Usually, only hybrids of this plant, also called the poor man’s orchid, are available. This is an annual plant that buds in spring and is discarded when flowering is over—often in late fall.
The 2-in/5-cm-wide flowers resemble those of an orchid and come in shades of red, pink, mauve, and white with a yellow center, which is often marked with purple. The foliage is fernlike, and the stems are somewhat sticky.
FACT FILE Of Butterfly Flower
ORIGIN: Chile; hybrids.
POTTING MIX: Peat-moss-based.
REPOTTING: Pot seedlings as they grow, ending with a 5-in/13-cm pot for dwarf varieties, and a 7-in/18-cm pot for taller forms.
PROPAGATION: Sow seed in spring for summer flowering, or fall for an early spring.
KEEPING PLANTS: Pinch off growing tips to encourage bushiness. Stake the stems to prevent them from toppling over and splitting.
PLANT CARE Butterfly Flower
- Full sun.
- Cool or normal room temperature.
- Keep the potting mix moist at all times.
- Feed every 2 weeks until flowering is over.