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Winter Care For Indoor Flowering Plants

January 14, 2016

During winter, indoor flowering plants purchased from floral shops and other retailers can really brighten a home. To get the most enjoyment from the plants, give them proper care. Here are some tips from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists on how to care for indoor flowering plants during colder months. To have additional questions answered, contact the ISU Hortline at 515-294-3108 or

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.

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 degrees Fahrenheit 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 will 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 60 degree Fahrenheit), brightly lit location. Keep the potting soil evenly moist. Primroses decline rapidly in dry and saturated soils.

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 in a brightly lit, cool location. The location should receive bright light, but not direct sunlight. Ideal temperatures are 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the potting soil daily. When the surface of the potting soil becomes dry, promptly water plants. If plants are kept too wet, they may suddenly wilt and die due to root rot. Plants will quickly wilt if the potting soil is allowed to get too dry.

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

Calceolarias are often referred to as pocketbook plants because of the round, pouch-like shape of the flowers.

How do I care for a gloxinia?
Place plants in a brightly lit location in the home. Gloxinias prefer temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The potting soil should be kept evenly moist. When given good care, plants may bloom for several weeks.

Most gloxinias are discarded after flowering. However, plants can be coaxed to bloom again if given proper care. Gloxinias need to rest after blooming. To induce dormancy, gradually cut back on watering when flowering is completed. When the foliage dies back, trim it off and place the pot in a cool (55 to 60 degree Fahrenheit), dark location.

Let the gloxinia tuber rest for two to three months. When new growth appears, carefully remove the tuber from the old potting soil and repot in new material. Place the gloxinia in a brightly lit, warm (65 to 75 degree Fahrenheit), humid location and resume regular watering.

Source: Richard Jauron and Greg Wallace, Iowa State University