Grow Cineraria plants indoors because they produce beautiful flowers just like daisy flowers. You can grow them in your outdoor garden or as an indoor houseplant. Plants that receive natural light produce more flowers than indoor growing cineraria plants.
They grow from 8 to 12 inches tall. Whereas some hybrid varieties grow more than 1.5 feet in height.
The word cineraria refer to a large group of plants. All Cineraria varieties produce flowers of different colors and shapes.
But the good news is they all have the same growing need. It does matter you choose which type of plant to grow. The growing needs are same like amount of light, water and fertilizer.
In this post, you’ll learn how to grow cineraria plants in containers or in a garden.
About the Cineraria plants
There are hundreds of varieties that are called cineraria. They all produce beautiful flowers. The plant is native to African countries. But now we have hybrid varieties of it. You can grow them in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11. The natural environment in these zones is perfect for growing this annual plant.
Easy to grow varieties
If you are interested in growing these plants then choose any of the below varieties to start.
Florist’s Cineraria produce brilliant flowers with pink, purple, and blue clusters.
Starships grow up to 30 cm tall and produce big size heads of many colorful flowers.
Dwarf cineraria can easily grow to 1 foot in height and develop a single daisy-like flower.
Quick Care Guide
Cineraria, common ragweed
8 inches to 2 feet
Full in cooler months, partial shade in summer
Well- draining potting soil
Keep the soil moist to touch
Annual flowering plants
Diseases & Pests
Gray mold, root rot. Aphids, Whiteflies
Caring the Cineraria plants
Growing and caring for these plants is simply easy even for beginners. If you don’t have enough gardening experience you can still grow it. In fact, you should start gardening by growing these plants. Select any variety of your choice and follow the below-written growing and caring steps.
If you care for these plants properly, they will give you excellent bloom.
Light & Temperature
If you plan to grow cineraria plants outside then you need to grow them in shade. Because where every flowering plant needs some amount of direct sunlight. It grows fine even in regular indirect light.
Direct sunlight may harm the soft foliage and flowers.
The most important benefit of these low light plants is. We do not have many options to lighten up the dark corners of our garden. Grow cineraria plants in all dark corners of the garden. They will brighten up every inch of the growing place with their stylish bloom.
In cooler months they can tolerate the direct sun rays. But when the day temperature rises you need to arrange the shade for them. Use cloth and bamboo sticks to give them some shade.
And if you grow it in a container, then it is easy to give them shade by moving the container inside.
If you are growing them in USDA hardiness zones 9, 10, and 11. Then no need to worry about the temperature. Plants can tolerate the temperature fluctuations in these zones. It can be grown as an annual plant without weather issues.
Outside these zones, the plants will die when the first frost hits. This is the reason they are grown as short-lived perennials in other zones. You need to remove it from your garden once it got killed by the hard cold weather. Because it will never bloom again.
The plant will bloom for a long period if the temperature stays between 55 to 65 Degrees F. When it drops below 35 F the plant start dying. And when the temperature goes above 75F the plant stops producing flowers.
Remember that these plants like to live in cool temperatures than warm environment. Therefore, keep your plant container in a cool location inside your home. You can also save your plant in cold-weather places if you grow it in pots. And move them inside when the temperature starts dropping down then the recommended temperature range.
Like every other flowering plant, it also needs well-draining soil but also needs moisture. Use soil that drains out the excess moisture but holds a limited amount of moisture in it. Any soil that has organic material in it is perfect to grow cineraria plants. If you like to use your garden soil then add some parts of compost to it.
It is good for your plants if you make the potting soil for them at home.
You need to mix 2 parts of sphagnum peat moss + 1 part of vermiculite + 1 part of loamy soil +1 part of perlite.
If you want you can replace the perlite with coarse sand.
The type and quality of soil decide the plant’s health. It decides how frequently you need to water your plants. Therefore, always use the best possible potting soil for growing houseplants. Heavy and poorly draining soil only cause harm to plants.
They need room to spread their roots. When their roots do not find an easy place to grow. Plants stop their growth and never bloom in their life. Little acidic soil is not a problem but it should be well-draining.
Maintaining the right humid level is important when growing flower plants. Controlling the humidity in the outdoor garden is not possible. You can only do one thing and that is keeping the soil consistently moist by giving enough water. When the water from the soil evaporates it increases the moisture in the air around the plant.
