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Pericallis × hybrida (Florist’s Cineraria)

Cineraria, Florist's Cineraria, Cineraria × grandiflora, Cineraria × hybrida

Cineraria, Florist's Cineraria, Pericallis × hybrida, Cineraria × grandiflora, Cineraria × hybrida

What is Florist’s Cineraria?

Florist’s Cineraria (Pericallis x hybrida) is a tender, clump-forming perennial often grown as an annual for its vibrant, daisy-like blooms and lush green foliage. It is a hybrid derived from species within the Pericallis genus, which are native to the Canary Islands. 

Description and growth habit: Florist’s Cineraria has a compact growth habit and typically grows to a size of 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) tall and wide. The leaves are dark green, large, and heart-shaped or arrow-shaped, with a somewhat fuzzy texture.

Flowers: The flowers are daisy-like and available in a wide range of colors, including blue, purple, pink, red, and white. They often have contrasting centers or patterns, adding to their visual appeal.

Blooming season: Florist’s Cineraria typically blooms in late winter to early spring, making it a popular plant for adding color to indoor and outdoor spaces during cooler months. 

Hardiness: Florist’s Cineraria is not very hardy and is usually grown as an annual or a short-lived perennial in USDA zones 9-11. In cooler climates, it is often grown indoors or treated as an annual.

Uses: These plants are widely used in container gardens, window boxes, and as indoor potted plants. They are also popular as bedding plants in milder climates.

Toxicity: The plant is not known to be toxic to humans or pets.

Why Should I grow Cineraria?

Here are several reasons why you should consider growing Cineraria in your garden or home:

Aesthetic appeal: Cineraria plants produce stunning, daisy-like flowers in a range of vibrant colors. The contrasting foliage, with its dark green leaves and silver veins, adds to the visual interest.

Long blooming period: Cineraria plants typically bloom from late winter to early spring, providing a burst of color when many other plants are dormant. This can help brighten up your garden or indoor space during the colder months.

Compact size: Cineraria plants usually grow to a height of 12 to 18 inches, making them suitable for small gardens, containers, or indoor pots. This compact size makes them easy to manage and maintain.

Easy to grow: Cineraria plants are relatively low-maintenance, making them a good choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Versatility: The compact size and vibrant colors of Cineraria make them suitable for various garden styles, such as cottage gardens, rock gardens, or mixed borders. They also work well as houseplants, adding a splash of color to your indoor living space.

Great for gifting: Cineraria plants, with their eye-catching flowers, make lovely gifts for friends and family members. They can serve as thoughtful gestures for various occasions, such as housewarmings, birthdays, or holidays.

When to Plant?

Seeds: If you are growing Cineraria from seeds, start them indoors about 12-14 weeks before the last expected frost date in your area. This will typically be in late fall or early winter. Seedlings can be transplanted outdoors after the last frost when temperatures remain consistently above 50°F (10°C).

Potted plants: If you have purchased potted Cineraria plants, transplant them outdoors in the spring after the last frost or keep them indoors as houseplants.

Where to Plant?

Outdoors: Choose a location in your garden that receives partial shade or bright, indirect light. Cineraria plants do not tolerate direct sunlight or high temperatures. They prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Adding compost or well-rotted manure can improve soil quality.

Indoors: If growing Cineraria as a houseplant, place it in a bright location with indirect light, such as near a north or east-facing window. Avoid areas with direct sunlight or temperature extremes, like near heat vents or cold drafts.

How to Plant?

Seeds: Sow Cineraria seeds in a seed tray or small pots filled with moist seed-starting mix. Lightly cover the seeds with the mix, as they need light to germinate. Maintain a temperature of 65-75°F (18-24°C) and keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Germination should occur within 2-3 weeks. Once seedlings have developed at least two sets of true leaves, you can transplant them into individual pots. Gradually acclimate them to outdoor conditions before transplanting them into the garden, as mentioned earlier. The plants will bloom 16 to 18 weeks after seed germination.

Potted plants: When transplanting potted Cineraria plants, dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball. Gently remove the plant from its container, being careful not to damage the roots. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Fill the hole with soil and gently firm it around the plant. Water thoroughly to help the plant settle in and establish its roots.

Indoor planting: For indoor Cineraria, choose a pot with drainage holes and fill it with a high-quality, well-draining potting mix. Plant the Cineraria at the same depth as it was in its previous container, and water thoroughly. Place the pot in a bright location with indirect light, and maintain proper care to ensure the health and longevity of the plant.

Once you have planted your Cineraria, be sure to provide consistent care, including regular watering, fertilization, and deadheading spent flowers to encourage further blooming. Protect the plants from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight, as they are sensitive to heat and can be damaged.

Cineraria Care

Caring for Cineraria requires attention to their specific needs to ensure they remain healthy and produce vibrant blooms. Here are some essential care tips for your Cineraria plants:

Temperature: Cineraria thrives in cooler temperatures, ideally between 60-70°F (15-21°C) during the day and slightly cooler at night. Avoid exposing them to extreme heat or cold, as this can damage the plant.

Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Water your Cineraria when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Ensure proper drainage if growing in a container.

Humidity: Cineraria plants appreciate moderate humidity levels. If growing indoors, maintain humidity by placing the pot on a tray filled with water and pebbles, or use a humidifier. Avoid misting the leaves, as this can encourage fungal diseases.

Fertilization: Feed your Cineraria every 2-4 weeks with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, following the package instructions. This will support healthy growth and encourage more abundant blooms.

Deadheading: Remove spent flowers to encourage more blooms and maintain a neat appearance.

Repotting: If you are growing Cineraria indoors and the plant becomes root-bound, repot it in a slightly larger container with fresh potting mix. Repotting is typically needed every 1-2 years. Spring is the best time for repotting before the plant begins its active growth period.

Pruning: You can lightly prune Cineraria plants to maintain their shape and remove any dead or damaged foliage. Prune after the flowering period has ended, being careful not to remove too much growth at once.

Pests and diseases: Monitor your Cineraria plants for common pests such as aphids, spider mites, or whiteflies. If you notice an infestation, use insecticidal soap or neem oil as a treatment. Fungal diseases can also affect Cineraria, particularly if they are grown in overly damp conditions or crowded spaces. Ensure proper air circulation and avoid overwatering to minimize the risk of disease.

Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 11
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Climate Zones 16, 17, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Annuals, Perennials
Plant Family Asteraceae
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early)
Winter
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 11
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Climate Zones 16, 17, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Annuals, Perennials
Plant Family Asteraceae
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early)
Winter
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?

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