This year there aren’t a lot of flowers outside for Easter so the inside blooms will have to make up for them. In addition to the standard lily, I also have an amaryllis with white and light pink blooms that decided to blossom this week.
The other plant that I always enjoy at this time of year is the cineraria (Pericallis cruenta, sometimes Senecio cruentus). This member of the aster family is an easy to grow houseplant – you buy it in bloom and, since it won’t rebloom, you toss it out when it’s done flowering. The good news is that the blooms often last for a month or more with proper care.
The flowers come in white, pink, red, purple and blue, often with a “white eye.” This plant needs a bright location and constant moisture. It also prefers cool temperatures. Because of its preference for cool temperatures, I’ve only seen cineraria available at garden centers during late winter and early spring.
The only problem I’ve ever had with cineraria is aphids. If an aphid finds its way to the plant, very quickly the stems, petioles (the stem that attaches a leaf to the main stem) and pedicels (the stem that supports the flower) will be covered with these insects. You can add a systemic insecticide to the soil to prevent aphids or spray the plant with an insecticidal soap once aphids are present. Just keep an eye on your cineraria to keep the aphids from establishing a home on it.
The outdoor flowers will be blooming soon but for now I’ll content myself with some indoor blooms. You see, in my world, it’s not Easter without flowers!