On the other hand, you can easily control the humidity inside your house. You have many options and the best option is using a humidifier. You can use a normal humidifier or a specially made plant humidifier to increase the humid level.
The inside air tends to very dry in the winter months. The heating systems of our homes dry the inside air quickly. By misting water on plants, you can keep them moist even if you don’t use humidifiers. But misting water on flowers is not recommended. This will increase the chances of powdery mildew.
Instead of misting water use the pebble tray method to increase the humidity around the plant.
To make your pebble tray first of all take a tray and spread a layer of pebbles on it. Add water to fill the tray. Now put your container plant in it. Here you need to make sure that the water level does not touch the base of the pot.
Fill the tray with water when you see it has a limited amount of it and most of the water gets evaporated.
Sometimes due to a busy schedule, we forgot about the humidity and the plant shows low humidity signs. In this case, you need to increase the humidity immediately. Here you can put the plant in the bathroom for 2 days.
Within this period of time, your plant revives its health and you can bring it out of the bathroom.
As you know you should grow cineraria plants in well-moist soil. So, you need to give it frequent water. Because only by watering the plant you can keep the soil around the plant roots moist. But do not overwater it because the houseplants die in soggy soil due to the common plant disease called root rot.
Root rot does not happen in one day. When a plant stays in soggy and wet soil for many days then its roots get affected by this Root fungus disease.
To avoid overwatering always check the soil with fingers before watering. If the soil feels dry give some water. If it has moisture then wait for another day.
Where cinerarias do not survive in over-watered soil it also doesn’t survive in underwatered soil. You need to make a balance of moisture. The type of soil help affects the frequency of watering the plants. Best potting soil will take care of soil moisture and drain any accidentally given excess water.
Because the plant is a short-lived plant you don’t need to fertilize it. If still want to fertilize it then just use any houseplant liquid fertilizer. But fertilize it only once and before the flowering stage. Do not fertilize cineraria flowering plants in their flowering stage.
If they bloom once it does not mean they will also bloom the second time. So do not waste your money by fertilizing these plants for the second bloom.
Most of the time people grow it from seeds. Whereas you can grow it from stem cuttings as well. Summer is the best time to propagate cinerarias from cuttings. To grow it from seeds you need to get a few of them. Buy cinerarias seeds from the nursery or harvest seeds from your garden cinerarias.
Once the plant produces flowers do not pluck them. Let them on the plant and die naturally and turn into seeds. This process is called self-seeding. To stop your plants from multiplying themselves cut the flowers once they start to fade.
To sow these seeds in an outdoor garden lay them on the surface of the soil. Do not cover them or bury them because they need light to germinate. Sow the seeds in the last days of the summer season.
To sow seeds inside just sprinkle them onto the seedling tray. Then put the tray under the grow light and keep the tray moist. You can cover the tray with the dome or with plastic wrap to increase the humidity. By storing at 70 Degrees F for 15 days they will sprout and form little roots.
Let them grow in the tray and remove the plastic cover or dome. After 22 days from the germination, the sprouted seeds become seedlings.
Transfer the seedlings to the new pot. A Seedling should be a minimum of 2 inches tall or above.
Aphids are the most common sucking pests that impact the growth and health of florist’s cineraria. Insecticidal soap is the only way to treat aphids on indoor flowering plants. These pests make the plant their host and suck the nutrients. They do not kill the plant but they make the plant weak.
Whiteflies are another irritating pest that are commonly found on cinerarias. Use the same insecticidal soap to kill the larvae of whiteflies. These flies lay their eggs on the reverse side of the leaves.
Thrips and spider mites are also like to enjoy your growing cinerarias. Use neem oil to kill them and save your plants. All these pests are more common on outside growing plants. Because you put inside container plants in a clean place.
To save indoor or outdoor growing cinerarias use neem oil spray twice a month. Neem oil is safe to use on plants even if they are not affected by any diseases. Use it as a preventive measure
Powdery mildew is a common plant disease, especially in tropical plants. Because they like to live in high humid conditions. Treating mildew is easy just use copper fungicide and save your growing plants.
Fungus diseases are common in plants that grow in high humidity. When you see grey-colored mold found on plant leaves. Again, use neem oil to treat it or also use it to prevent it.
Root rot is another common fungal plant disease. There is no cure available for this plant disease. Once your plant gets affected by root rot. The only best way to save is to take it out of the pot and remove the affected part of the root.
Then wash the pot with soap and change the soil and plant it back in the pot.