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How to Grow Pericallis—Florists’ Cineraria

Florists' Cineraria, Pericallis

Pericallis—commonly known as Florists’ Cineraria–bears a mass of showy flowers each 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5cm) across grouped into a tight, flattish, or slightly domed head that nearly hides the foliage. Flower petals can be blue, maroon, pink, purple, red, or white; they surround a dark center which can be any of these colors.

Pericallis blooms in late winter and early spring. They are commonly sold in full bloom in florists’ shops and garden centers. Most are greenhouse grown and provide indoor color while the weather outside is still cold.

Pericallis is usually short-lived. It is considered a temporary houseplant. If kept cool and moist the flowering season can extend for several weeks. Once flowers fade, Pericallis is a mass of spent blooms that are all but impossible to deadhead.

Pericallis x hybrida was formerly known as Cineraria x hybridus and so is commonly known as Cineraria.

Cineria, Pericallis x hybrida
Cineria, Pericallis x hybrida

Get to Know Pericallis

  • Plant type: Perennial is usually grown as an annual
  • Growing zones and range: All zones as an annual; Zones 9-11 as a perennial
  • Hardiness: Tender
  • Height and width: 24 inches (61cm) tall and wide; dwarf types grow 12 to 15 inches (30-38cm) tall.
  • Foliage: Triangular to heart-shaped dark green leaves up to 6 inches (15cm) long; the rough-textured foliage is shallowly lobed and toothed, with downy undersides
  • Flowers: Broad clusters of daisies in colors ranging from white through pink and purplish red to blue and purple, often with contrasting eyes or bands
  • Bloom time: Late winter and early spring in mid-winter areas, spring and summer elsewhere
  • Uses: Houseplant, greenhouse plant, container plant
  • Common name: Florists’ Cineraria
  • Botanical name: Pericallis x hybrida, formerly Senecio hybridus
  • Family name: Asteraceae
  • Origin: Canary Islands

Where to Plant Pericallis

  • Grow Pericallis in partial or full shade in spring and summer; full light in autumn and winter.
  • Grow Pericllis in loose, humus-rich soil.
  • Pericallis grows best in a sheltered spot—under shrubs, trees, overhang, or lath.
 Florists Cineraria, Pericallis hybrida
Florists Cineraria, Pericallis hybrida

When to Plant Pericallis

  • Sow Pericallis seed in spring for autumn flowering.
  • Sow seed in mid to late summer for flowering in late winter and early spring.

Planting and Spacing Pericallis

  • Sow seed 1/8 inch deep in sterile seed-starting mix; keep the temperature at 60° to 65°F (15.6°-18°C) until seed germinate.

How to Water and Feed Pericallis

  • Pericallis needs regular water.
  • Fertilize Pericallis with a liquid fertilizer until buds appear then stop.

Pericallis Care

  • If Pericallis is kept cool and moist, flowering can be extended several weeks.

Pericallis Pests and Diseases

  • Pests include leaf miners, spider mites, slugs, and snails.
Blooming Pericallis in the garden
Blooming Pericallis in the garden

Pericallis Propagation

  • Pericallis is propagated by seed; see above.
  • Seeds are usually available only in mixed colors.

Pericallis Cultivars to Grow

  • Pericallis x hybrida: dwarf kinds include Multiflora Nana and Hybrida Grandiflora; they grow 12 to 15 inches (30-38cm) tall.
  • Cineraria stellata grow 30 to 36 inches (76-91cm) tall with clusters of smaller, star-shaped daisies.

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