- Award-winning hardy cyclamen collection – 18+9 Free bulbs
- Indoor Care Instructions for Cyclamen Plants
- Facts: Cyclamen
- Information About Cyclamen Plants
- Cyclamen Plants Growing Season
- Indoor Cyclamen Plant Care Instructions
- Cyclamen Temperature Tolerance & Location
- Watering Cyclamen Plants
- Cyclamen Humidity Requirements
- How Much Light Do Cyclamen Plants Need?
- Repotting Cyclamen Plants
- What Fertilizer To Use For Cyclamen
- Cyclamen Flowering Season and Dormancy
- What To Do With Cyclamen After Flowering
- Cyclamen Propagation Methods
- Controlling Houseplant Pests On Cyclamen
- Troubleshooting Common Cyclamen Plant Care Problems
- Where To Buy Cyclamen Plants
- Growing Hardy Cyclamen Outdoors: Hardy Cyclamen Care In The Garden
- Planting Hardy Cyclamen Bulbs Outdoors
- Hardy Cyclamen Care
- Caring for indoor Cyclamen
Award-winning hardy cyclamen collection – 18+9 Free bulbs
- Buy the collection of 9 corms (3 of each species) for £14.99, or buy 2 collections for £29.98 plus get another collection FREE
- Position: partial shade
- Soil: moderately-fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: through autumn, winter and into spring
- Flower colour: pink
- Hardiness: fully hardy
- Bulb size: 13/15
The pretty shades of hardy cyclamen are a beautiful sight in the garden when not many other plants are flowering. These little marvels can flower through three seasons from autumn all the way into spring. Supplied as large corms of flowering size.
In each collection you will receive 3 corms each of:
Cyclamen hederifolium One of the most common autumn cyclamen and often referred to as Cyclamen neapolitanum, with their pretty, marbled heart-shaped leaves and upright fragrant pink flowers. Generally flowering September, October and November, these easy to grow cyclamen have a long period of interest before disappearing below ground over the summer. The flowers often appear well before the leaves, which later form a pretty carpet after the flowers have gone. Although they are usually planted in shade, these cyclamen originate from the Mediterranean so are equally happy in sun. Plant them en masse in a woodland setting with ferns and other shade tolerant plants, or around the base of deciduous trees. Grows to 4½inches tall. Plant corms with the rounded, usually smooth side down, shallowly, in humus-rich, fertile soil and are best planted with buds or flowers on. Apply a mulch of well-rotted leaf-mould around the crown of the plants in spring as the foliage starts to die back.
Cyclamen cilicium A more unusual cyclamen, but as easy to grow as other hardy cyclamen. The slender pale to rose-pink flowers, somethimes with a light fragrance, appear between September to November and give this pretty cyclamen a more delicate appearance than many of the other species. Made up of 5 twisted and recurved petals, which have a magenta blotch at their mouth, the nodding flowers appear at the same time as the foliage in autumn and usually last for several weeks. The mid-green leaves are heavily patterned with silver on the upper surface, with a purplish sheen underneath, and will remain attractive throughout the winter before dying back in spring. Introduced in 1872, this species originates from coniferous forests in southern Turkey, where they are found growing amongst rocks and screes. They prefer a sheltered spot with freely draining soil in partial shade. Grows to 4-5inches tall.
Cyclamen coum After the autumn cyclamen have flowered, these delicate pink flowers with upswept petals appear in winter or early spring (generally December to April) above rounded, silvery green leaves. These diminutive cyclamen are perfect for naturalising around the base of deciduous trees and shrubs. Best in humus-rich, well-drained soil in partial shade, they make excellent companions for ferns and other shade-loving plants. Grows to 4inches tall.
- Garden care: Plant tubers rounded (usually smooth) side down, shallowly in humus-rich, fertile soil. Apply a mulch of well-rotted leafmould around the crown of the plants in spring as the foliage starts to die back.
Buy the collection of 9 corms, 3 of each species above for only £14.99, or buy 2 collections for £29. and get another collection free. That’s 27 corms in total – 6 of each species and another 3 of each species free – a saving of £14.99
- CAUTION do not eat ornamental bulbs
Staten Island Advance/Frank J. Johns A Mediterranean plant, cyclamen sometimes is called the “poor man’s orchid” for its flowers attractive, dark-green, mottled, heart-shaped leaves.
If you were fortunate enough to receive a gift plant of a cyclamen this holiday season, it is important to know how to care for it and keep it healthy.
The first thing you should know is that this is one plant that needs to be kept cool. If you’re lowering your thermostat to cut back on winter heating bills, you’ll benefit your cyclamen, too, since it’s happy with temperatures less than 68 degrees in daytime and even lower at night. Cyclamen doesn’t appreciate temperatures much above 70 degrees and the dry atmosphere that goes with them.
