Cineraria Confusion? Finding The Florist’s Flower

Ed Wike
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Cineraria is a flowering plant commonly grown as an ornamental plant in a small or large garden, emerging from a spindly stem and a sizable pot. Because this plant is just about as common as a dandelion, many people that have never seen Cineraria wonder what the daisy-like flower is.

Cineraria flowers come in a variety of colors and can range in size from two inches across. The size of the cineraria depends on the cultivar. The color of the flower can also influence the cultivar.

Cineraria flowers like the blazing star are bright and bold. On the other hand, other varieties, like the Cineraria “Alba”, are more pastel.

The plant is an evergreen perennial, and can grow to be 12” tall or more. The leaves become quite large and are very green, and they can be as long as 4” long.

The flowers are like daisies in that they are composed of a base color and a spot color. This means that you have mostly a white color with splotches of a second color. For example, the Rhapsody in White has a white base with different shades of green.

All About Cinerarias

Cineraria are attractive evergreen plants. In full bloom, they glow with spidery branches blooming in a variety of colors.

Cinerarias typically grow between eight and twelve inches tall. They may be single bloomed, double bloomed, or have the flower spikes reach above the leaves.

Cinerarias are native to the southern and eastern parts of Africa. However, they have spread to Middle Eastern countries, Mediterranean countries such as Spain, and parts of Asia, including Japan.

Cinerarias have recently become popular florist’s flowers due to the variety of colors available and the lengthy bloom season. They are available in a variety of colors with flower heads described as spidery, long, clumping or compact. Although white is the most common, new varieties in cream, yellow, and apricot have been recently introduced. Nearly all varieties are available in a bloom of the day, corsage or bouquet.

Cinerarias are a popular choice for wedding arrangements and decorations. They are a striking contrast to white lilies and baby’s breath. It’s a versatile flower that blends well with roses, tulips, hydrangeas, and other typical florist’s flowers. They are available in a variety of flower sizes, including miniature, corsage, and funeral.

Unraveling The Cineraria Confusion

If you have ever tried to purchase a cineraria for a floral arrangement, you probably had to ask a local florist which one to get. If you order them online, you may learn of the confusion when the plant arrives, only to find it doesn’t look anything like the pictures on the website.

If you are looking for a new plant, you may be unsure where to start, and jump to buying the first one you see, which can be a mistake. In this article, we are going to look at the confusion behind buying cineraria and how to select an appropriate plant for your needs.

How do I know I need a cineraria over other annuals?

Cinerarias need to be treated as annuals in most climates. Many people say they are perennials, but they will be short-lived. Even in the warmest climates where they can stay alive over the winter, they will eventually die out during the cold and dry season.

The one exception is if you have a protected area such as an indoor conservatory where they can live through the winter.

In many areas, you should either buy cineraria plants each year, or grow them from seed.

Meet The Florist’s Cineraria

When the florist asks for a cineraria, are you supposed to hand them a cineraria, or are they talking about some other plant? Have you ever been confused by the word “cineraria?” You need not wonder any longer about what is meant by this term.

The cineraria that we all know about is a type of plant, usually of the daisy family. It is very easy to grow and is available in a variety of colors. It is tolerant of drought, acid soils, and sandpapery landscapes.

However, this is not the cineraria that the florist wants to hear about. What the florist is talking about is actually a type of urn which is used to hold a death mask. This was a practice in the past, and the term has come down to us as a name for a type of urn.

The urn that the florist is asking for is used to hold the ashes of the deceased. When the flowers arrive on your door step, you know that you can plant them in the garden after the funeral. The urn is actually more versatile than the typical cineraria. You can choose from glass or ceramic, and you can find them with modern, classical, or traditional designs.

Caring For Your Plant

As with any flowers purchased in florist shop, cineraria require proper care. They do not require a lot of attention, but they do require a few things like:

  • the right type of soil,
  • fertile soil,
  • sufficient watering,
  • enough sunning, and
  • the right amount of fertilizer.

