Chenille plants are tropical plants that are usually grown as houseplants. Although they can grow to a shrub with a height of five to six feet when planted outdoors in frost-free areas, as houseplants they remain much smaller. They are grown predominantly for their unusual, elongated fuzzy flowers, called catkins, which grow to about 18 inches long and hang down like thick lengths of chenille yarn.
Grow your chenille plant in full sun. Chenille plants will grow in partial sun but will produce fewer and smaller flowers than those grown in full sun.
Water when the surface of the soil begins to feel dry. If you let a chenille plant dry out, it will die. If the leaves wilt for lack of water, flower quality and production will suffer.
Fertilize twice weekly during the growing season. Use water-soluble fertilizer for blooming houseplants, the type that is applied by watering the plant. Mix the fertilizer following the manufacturer's recommended mixture rates. Chenille plants like a lot of fertilizer and will benefit from topdressing with finished compost once or twice during the growing season. Stop fertilizing during winter months if your plant stops producing flowers during the short days. If it still produces some flowers, fertilize the plant every other week with the same fertilizer mixed at half the recommended rate of application.
Check your chenille plant regularly for spider mites. Symptoms include yellowing leaves with a stippled pattern or small spider webs in the leaf and stem junctures. Treat by spraying with rubbing alcohol or horticultural oil spray.