia caerulea: upright branching perennial with downy stems; cup-shaped lavender-blue flowers bloom through summer; ‘Mont Blanc’ and ‘Violet Robe’ are favorite cultivars.
  • N. repens, white cup: creeping, mat-forming bears open bell-shaped yellow-centered white flowers; cultivar ‘Violet Queen’ produces rich purple flowers.
  • N. scoparia: shrubby perennial with numerous pale blue flowers that fade to white at the margins; blooms from midsummer into early autumn.

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