Beyond the benefit to both plant and pocketbook, keeping your house cooler also will make a difference in how you feel. You’ll immediately notice relief from stuffiness in your nasal passages. At night, under the covers, you’ll breathe better and feel better, too.
Too high a temperature causes cyclamen’s leaves to yellow and flower buds to wither; too little light will produce the same result. A south window is preferred, but an east or west window also are suitable. Your plant will appreciate high humidity, i.e., placement in a shallow tray of water with pebbles to keep the pot above the water.
GROWN FROM TUBERS
Cyclamens grow from tubers that are round and rather flat on top. The tubers are the storage organs that keep the plants alive during their summer dormancy. Avoid watering the tuber itself and wait until the soil surface feels dry before watering, however, don’t wait until the plant becomes limp.
Cyclamens prefer to receive a good soaking, then dry out partially before receiving another good soaking. Remember, don’t let your plant sit in water; empty the saucer of it after a few minutes.
Fertilize cyclamen every three or four weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer as you would your other houseplants. Overfeeding will produce more foliage than flowers. To remove dead flowers or leaves, steady the plant at soil level with one hand, while using the other to reach in and pull off the aging stem with a snap.
Your cyclamen is a Mediterranean plant originating from parts of Europe, western Asia and parts of North Africa. Sometimes called the “poor man’s orchid,” its flowers look like shooting-stars and its foliage is attractive, with dark-green, mottled, heart-shaped leaves. Miniature cyclamens are just smaller-flowered plants. They tend to be a bit more heat-tolerant and bloom longer.
The florist cyclamen traditionally is sold during Christmas season and winter. If you love to garden and miss all the flowers once your garden has been put to bed, you will love cyclamen. It wakes up and takes over as your garden goes into its long winter nap, bursting with blooms of white, red, pink or lavender, all winter long.
DON’T TOSS IT
When the garden begins to burst into bloom in April, cyclamen stops blooming, its leaves begin to turn yellow and it enters a dormant state. Most people discard the plant at this point thinking it is dying, but the cyclamen is a tuberous plant that needs to rest for awhile.
As the flowers begin to fade, gradually allow your plant to dry out for two to three months. Some of my cyclamen don’t ever appear to go fully dormant. I usually move them to an upstairs room away from the hot sun and continue to give them some water over the summer. Be careful, though; too much water will cause the tuber to rot. So, while a little water isn’t going to do any harm, you don’t want the soil to remain wet. You may place your plant outdoors out of direct sunlight during summer, in a location where rainfall won’t reach it.
Come September, when new leaves appear, you can water the soil thoroughly. If new growth doesn’t start by late October, go ahead and water it. As long as the tuber is still plump and hard, your cyclamen should be just fine. Wait for new shoots to appear and the soil becomes somewhat dry, then water thoroughly again. When your plant starts to wake up, move it to a brighter location.
WHEN TO REPOT
You should repot your plant after several years. Once all the leaves have dried, the tuber may be repotted into a container one inch larger in diameter than the old one. Set the top of the tuber level with the surface of the soil, or slightly above the soil level to prevent crown rot.
Use a packaged, peaty soil mixture and pot in a mixture of two parts peat moss to one part packaged potting soil. Choose a lightweight bag of soil rather than a heavy one.
Although I have never tried to propagate my cyclamens, I have read that, similar to potatoes, they can be divided providing each portion has both a growth eye and part of the rooting region of the tuber. Next fall this will be something I definitely will try to do.
If you didn’t receive a cyclamen during the Christmas season, a good place to purchase one will be at the New Jersey Flower and Garden Show at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison this February 12 to 15.
When choosing a cyclamen, pick one with only a few flowers that are open, but with lots of buds tucked underneath the foliage. This will ensure that you will have flowers that will develop and bloom later.
Pinch out any yellow leaves from your houseplants. Your plants will benefit from some grooming. To increase humidity, place trays filled with pebbles and water under your plants.
Lee Gugliada is past president of the Great Kills Garden Club and past director of First District Federated Garden Clubs of New York State.
Indoor Care Instructions for Cyclamen Plants
Cyclamen are January’s Plant of the Month!
Here at Gertens, we offer indoor care instructions for cyclamen plants, one of the best winter bloomers. Over the years, growers have come up with many new hybrids for us to enjoy. Some have ruffled flowers, and some varieties are miniature, but all maintain a large bright flower, usually in red, pinks, maroons and white. All Cyclamen display green or variegated heart shaped leaves.
Easy to use soil moisture and light meters can help you ensure your Cyclamen and other houseplants receive the proper water and light. Mini-floral snips are handy for trimming and shaping.
