Bright and beautiful, Cineraria flowers are often referred to as a living bouquet. They continuously flower for a specific amount of time after germinating from seed, making it easy to plan for a cascade of constant color. While these flowers are a regular addition to gardens as annuals in cooler climates or perennials in USDA zones 9 through 11, they’re also used in bouquets worldwide. Most varieties are hybrids that provide exciting patterns on the petals and a more comprehensive range of color options. In this guide, I’ll run through everything you need to know about Cineraria flower meaning, its uses, growing tips, and suitable gifting occasions. 

Cineraria Flower Meaning, Symbolism, Uses, and Growing Tips

Cineraria Flowers – The Essentials: 

Plant Family:Asteraceae
Scientific Name:Pericallis × hybrida (florist’s cineraria) 
Native Range:Canary Islands
Colors:Various shades, including blue, purple, pink, and white
Characteristics:Showy daisy-like flowers in clusters
Mature Height:12 to 24 inches
Flowering Season:Late winter to spring
Growing Zones:9 to 11
Sunlight:Full sun to partial shade
Watering:Moderate watering with well-draining soil
Soil:Well-draining soil with good fertility
Fertilizing:Fertilize monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer
Pests:Susceptible to aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies
Pruning:Remove faded flowers and leggy stems for neatness
Symbolism:Represents love, admiration, and longing

About Cineraria Flowers

About Cineraria Flowers

Also known as common ragwort or florist’s Cineraria, this plant has a scientific name of Pericallis x hybrida. That makes them part of the Pericallis genus, a group of 15 plants from the Canary Islands and the surrounding area. 

Despite sharing a common name with the Cineraria genus, these flowers no longer belong in it. Cineraria is easily raised from seed, making them affordable to add to the garden even as an annual. 

The blooms are classic Aster-type shapes with centers in the same color as the petals. Common colors include pink, magenta, blue, purple, lavender, and white. 

The flowers can last for weeks on the plant, but they have no fragrance. It’s tolerant of light frost, blooming as early as January in warmer climates.

The Meaning & Symbolism of Cineraria

The name Cineraria comes from the Latin that means “from ashes”. This refers to the slightly white or gray hairs that grow on the leaves of this plant and other members of the Cineraria genus. 

In the Canary Islands, these flowers are considered a sign of joy and delight. They’re often gifted for celebrations like the birth of a baby or a wedding. Other areas, like the Azores, associate the Cineraria blossom with protection due to the full ring of petals surrounding the center. The mounding shape with large leaves also contributes to this symbolism.

In the language of flowers, Cineraria flowers carry the following symbolic meanings: 

Love and Admiration: 

Cineraria flowers are often regarded as symbols of love and admiration. They represent affection, appreciation, and the expression of heartfelt emotions toward someone.

Longing and Desire: 

Cineraria flowers’ vibrant colors and delicate petals can evoke feelings of longing and desire. They symbolize a yearning or longing for someone or something.

Beauty and Grace: 

Cineraria flowers are admired for their beauty and graceful appearance. They symbolize elegance, charm, and the appreciation of aesthetics.

Hope and Optimism: 

Cineraria flowers’ bright and cheerful colors are often associated with hope and optimism. They symbolize a positive outlook on life and the belief in better days to come.

Friendship and Support: 

Cineraria flowers can also represent friendship and support. They convey a message of companionship, loyalty, and being there for someone in times of need.

Uses and Benefits of Cineraria Flowers

Uses and Benefits of Cineraria Flowers

The cineraria flower isn’t poisonous, but they are not edible or medicinal either. 

Instead, they’re primarily used for their attractive leaves and ornamental flowers in gardens or containers. You can even bring it indoors to enjoy the flowering blooms when outdoor temperatures aren’t cooperating. 

Cineraria also attracts many moths, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators because of its brightly colored flowers with a large open center. 

While the plant can play host to aphids, it also feeds the caterpillars of some important butterfly and moth species as well. 

Adding Cineraria to the garden, even when they’ll only grow as annuals, is a great way to boost the population of valuable insects across the spectrum.

How to Grow Cineraria Flowers

How to Grow Cineraria Flowers

Cineraria will return as a perennial when grown in USDA Zones 9 through 11. Yet it’s also common as an annual in USDA Zones as low as 4 to 5. 

You simply need to start the seed indoors earlier in the year and transplant it when the danger of hard frosts ends. 

Cineraria prefer partial shade because the full sun can scorch them, especially in the summer. As little as 2 hours of direct sun per day is fine for these plants. 

Pick a place with plenty of organic material and good drainage because the Cineraria don’t like soggy soil. When planting these flowers in containers, use plenty of peat moss. 

Keep the soil damp to the touch, providing 2 to 3 inches of water per week. If you’re only growing it as an annual, there’s little need for fertilizer. 

