Mask Flower Care: Everything You Need to Know

Mask flowers are beautiful, delicate blooms that need special care in order to thrive. Its lovely flowers come in a variety of colors, making it a popular choice for bouquets and centerpieces.

Although mask flowers are often associated with funerals and somber occasions, they can also be used to add a touch of elegance to any event.


Botanical Name Alonsoa
Common Name Mask Flower
Plant Type  Perennial or Annual
Flower Color Showy coral red petals.
Size When Mature Between 24-30 inches
Bloom Time Fall
Sun Requirements Full Sun, tolerates partial sun
USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11
Soil PH Range 6.0-7.8
Soil Type Acidic, well-drained
Water Needs Medium
Native Area Western/Central America

What you Need to Know About Mask Flowers

Mask Flower

Mask flowers are a type of evergreen broadleaf tree with fragrant, usually orange, red, or lavender blossoms that only bloom for about two weeks toward the end of the fall.

These plants prefer light shade on the southwestern side of large buildings and mature at approximately 24 inches tall. They are not poisonous to humans but can aggravate a pet’s stomach if ingested.

Despite their name, mask flowers (or Alonsoa Flowers as they are sometimes called) are not actually related to the jasmine plant.

They are, however, in the same family as Gardenia and share a similar appearance and sweet smell. The flowers grow on long stems that make them popular for use in cut flower arrangements.

The plant is native to both Western and Central America but can be found in other parts of the world as well. It is often used in landscaping because it is drought tolerant and requires very little maintenance.

Mask flowers are popular for gardeners because they are relatively easy to take care of. They are not too fussy about soil type but prefer well-drained, slightly acidic soil.

These plants should be watered regularly, especially during the hottest months of the summer. It is essential to make sure that the soil does not dry out completely, as this can cause the plant to drop its flowers.

How to Care for Mask Flowers

Mask Flower

Mask flowers, also tagged as lucky plants, are a popular choice for many people because they are low-maintenance and can thrive in a wide variety of conditions. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you want your mask flower to flourish.


Mask flowers prefer full sun but can tolerate light and partial shade given that the soil is consistently moist.

If you are keeping your mask flower as a houseplant, it should go in a window so it can receive direct sunlight. However, the plant should be rotated every few days, so all of the leaves have an opportunity to soak up the sun.

Water and Soil Needs

Mask flowers grow best in soil that is slightly acidic with a PH of 6.0-7.8. Like other plants, it has an average water needs and requires about 1 inch of water per week. The soil should be allowed to dry out slightly between watering. As with any other plant, over-watering can lead to root rot and other problems.

Temperature Requirements

Mask flowers can survive in USDA climate zones 9-11. They thrive in warm, tropical climates and do not tolerate cold weather well. If you live in a colder climate, you can still grow them as a houseplant but should keep them in a sunny location and move them to a warmer spot during the winter.


Mask flowers don’t require a lot of fertilizer, but you can give it a light feeding every few months with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. Too much nitrogen can cause the leaves to turn yellow. The best time to fertilize is when you water the plant.

Common Diseases

Mask flowers are generally pest and disease-free, but they can be occasionally susceptible to spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. If you notice any pests or diseases attacking your plant, treat it with a natural or organic pesticide.

Mask Flower Propagation

Mask flowers can be propagated through both seed and cuttings.

When propagating through seeds, the best time to sow is in late winter or early spring. The seeds should be planted in moist, well-drained soil and can be started indoors or outdoors.

If starting indoors, the seeds should be sown in peat pots or other biodegradable containers. Once the seedlings have their first set of true leaves, they can be transplanted into individual pots.

Space out the seeds about one foot apart and cover them with a thin layer of soil. Water well and keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate, which should take about two weeks. In warmer climates, the seeds can be sown directly in the ground.

Cuttings can be taken from both stem and root. For stem cuttings, take a 4-6 inch cutting from the tips of the plant and remove the lower leaves. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone and plant it in moist, well-drained soil.

Water regularly and keep the soil moist but not soggy. The cutting should root within 4-6 weeks. Once roots have formed, the cutting can be transplanted into a larger pot.

How to Prune Mask Flowers

In general, mask flowers don’t require a lot of pruning. If you are growing them as a houseplant, you can trim back the stems to keep the plant compact and full. For outdoor plants, you can cut back the stems after flowering to encourage new growth.

If you want your mask flower to bloom again, it is best to wait until the old flowers have died off before pruning. Deadheading (removing the dead flowers) will also encourage new blooms.

Always remember to use a sharp pair of pruning shears or scissors to avoid damaging the plant.

Growing in Containers

When growing mask flowers in containers, using a pot with drainage holes is important. The pot should also be large enough to accommodate the plant’s roots. The soil should be a well-drained potting mix that is slightly acidic with a pH of 6.0-7.8.

Additionally, make sure that you sow the seeds or plant the cuttings in a sterile potting mix to avoid problems with pests and diseases.

When watering, be sure to water the soil, not the leaves. The soil should be allowed to dry out between watering.

Final Thoughts

Whether growing them indoors or outdoors, mask flowers make a beautiful addition to any home. With their striking blooms and lush foliage, they are sure to add some tropical flair to your garden.

With proper care, mask flowers can bloom throughout the year. Keep an eye on the plant, however, as too much fertilizer or moisture can cause problems.

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