Cyclamen are a great indoor plant – easy 8 weeks plus of color.
One of the reasons our Cyclamen last as long as they do is that we build up the base of the plant first. Proper variety selection, culture and nutrition will allow the plant to grow a lot of leaves – and with Cyclamen, leaves = flowers. If you gently push apart the leaves on one of our Cyclamen you will see lots of buds coming up from the center. You can also move a Cyclamen outside in April – the plant will take a freeze, but you should be careful to acclimate the plant so the change isn’t too great, both from a temperature and sunlight perspective.
Cyclamen are actually a type of bulb or more specifically a Corm (a short, thickened vertical stem). Their native habitat is the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. In your home, Cyclamen like to be a little on the cooler side with temperatures around 61˚F and in direct light or bright indirect light.
While in bloom, keep the root ball moist and feed the plant every two weeks. Cyclamen should be kept moist by watering in a tray and allowing the roots to take up the water rather than watering from above the plant which can lead to rotting. Remove yellow leaves and spent flowers.
When cyclamen are done blooming they can be discarded or the corm can be saved. After the foliage dies back, the plant should be left to dry. The corm should then be dug and repotted in midsummer and placed in a warm place so it can establish roots before returning it to a cool 55 – 60˚ F. to encourage flowering.
Cyclamen are a long-established speciality and our impressive record of Gold Medals awarded at the RHS London Flower Shows is a testament to the quality of our plants. We offer an extensive selection of species and cultivars, all raised here on the nursery from our own collected seed.
We believe that cyclamen should have a place in every garden. Although originating mostly from lands bordering the Mediterranean, several species are perfectly hardy in Britain and they have proved indispensable for providing colour in the garden in autumn, winter and early spring. The autumn flowering cyclamen are an irresistible part of the autumn scene, while the winter and spring flowering cyclamen are delightful companions for hellebores, snowdrops and other spring flowering bulbs. All have exquisite flowers and often have quite distinct fragrances, but even when not in flower, the foliage of many of these cyclamen species is outstanding.
If you are able to visit us, we feel sure that you will be impressed with the inspirational displays in our sales greenhouse, where you can select your plants for purchase. The cyclamen house, where we raise our cyclamen, is a wonderful sight in autumn and early spring when many of our stock plants are in flower. You will also discover carpets of cyclamen growing in our beautiful nursery borders against a fine backdrop of shrubs, conifers, herbaceous perennials and bulbs.
Alternatively, if you visit on ‘John’s Garden’ Open Days in autumn or winter, you will see how the nursery owner John Massey has used cyclamen in his own garden to stunning effect.
Common name: Persian violets
Origin: 23 species from Central Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. Native habitat ranges from alpine meadows, deciduous woodland, and areas of rock and scrub
Culture: Good drainage is essential; note that all the above microclimates are likely to have freely draining or rocky soil. Florist’s cyclamen prefers bright indirect light, while Cyclamen hederifolium and Cyclamen coum can be planted in full sun or light shade since they will be dormant during portion of the year when hot sun might burn them.
In the ground, cyclamen need no supplemental water. Container grown, the soil must neither dry out completely nor be soggy. Use a freely draining potting mix, plant the tuber with its crown just above the soil surface, then add 1-2 inches of gravel or grit on top.
Maintenance: Varies some by species. For the two hardy species, Cyclamen hederifolium and Cyclamen coum, very little maintenance is required. Clear up spent leaves and flowers at the onset of hot weather if desired, and ensure the area receives as little supplemental water as possible (none is best) until the first fall rains bring about active growth.
For florist’s cyclamen (which has been bred from Cyclamen persicum), some special care is required. It can neither tolerate freezing nor having the soil constantly wet, so it must be kept in a protected, covered location.
During cold snaps, more protection such as bringing it inside may be necessary, but one must also keep in mind that prolonged temperatures of 68 degrees or warmer will force it into “summer” dormancy. Therefore, a garage or basement may be the best protection during cold snaps. Water containerized cyclamen by setting its pot in 2-3″ of water for about 30 seconds, and do so only when dry at least an inch down from the top.
Pest and Disease: To say the slugs like the leaves may be going too far, but in winter, a slug will eat any leaf it can find. Since cyclamen generally prefer places with some protection from winter rain, slug bait should be a viable control option.
Botrytis (grey mold) prefers many of the same conditions as cyclamen, and can be an especially bad problem for container grown cyclamen. Treatments include strong fungicides and are not always effective, so prevention is of the utmost importance. Keys to prevention include: not overwatering and never pouring water onto the crown, planting containers with the top of the tuber above the soil and then covering with an inch of grit, cleaning up spent flowers promptly, encouraging good airflow (especially at night,) and avoiding excess nitrogen in the fertilizer.