As regards soil, never use the topsoil found in your garden unless it is organic.

The topsoil in your garden will probably contain weed seeds and other bacteria and future-problems for your plant.

The best type of soil for growing cineraria is an organic soil purchased at a gardening store.

However, if you are not sure about the plant that you are purchasing, ask for more information. Before planting your new cinerarias, fill the new plant hole with a mixture of the soil that you purchased with some topsoil.

Watering your cineraria is very important. When you water, take care not to water over the leaves. This will prevent the leaves from rotting.

According to timing, you should water your plant until the water drains from its holes. This is very important as when the plant doesn’t get enough water, the leaves become wrinkled and if they are left alone for a prolonged period of time, the plant will die.

Light & Temperature

The cineraria is not really a houseplant, but it is a good choice for areas that are a little hesitant with flowers. Cinerarias do well in rooms that are bright shades of green, and they need room to breathe. A terrarium would be an ideal arrangement for these plants. There is another reason for a terrarium arrangement for cinerarias. The terrarium will also protect the cineraria from temperature extremes. The cineraria is a succulent plant and is sensitive to temperatures, especially the extreme highs and lows.

The ideal environment for the cineraria is one that offers about six hours of sun everyday. The plant also needs to have a temperature around 62 degrees at night. It is best to keep the plant in a bright location that has a temperature between 64 oF and 72 degrees. If the temperature is too low, the plant will not bloom. If the temperature is very high, the seeds from the plant’s last bloom will be damaged.

Water & Humidity

Cineraria is not one of the easiest plants to grow, and a suitable medium is crucial. In fact, for the best results, Cinerarias will need a sandy or gritty soil to give water drainage.

For 2017, Cineraria is creating fashion interest in shades of purple, in varying pastel tones.

To stay as healthy as possible within the confines of this soil, Cineraria requires ample drainage and good airflow. Therefore, a free-draining compost such as coir fibre is ideal for its upkeep, particularly if the grower wants to sustain a longer lifespan.

With this soil, it's important to remember that the compost used should be light, aerated and contain an adequate amount of drainage holes.

When we talk about water drainage and humidity, Cinerarias require a bit more attention, as such environments may cause the plant to rot if worn without the right preparation.


Or Hydroponic? The Benefits to a Pot Plant

When planning out your garden or outdoor planters, always plant in the best environment for your plant to grow to its fullest. A lot is speculating on whether it is better to plant in small pots in the soil or place them in a hydroponic environment.

If you are going with a pot plant, you have two options. The first is to use regular soil in the pot. This is the best choice if you will only have that plant for a short amount of time in a specific area.

If you are going to have the pot plant for a longer period of time, you will want to mix the soil that you put in there with some vermiculite to make the soil lighter.

The second option is to use a soilless mix in the pot. This mixture is a light and airy blend of rock, limestone, perlite, peat, and composted wood fibers. It is easy to manage for watering and also helps prevent brown, soggy bottoms. It is the choice for pots that will live on a patio permanently or if you are going to try to grow tomatoes or woody plants.


Fertilizing house plants is something that you may feel intimidated by, but in fact, it is not that difficult.

The best thing that you can do when fertilizing plants is to match the fertilizer with the plant’s needs.

A simple rule of thumb is that you can fertilize more frequently early in the growing season and lessen the frequency to every few weeks by the end of the season.

Here are some tips for fertilizing:

Use fertilizer spikes and place them in the pot or container and follow the instructions for frequency of application.

Use water-soluble fertilizer and follow box instructions.

Use timed-release fertilizer and place it in the soil near the root zone and follow the directions for time duration before new applications are needed.


Cineraria was originally sold by florists for funeral arrangements. It became a favorite of gardeners almost as soon as it arrived. Flowers are long-lasting, as are the plants, rarely need dividing, and have all-season appeal. These striking, small, trailing, silvery flowers are a mass of tiny blooms and really live up to the suggestion of confetti-like flowers.

