Yard and Garden: Caring for Short Term Houseplants

January 9, 2020, 3:24 pm | Richard Jauron, Willy Klein

AMES, Iowa – The blooms of short term, or gift, houseplants are a welcome touch of color in the late winter and early spring. Bought when in full flower, they are kept for only a few weeks while their display is at its best. Horticulture specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offer directions for caring for Cineraria flower by Victoria Gardner/stock.adobe.com.several of these flowering houseplants. To have additional questions answered contact ISU Extension and Outreach Hortline at hortline@iastate.edu or 515-294-3180.

How do I care for a cineraria?  

Cinerarias should be placed in bright, indirect light with a temperature near 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the potting soil evenly moist, but not saturated. Plants wilt quickly when the potting soil becomes dry and may die if not promptly watered. Over-watering (watering too frequently) may result in the death of plants due to root rots. Check plants frequently. Water cinerarias when the soil surface becomes dry to the touch.  

Cinerarias should remain attractive for two to four weeks when given good care. Discard plants when the flowers shrivel and die.  

How do I care for a cyclamen?  

Place the cyclamen in a brightly lit location. Temperatures between 55 and 65 F are ideal. Keep the potting soil moist, but avoid getting water in the crown of the plant as it may promote rotting. Fertilize the plant with a dilute fertilizer solution every two weeks while in bloom.  

When given good care, plants may bloom for six to eight weeks. The cyclamen is normally discarded after flowering.  

How do I care for a primrose?  

In the home, place plants in a cool (55 to 65 F), brightly lit location. Keep the potting soil evenly moist. Primroses decline rapidly in dry and saturated soils. Fertilize plants on a regular basis with a dilute fertilizer solution while in bloom.  

Primroses often bloom for several weeks when given a favorable environment and good care. Discard plants when they are done blooming.  

How do I care for a calceolaria?  

Place calceolarias (pocketbook plants) in a brightly lit, cool location. The location should receive bright light, but not direct sunlight. Ideal temperatures are 60 to 65 F. Check the potting soil daily. Promptly water plants when the surface of the potting soil becomes dry. Plants wilt quickly if the potting soil dries out. If plants are kept too wet, they may suddenly wilt and die due to root rot.  

Calceolarias often bloom for two to four weeks when given a favorable environment and good care. Plants should be discarded when flowering is completed.  


Photo credit: Cineraria flower. Victoria Gardner/stock.adobe.com

About the Authors: