The Cineraria plant, the term cineraria means “ash gray,” so it’s not surprising to be called the ashplant. Perhaps it’s because many varieties of the flowering senecio articulatus plant (candle plant) have gray lines of color underneath the silvery grey foliage.
The flowering Cineraria plant has went through many changes over the decades. The gray lines are not a characteristic “enjoyed” by many customers. Hybridizers have slowly worked to remove the “ash” for the plant!
Cineraria flowers have grown bigger and plant leaves smaller. This has certainly made customers happy. Today it is possible to buy cineraria with very compact flower clusters.
The leaves are still there but they are modest and not compromise the overall beauty and grace of the Cineraria flower in particular.
Remember The Cineraria Plant Is A Seasonal Flower
Before we look plant care and growing the Cineraria, understand they are seasonal flowering plants. In most homes, the daisy-like flowers of the plant were forced to bloom at the greenhouse and once it has “served” its purpose it is discarded.
Cineraria plants normally grow flowers of up to five feet tall during early spring to summer.
Taking care of the plant from seed to full grown plant is not an easy job. Especially in living room conditions.
These plants species do not require grooming or cutting of stems. However, it is advisable to remove withered blooms and leaves when they appear.
Useful Tips About Propagating From Seed
June To August – Cineraria senetti seeds are fine and they need light to germinate. Don’t cover the seeds with soil. They should be lightly pressed into the soil.
The soil should be watered prior to sowing of the seeds. Avoid watering the soil after sowing. The ideal germination temperature is around 67° degree Fahrenheit. Seeds should start appearing in around two weeks time.
When the first seedling start appearing, the temperature should be reduced to 60° degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind baby Cineraria plants cannot handle direct sunlight.
Soil Type And Transplanting – Cinerarias grow best in a soil blend of peat and sand.
September To January – Once seedling plantlet’s have been potted, continue to keep them in a cool environment.
Plant perform best if grown in a greenhouse. The plants do not like rain. The potting soil should always be moist. Feed with a complete liquid plant food once a week.
Temperatures during this period should be around 48° degrees Fahrenheit. The area should be airy and free of drafts.
February To April – When weather clear, plants should start to bud. Once the budding begins raise the temperature to around 60° degrees Fahrenheit.
Cineraria plants reach full bloom in around four weeks’ time. When the flowering has ends the cycle begins again!
Cineraria Buying Tips & Other Important Information
When buying the Cineraria look for leaves that are fresh and juicy. If the plant already has a few flowers, then it is all the better.
However, be sure the buds are numerous. These few points are enough to keep in mind when purchasing the plants. They are so easy to manage.
New selections are compact and low profile ensuring it fits perfectly near a well-lit window. Keep in mind, the Cineraria blooms fade in the sun!
Flowering Period – The blooming period is between February and April with thousands of fantastic colors. When in full bloom the flowers assume the shape of daisies, in single or double form.
Flower colors range in all shades of blue, red, white, pink and violet.
Most of us will opt for the fully bloomed Cineraria plants available at our local garden center. However, the entire process of sowing, germinating, transplanting and flowering them is a fantastic experience.
It does require patience and care at each and every step. Since it is a plant that requires a cool environment, partial shade, and well-drained soil, the growing process is best left for northern growing locations.
NOTE: A poor draining soil can lead to root rot.