Cinerarias are popular annual flowers grown for their showy blossoms that equal the profusion of the chrysanthemums. Origin: Cineraria cruentus. a native of the See also: Canary Isles, introduced to the royal gardens at Kew in 1777 . It was known originally as Cineraria cruenta, but the genus Cineraria is now restricted to a group of South African species, and the Canary Island species has been transferred to the large and widespread genus Senecio . Cinerarias can be raised freely from seed. But they are difficult to grow and require the work of the skilful gardener.
“The cineraria is a tender plant, and a troublesome plant, and a plant that often disappoints the experts; therefore it is bound sometimes to disappoint the beginner in floriculture. It is not particularly tender, and really will not endure a high temperature for any length of time. On the other hand, frost, damp, a cold wind, a dry air, or long-continued sunshine may prove fatal to it, or at least injurious. Its wants are few, but it can endure no extremes; and, when the circumstances are unfavourable, it becomes infested with green-fly, or red-spider, or thrips, or mildew, or some other plague, or it simply dies, and tells no tale of the reason why. Where cinerarias are seen in good condition, therefore, we must regard them as representing careful, if not skilful cultivation” Source: Allaboutflowers.org
The seeds are sown in April or May in well-drained pots or pans, in soi) of three parts loam to two parts leaf–mould, with one-sixth sand; seed thinly with soil, and press. surface firm. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out in pans or pots of similar soil, and when more advanced pot them singly in 4-in. pots, using soil a trifle less sandy . They should be grown in shallow frames facing the north, and, if so situated that the sun shines upon the plants in the middle of the day, they must be slightly shaded; give plenty of air to get dry . When well established with roots, shift them into 6-in. pots, which should be liberally supplied with manure water as they get filled with roots winter remove to a pit or house, where a little heat can be supplied whenever there is a risk of their getting frozen . They should stand on a moist bottom, but must not be subjected to cold draughts . When the flowering sterns appear, give manure water at every alternate watering.
Seeds sown in March, and grown on in this way, will be in bloom by Christmas if kept in a temperature of from 40° to 450 at night, with a little more warmth in the day; and those sown in April and May will succeed them during the early spring months, the latter set of plants being subjected to a temperature of 38° or 40° during the night . Source: Online Encyclopedia