The genus Niembergera includes some species of perennial plants, originating in South America. They are mostly small, evergreen or deciduous shrubby shrubs, generally they are compact, rounded, dense, 20-25 cm tall carpets. The leaves are linear, bright green, carried by thin, very branched stems. From late spring until autumn they produce numerous large bell-shaped flowers, similar to petunias, white, purple, lilac or blue. These flowers bloom singly at the apex of the branches. These perennials are usually grown as annuals, they are very similar, in shapes and colors, to petunias and surfinia, but their cultivation is easier.
These plants are suitable for rock gardens and borders, but also for growing in pots. Depending on the needs they can therefore be bred in different ways.
Let us always remember to plant the young plants of Nierembergia hippomanica in spring, in a sunny place; excessively shaded positions lead to poor flowering. Nierembergia rivularis, with white flowers, is more resistant to cold than other species and is therefore cultivated as a perennial. If desired, it is possible to cultivate the more delicate nierembergias in a container, and place the pots in a cold greenhouse during the winter, but this practice is not much implemented since these plants seem to bloom more during their first year of life.
As for watering, from April to October it is advisable to water regularly, always keeping the soil cool and slightly damp; However with the arrival of the autumn colds it is better to thin the waterings to prevent the water, transpiring and evaporating less, stagnation inside the pots.
The specimens resistant to cold or cultivated in cold greenhouses will need sporadic watering during the winter to prevent the water from failing.
For an optimal development it is good to place the Nierembergia hippomanica in a fresh and well-drained, rich soil. An optimal soil can be prepared by mixing equal parts of peat and leaf mold, and adding a small dose of well-seasoned organic fertilizer.
Let us always remember to mix the inert material to the soil, able to give a little structure and facilitate the absorption and percolation of the water inside it.
Materials such as pumice and medioperlite are ideal for soil.
The multiplication of the Nierembergia hippomanica takes place by seed, for an early flowering it is sown already in January-February, keeping the seedbed at 18-20 ° C, the young plants are buried in May; It is also possible to sow in April, obtaining some plants that will begin to bloom in summer.
Nierembergia hippomanica: Pests and diseases
Speaking of the diseases that can affect more frequently the plants of Nierembergia hippomanica, aphids are certainly the most dangerous insects as they colonize the young leaves and the buds.
To fight aphids successfully, you must first quickly recognize the infestation by observing the plant from time to time. If your plant is attacked by aphids, excellent solutions to fight them can be either special chemicals, which are sold in nurseries and garden centers, or natural remedies.