Perennials should be fertilized at the end of blooming to prepare them for the next year.

Caring for Cineraria Flowers

Caring for Cineraria Flowers

Deadheading Cineraria as soon as the blooms begin to fade may trigger a second round of flowering. However, regardless of how you treat them, most plants only put out a single round of blooms around 12 to 18 weeks after germination. This makes deadheading or pruning less essential. 

Few diseases affect this plant when it has appropriate drainage around the roots. However, aphids and thrips can both become a problem because they’re easily hidden under the large leaves. You can rinse them off manually or use an organic spray like Neem oil. 

In cooler climates, gathering seeds from mature flowers will provide you with a supply for sprouting the following year. In USDA 9 and above, there’s nothing special you’ll need to do to help your Cineraria flowers through the winter.

Best Companion Plants for Cineraria Flowers

Best Companion Plants for Cineraria Flowers


Since these flowers bloom early as well, they’re an excellent pairing for Cineraria flowers. Freesia flowers stay shorter, providing a stunning backdrop to white or light-colored Freesia blossoms.


Also perennial in warmer climates, the cheerful petunia-like flowers of Calibrachoa contrast perfectly against these blooms. Cineraria and Calibrachoa share similar mounding growth habits that help them both fill in space in a flower bed.

Mother of Thousands 

Try a succulent species with a distinctive look that rises sharply above the colorful mound formed by this flower.


The delicate, low-growing blooms of Alyssum make a lovely companion for Cineraria flowers. They provide a soft carpet of color at the base of the taller Cineraria plants.


Pansies with their vibrant colors and charming “faces” create a beautiful contrast when planted alongside Cineraria flowers. They bloom during similar seasons and add extra visual interest.


The cascading nature of Lobelia’s flowers complements the upright growth of Cineraria flowers. The vibrant blue, purple, or white blooms of Lobelia create a striking contrast.


Snapdragons provide vertical interest and a wide range of colors, which pair well with Cineraria flowers. They create a dynamic and visually appealing display when planted together.

Dusty Miller 

Dusty Miller, a close relative of Cineraria, features silvery-gray foliage that adds a contrasting texture and color. It creates an elegant backdrop and enhances the overall visual appeal.


Geraniums offer a wide range of colors and varieties that can complement the vibrant blooms of Cineraria. They are known for their long-lasting flowers and attractive foliage.


Dianthus, also known as pinks or carnations, features charming and fragrant flowers that pair well with Cineraria. They come in various colors and add a touch of elegance to the garden.

Creative Uses for Cineraria Flowers

Cineraria flowers are adaptable enough to fill out flower beds, perk up planters, pack into small containers, or stay low under taller growing plants. 

They’re also a great alternative to daisies in any floral arrangement. Just make sure to give the petals plenty of space, so stems or other blossoms do not crush them.

Cineraria Flower Crafts

  • Try pressing Cineraria flowers to capture their bright colors and bold patterns for seasons to come.
  • Arrange freshly cut Cineraria blooms in wall-mounted vases for bursts of color that can last a week or longer.
  • Braid a flower crown of Cineraria along with other daisies to create a delightful accessory for a music festival or party.
  • Trim the stems extra long and weave the blossoms into evergreen garlands or wreaths for a classic springtime look.

Cineraria Flower FAQs:

How long do Cineraria Flowers bloom for?

In my experience, Cineraria flowers tend to bloom all at once, but the flowers remain on the plants for up to four weeks in cooler weather.

What is the ideal climate for growing Cineraria Flowers?

These plants prefer a cooler, humid climate that never gets too cold. They can only handle light frosts and temperatures in the 30s.

Can Cineraria Flowers grow in containers or indoors?

Cineraria grow well in containers and can be started indoors or potted and brought in to finish flowering in the fall.

How often should I water my Cineraria Flowers?

Keep the soil damp, watering once or twice a week in the summer. Avoid overwatering in the cooler seasons and over the winter since it can damage the roots.

When is the best time of year to plant Cineraria Flowers?

Plant the seeds after the risk of frost has passed, or transplant starts as soon as the nights are above the 30s. If it’s not a perennial in your area, planting it in the fall will not result in any flowers.

How can I protect my Cineraria Flowers from pests and diseases?

Water them regularly and don’t add too much fertilizer, which attracts pests.

How can I extend the lifespan of my Cineraria Flowers after they’ve been cut?

Change the water daily and damage the stem as little as possible when cutting by using sharp scissors.

Cinerceria Flowers – Wrapping Up

Expand your garden’s color palette by planting a profusion of Cineraria flowers. They’re early blooming, often referred to as the first flower of spring in the right climate zones. These meaningful flowers represent joy and delight, making them a good way to add a happy touch to any flower arrangement.

Editorial Director | Full Bio | + posts

Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.

Author Andrew Gaumond

Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.

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