Violets | Amaryllis | Azalea
| Calceolaria & Cineraria | Christmas
pepper | Chrysanthemum | Cyclamens
Often homeowners attempt to grow flowering potted plants after they finish flowering. While this is possible for many plants, other plants should be enjoyed while they are in flower and then thrown away.
Maintain night temperatures
between 65°F and 70°F; the temperatures should be 10 degrees
warmer during the day. African violets prefer good light (but not direct),
moist soil (allow to dry slightly), and high humidity. Poor flowering
is often related to insufficient light. East and west facing window
sills are the best locations. African violets are highly susceptible
to root and crown rot if overwatered. Use warm or room temperature water
since cold water can cause spots to develop on the leaves.
After the flower fades,
cut the stem off just below the faded flower. For maximum bulb development,
keep plants actively growing after they finish blooming. They prefer
bright light to full sun, with a night temperature above 60°F.
As soon as danger of frost has passed, set the plants in the garden
in a semi-shaded location. In the fall, you can leave the bulbs in the
ground or bring the plants back indoors to bloom again. Stop watering
to allow old growth to die back, and store them in a cool, dark place
to rest. They will be ready to force again about November 1. Place them
into a warm, well lighted room and water moderately to begin new growth.
and cineraria - thrive in cool temperatures. Locate the plant
in a cool room where temperatures are near 50°F to 55°F at
night. Provide bright light but not direct sunlight. Excessive heat
or dry soil can cause rapid decline. Keep the plant well watered with
slight drying between waterings. After flowering is completed, the annual
plants will gradually decline and can not be reflowered.
After flowering, gradually
withhold water until the foliage dies back. This begins a rest period.
Do not water for six to eight weeks. By mid-summer, begin watering gradually.
As new leaves develop, move the plant to a sunny location and resume
normal watering and fertilization.
- Potted geraniums are typically available March through June. Many
new types are available, including vining and hanging basket cultivars.
Bright light is essential to keep geraniums flowering. Geraniums respond
favorably to having the soil dry out between waterings. Keep them in
pots or transplant into the landscape once the danger of frost has passed.
They are not winter hardy and must be brought indoors before frost if
you wish to over winter them.
Gloxinias need to rest
before reflowering. When the leaves start to die back, gradually reduce
watering until the leaves yellow and die. Place the pot in a cool, dark
location and stop watering. Allow the tuberous stem to rest for a minimum
of eight to ten weeks in dry soil. To stimulate reflower (although it's
hard to do), resume watering when new growth appears and move the pot
to a bright location.
Holiday cacti bloom best when somewhat pot-bound. Repotting is necessary only about once every three years. Full sunlight is beneficial in mid-winter, but bright sunlight during summer months can result in pale to yellowish foliage. Holiday cacti require less water from October to March than when new growth is active (April to September).
Cacti will develop flower
buds in the fall if the night temperature drops to 55°F. Where
cool nights are not possible, cacti can be stimulated to flower by providing
short days (11 hours or less of light each day) from mid-September to
mid-October. This involves covering the plant with a light-tight box
daily or moving to a dark location each night. Reduce watering and withhold
fertilizer during flower bud development and flowering stages.
Kalanchoes - are available year-round in many colors. Flowers will last three to six weeks if plants are provided mild temperatures (60°F to 65°F at night) and medium light. Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings; plants are easily damaged by over watering.
After flowering, cut off
any tall growth and old flower stems. Keep the plants in a sunny location
and move the plants outdoor after the danger of frost has passed. The
best site is a bright, lightly shaded location. Kalanchoes will re-bloom
if grown under artificial short days (long nights) for six to eight
weeks. They can be grown successfully if kept in sunny windows or placed
outdoors in late spring; they are not winter hardy.
Plants can be reflowered, although the procedure is somewhat demanding. Keep the plant indoors until the danger of frost has passed then move it outdoors. Remove the bracts when they wither and discolor. Keep the plant in high indirect light (morning sun/afternoon shade). Water and fertilize on a regular basis. Shape the plant as desired by pruning or pinching to encourage branching. Do not pinch after mid-August.
Bring the plant back indoors
when night temperatures start to fall below 60°F. Continue to fertilize
and water. Starting October 1, give the plant 14 hours of uninterrupted
darkness daily until bract color is well developed (mid-November). This
can be done by placing the plant in a closet or covering it with a cardboard
box at night. Any light during the dark period will delay or inhibit
flowering. Night temperatures should be between 60°F and 62°F.
During the remaining 10 hours each day, provide maximum light with temperatures
between 70°F and 75°F.
© Erv Evans, Consumer