Garden cineraries are pretty spring flowers that herald the start of the gardening season with their colorful blooms. The exotic plants are not only suitable for the room, but can also take their place on the bright balcony or terrace in warm temperatures. With a few tricks, the one- and two-tone varieties can be stimulated to a long secondary flowering. Contrary to popular belief, ash flowers are not annuals. Because with the right preparation it is possible to bring the evergreen lice flowers safely through the cold season.


  • Family: composites
  • Height: a maximum of 60 cm
  • Spread: approx. 20 cm
  • Foliage: dark green; triangular to eilanzettlich shaped
  • Flowering period: March to June
  • Flower color: white, pink, red, purple or blue (depending on the variety)
  • Special feature: evergreen, persistent herbaceous

Location and substrate

The representatives of the genus Pericallis have different names. In the vernacular they are often called ” Cineraria ” or ” ash flower ” means. The term ” lice flower “, which is often used, comes from the assertion that the sunflower plants really attract aphids. Pericallis hybrids are native to Madeira and the Canary Islands.

  • The location must be semi-shade his
  • Avoid drafts
  • warm place is preferred

A place on the east-facing windowsill or on the bright terrace in summer is well suited for the ash flowers. If the tropical plants are exposed to sunlight all day , resilience and flower formation can suffer . Dark, shady locations are unsuitable for the plant. Due to their special care needs, the garden cinerary is often only cultivated in planters. Relocating to the ornamental bed is possible, but involves a lot of effort. Only a few requirements are placed on the substrate. It should only be rich in humus and permeable. Conventional potting soil has proven itself here.

Watering and fertilizing

The evergreen plants are an ornament in the large planter. In order to promote the bushy shape and the lush flowering, a sure instinct for the supply of nutrients and water is required. Pericallis hybrids , for example, cannot tolerate the triangular leaves being poured over and over again . Due to the large area of ​​foliage, moisture evaporation is high in the ash flowers. Drooping shoots and leaves are almost always a sign of a lack of water .

  • The dry top substrate layer can
  • Water in the morning or late afternoon
  • Avoid waterlogging
  • The root ball must not dry out
  • Check the soil regularly during the winter

It is fertilized in the period from April to August. A universal liquid fertilizer has proven itself for this task . Alternatively, you can use a slow release fertilizer. The garden cinerary prepares for winter in mid to late August. The excessive supply of nutrients and minerals stimulates the plant to unnecessarily develop new flowers. For this reason, it is important to stop fertilizing in good time.


The exotic ornamental flower is propagated exclusively through sowing. It is difficult to buy lice flower seeds from specialist stores. Obtaining the seeds from your own plants is possible without any problems. Select 3 to 5 plants for this. The withered inflorescences are not removed from these Pericallis hybrids , so that the specimens can form seeds . You can prevent the plants from sowing themselves with a simple means: just before the seeds ripen, cover the soil with a close-meshed material. Even if you don’t manage to harvest the seeds in time, you can easily pick up the small grains together with the material. The sowing takes place under controlled conditions in a planter.

  • Choose a flat growing container
  • The substrate should be poor in nutrients
  • Press the seeds lightly into the soil
  • Moisten with a water sprayer

Tip : Do not expose the cultivation vessel to direct sunlight. The UV radiation could harm the seedlings.

Warmth and high humidity are relevant factors that accelerate germination. A mini greenhouse can be built on the windowsill from transparent film and fine wooden sticks . The first shoot tips appear after just a few weeks. As soon as the young plants have developed at least 2 pairs of leaves, they can be moved individually into small flower pots.

Planting and repotting

Pericallis hybrids are best planted in groups . Combine, for example, varieties that bloom in different colors. Under ideal conditions, the plants bloom from March to June and offer you a colorful picture. As soon as the cold frosts are over, the daisy family can move into their traditional place outdoors. In order to spare the plants the stress of moving, garden cineraries should only be cultivated in large flower pots.

  • With the exception of seedlings, remove the old substrate from the plants
  • drainage layer to create a porous material at the bottom of the vessel
  • An approx. 5 cm thick layer of soil serves as a buffer between the roots and the drainage system
  • Insert Pericallis hybrids and fill the cavities with substrate
  • Press lightly and pour in vigorously

You can put several ash flowers in one bucket. Keep a minimum distance of about 12 cm . The plants need this space in order to be able to develop and develop optimally. Repotting the evergreen plants is rarely necessary. Replace the substrate with humus-rich soil every 2 years.

Tip : Lava chippings and potsherds have proven to be useful as a base material for drainage.

To cut

The garden cineraria can be stimulated to develop new buds by regularly cleaning out withered flowers . Use a sharp knife or a pair of scissors, which should be cleaned thoroughly after work. This will prevent potential pests from settling on other plants. Sick, wilted and fast-growing shoots should also be removed or shortened considerably. The plants are known for the fact that they only bloom profusely in the first year and then tend to grow wild . With a strong pruning, you can prevent that to some extent. This measure can take place at any time during the main growing season. From the beginning of September the lice flower should be able to prepare for the cold season undisturbed.


In the trade, Pericallis hybrids are almost exclusively sold as annual plants. With just a little effort, you can get the plants safely through the winter and stimulate them to flower again in spring.

  • A bright room with an ambient temperature of 10 ° to 15 ° C is required
  • Avoid direct sunlight and drafts
  • The immediate vicinity of active radiators is unnecessary for the plants
  • The substrate must not dry out
  • No fertilization is allowed in winter

In spring you can move the plant back to its usual location. Protect the leaves from sunlight for the first few days. The plant has to get used to the UV radiation slowly so that the leaves are not damaged or burned.

Diseases and pests

The nickname “lice flower” is no coincidence. The Pericallis hybrids are among the delicacies of the cell sap sucking insects. Warmth and plants weakened by poor care are particularly vulnerable . Aphids rarely come alone. Ants are attracted to the excrement of the lice and are ready to defend “their” pests. This makes it difficult to control the aphids. The pests can be eliminated without the use of chemical agents , you should only be patient and time.

  • Spray the shoots with a nettle brew
  • Completely remove severely affected leaves
  • Bring sticky traps from
  • Expose nearby natural predators , such as ladybugs and lacewing larvae

If the roots of the evergreen plant are permanently exposed to standing moisture, this can promote an infestation with root rot. There is no effective antidote, but there are preventive measures. Make sure that the soil is permeable or create a drainage system on the bottom of the bucket. In the early stages of the disease caused by fungal pathogens, you can try to transfer the plant to fresh, dry substrate. In some cases the growth will recover.


Pericallis hybrids are interesting ornamental flowers that are just as suitable for the window sill at home as they are for the sunny terrace. The ash flower does not require intensive care. If all requirements are optimally met, the plant can be stimulated to flower again in the following year.

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