Blue cineraria flowers belong to the compositae family, which is the largest family of vigorous flowering plants in existence, including goldenrod, sunflower, aster, chrysanthemum, thistle, lettuce and dandelion. Blue cineraria flowers are found worldwide.
Blue cineraria flowers grow to a height of about 8 inches and can grow from 8 to 12 inches wide. The flowers have a daisy like look with a dark center. The petals ring the center in white with blue around the outside. It produces dark green arrow shaped leaves that grow over the whole stem. Blue cineraria is annual, so they only last one year, but they will re-seed themselves.
Blue cineraria flowers are hardy in zones 4 through 9, from parts of southern New England to all but the furthest south in Florida. They need to be planted where they can get partial shade. They need to be protected from frost and too much sun as both can be fatal.
Start the plants indoors in a container or a tray and use a seed starting mix. Just push the seeds down into the soil. The seeds need to get direct sunlight or they will not grow. Do not cover them with soil. Cover with a sheet of plastic and remove the plastic when the plants start to sprout. When the seedlings have two or three leaves, transplant them into individual pots. Plant outdoors where they are in moist, but well drained soil. Make sure the roots do not sit in a puddle. They will get root rot. Sow between June to October and the flowers will appear in the winter.
Add compost to the soil and use an organic mulch. They will both add nutrients to the soil and the mulch will protect the plants over the winter. Use a slow release or liquid fertilizer twice a month, but stop when the flowers appear. Water so that the soil is moist in the morning, but keep the water off the crowns and leaves. They are susceptible to attacks from various insects like snails, aphids, lice and leaf miners.
Blue cineraria flowers are fragrant enough to be used to make perfume. In the garden they work very well in beds with other flowers. They can also be used as a border plant or an edging around the lawn. The blue cineraria flower can be a house plant, planted in containers for an outdoor patio or in window boxes.