University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
CALCEOLARIA, AND CYCLAMEN
Perry, Extension Professor
University of Vermont
for a little early color indoors this spring, or perhaps something
to give to a favorite friend? Try a cineraria, calceolaria, or
are unusual, festive, and available at many garden centers,
florists, and even
some groceries and large retailers.
cineraria has conspicuous daisy-like flowers, about two to three
held above large, dark green foliage. Flower colors include red,
blue, and bi-colors. These potted annuals like bright light and
temperatures--45 degrees F at night, 55 degrees F during the day.
Keep the soil
consistently moist--but not waterlogged--to prolong bloom.
Cineraria are difficult
to flower a second time so should be discarded after bloom.
also known as the pouch or pocketbook flower, has red, yellow, and
bronze-colored pouch-like flowers held above pale green leaves.
have bi-colored blooms. Others produce small, spotted blooms.
This plant requires bright, filtered light;
cool temperatures; and consistent soil moisture for continued
keep soil moist but never overwater. It is better to have the soil
too dry than
too wet. Like the cineraria, calceolaria is an annual, so discard
are by far the more common of these three indoor flowering
plants. They have variegated gray-green elliptical
leaves and large, colorful blossoms like waxy butterflies held on
the foliage. Depending on the variety,
cyclamen produce purple, pink, red, salmon, or white flowers.
With cyclamen, you may find the traditional
large ones about 8 to 12 inches high, and the same wide. Miniature
called mini) cyclamen are about half that size.
cool temperature plant needs plenty of sunlight, even watering,
temperatures of 50 to 60 degrees F for long flowering. Poor light
temperatures that are too warm will cause leaves to yellow and
drop and buds to
fail to open. If stems start to rot at
the base, and you see a fuzzy gray growth there (botrytis
disease), plants are
staying too wet and need more air circulation.
the other two plants, cyclamen can be held over successfully if
conditions are provided. When the
flowers fade, gradually decrease watering.
Leaves may mostly, even totally, die back just leaving the
"corm" storage structure and roots.
The pot can then be placed indoors in a dark location, or outdoors
summer where it won't get watered. Early
fall, gradually increase watering as new growth occurs. Fertilize
then as you would other
What we know as florist's cyclamen (compared
to their more hardy outdoor perennial relatives) date back to the
century, and they were popular in Victorian homes and
conservatories. The plant
in general, however, has been traced back to the time of ancient
buying any of these or other flowering potted plants, look for a
many buds about to open, rather than one in full bloom. For
cyclamen, look down inside under the
leaves for many healthy stalks with flower buds. Check flowers,
buds, and undersides of leaves
for signs of insects and disease. Wrap the plant well for its trip
the store as cold can harm these sensitive plants. Most places
paper bags or sleeves for protection.