Cineraria will spread willingly by stem and with the seeds that have in each flower. To propagate by stem, just cut a piece that has three to five stems and place it in damp soil or a pot of compost. Water well to get the roots established and then keep the soil moist until the plant is established. To propagate by seed, collect the seeds from the stems as soon as the flowers fade. Hummingbirds and other small birds will usually distribute the seeds for you. Germinate them in a pot of compost, and water well to start the roots growing.

Once the plants are growing well, let them bloom. If the seedlings are lighter in color than you like, keep them shaded to slow their growth and maintain a silvery appearance. Allow them to spread out and climb with your trained butterfly garden. From a pot or the ground, this is a very striking plant, making cineraria outstanding for country gardens.


Cineraria plants, sometimes referred to as the “florist”’s flower” are frequently ordered online for floral arrangements. While these plants are beautiful to see, they are also frequently subject to an unfortunate occurrence when they are delivered in a floral arrangement.

Sometimes, living arrangements can be lacking for the Cineraria and they can sometimes turn yellow, dry up or disintegrate. When the order comes from a floral shop, the florist would also be at the mercy of the delivery personnel to see that the delivery arrives in as good of condition as it was when the florist received it.

There is a very simple way for you to help prevent this situation. When you receive the arrangement, remove the delivery plastic and check the plants immediately. If it is very cold in your area, make sure to leave the arrangement in a warm place to acclimate to the outside temperature. This process should not take more than a few hours, but you will need to check it periodically to make sure that the plants have not begun to dehydrate.

If they have, then you will need to take care of them immediately. You can mist them with water, and misting is preferable to watering because the Cineraria are very sensitive to watering.


As with most other flowering plants, Cineraria does have its own share of pests and diseases.

An early injury to the Cineraria plant may lead to the occurrence of diseases such as leaf spot, root rot and so on.

In order to prevent the plant from being infected by any of the pests and diseases that commonly attack Cineraria plants, you can opt to apply a mixture of sulphate of copper as well as sulphate of lime onto the soil.

It is also strongly recommended for you to check your plants from time to time for any indications of pests or disease in order for you to respond immediately.

The most common type of diseases comes from a fungus infection, which is characterized by the appearance of necrotic lesions that have a yellow to brown color on the leaves.

Upon seeing these symptoms, you need to apply a fungicide in order to address the problem, which can minimize the growth and development of the fungus infection.

You can also opt to spray neem oil onto the leaves in order to reduce the presence of the infestation, which will help to maximize the plant’s growth and flowering ability.

Among the numerous pests that have been known to attack Cineraria plants are Orobanche aegyptiaca, Epitrix fuscula, Phaedon cochleariae and so on.


Gladiolus is a beautiful flower that can be purchased in many colors and in different sizes. Choosing a healthy flower with the longest shelf life is very important.

Gladiolus bulbs are generally a safe buy as long as they are:

  • Healthy plants with firm bulbs, and
  • Not covered in dirt or grime

If they are, brush off the dirt by hand and store.

In cool temperatures until you’re ready to plant.

Since Gladiolus Is a Kind of Flowering

Asiatic lily, it requires similar care to cure it of diseases, if it does. The most common disease of gladiolus is:

Root rot. This is caused by over watering or keeping the plant in too much shade. Symptoms include bulb discoloration, yellowing of leaves, and wilting. To cure this issue, you need to first identify its source. If it is caused by over watering, correct the problem and let the fan dry out. If this is caused by too little light, reposition in a cooler spot. When it has been cured of the root-rot, leave at least a foot between the plant and any other plants, so it doesn’t happen again.

Frequently Asked Questions

The name “cineraria” is a bit of a misnomer. Because the word “cinerary” conjures up images of something that pays tribute to the dead, whereas the word “cillaria,” the more accurate part of the name, either refers to this plant’s using scent to attract insects for pollination, or it’s reference to one of the plants’ ancestors, the Cililary.

Although the plant may have again been given a misleading name, the flower it produces is exquisite, nonetheless. And once you learn more about cineraria, you might only be more interested in this amazing flower.