Cultivation – FAQs
The questions and answers below are based on emails received by the Cyclamen Society Panel of Experts.
The questions most frequently asked relate to Cyclamen pot plants (florists’ Cyclamen or Cyclamen persicum cultivars) so these appear before those dealing with other ‘hardy’ species growing in pots or in the garden. Many questions need very similar answers, but correspondents have said it is helpful to find something closely resembling their own problem.
If you have questions not answered below, you can email us at [email protected] – but please read the FAQs first, it may also save you having to wait for a reply! If you do email a question, please be sure to mention where you live. It makes a big difference whether you are in the northern or southern hemisphere, in the Arctic or at the equator and your email address may not help us to work this out.
Cyclamen Pot Plants
What are the basic requirements of a Cyclamen pot plant?
Cyclamen pot plants need a light position but not too much direct sunlight. A window ledge that does not face south is ideal but on frosty nights, unless you have double-glazing, you should bring it into the room. It will be happy at normal room temperatures but shouldn’t get too hot and will last much longer in a cool position (55°F/13°C).
Watering incorrectly generally causes the most problems, usually when too much water has been given. The leaves may go yellow or flop if too much water is given but this is often taken as a sign the plant is thirsty and more water is given, which makes the problem worse, often with fatal results. So, always wait until the compost feels fairly dry but avoid waiting so long that the plant becomes limp. You can water from either the top or the bottom but afterwards the pot should be allowed to drain properly and any water remaining in the saucer or potholder after 5 minutes should be tipped away. If possible, avoid splashing the centre of the plant as rot often starts there where the leaf and flower stalks are packed together.
You can feed with a pot-plant liquid food (e.g. Baby Bio) about every 2 weeks, but be aware that overfeeding is more likely to produce foliage rather than flowers. Dead flowers or leaves should be removed carefully by giving their stems a sharp tug.
I live in the USA and usually have rain. However, lately (late July) it has been very hot. The plants’ leaves are turning yellow and are dying. They are no longer blooming. They are in a wood planter and I water them only when they need it. What is going on? Are they going to a dormant stage or are they dying? Please help me save my plants if I can.
Cyclamen are Mediterranean plants and follow the regime of ‘come into growth in autumn (fall)’, ‘grow through winter and spring’ and ‘go dormant in the summer while there is no rain & loads of sun’. They flower either in autumn or spring.
Yours are probably florists’ cultivars of Cyclamen persicum that flowers in spring as a species but the cultivars will flower all through the growing season. Putting it simply, your plant is going dormant for the summer and you should stop watering until September/early October. If you keep them too moist over this period then the tuber may rot.
The leaves of my cyclamen are turning yellow. Does this mean I watered too much?
It could mean that. I assume that you are talking about a florists’ cyclamen – that is, a Cyclamen persicum cultivar that you keep in a pot in the house. If it is this sort, the most likely causes are overwatering or keeping it in too warm a place. Since Cyclamen are native to the countries that surround the Mediterranean and grow in the autumn, winter and spring, too much warmth means it feels like summer and time to go dormant for a few months, as a tuber (a bit like a small potato) under the soil/compost. You should keep it in a cool place (50F is ok) and let it almost dry out between waterings. The idea is to give it a good soaking, let it use up all the water (without the compost getting so dry that either the plant wilts or it is so dry it won’t wet again), and then soak it again. You can expect that by the end of April it will want to go dormant anyway, so you should stop watering then until September. If it is not a florists’ cyclamen, the problem could still be too much water, but you would have to tell me more about it.
I have recently acquired a cyclamen and have no idea how to care for it. I don’t know the exact species. The first 2 weeks I had it there were no problems. It bloomed and seemed healthy. Now it looks sick. It has gone from being thick with leaves to very thin. I normally have no trouble with plants and they are all over my house in wide variety, but this one has me done.
I guess you are talking about a Cyclamen pot plant you bought in a florist’s shop or garden centre? If so, it is likely that you are keeping it in too warm a place in the house. They really need to be kept cool (50F) and not overwatered. You don’t say where you live, so I can’t guess what your outside temperatures or rainfall, etc. are like, so I will assume that it is at least similar to the southern U.K. i.e. warm but not hot summers, rain on and off all year, at least some frosts in winter.
In this situation, you cannot grow the plant out of doors except during the summer months, when it should be dormant anyway. You can easily grow it as a houseplant provided you keep it fairly cool. It won’t be too happy with a house heated to 20C/70F with the dry atmosphere that goes with that. Keep it in the coolest place you can, away from radiators. It will like sun but not getting scorched on a south facing window ledge. Don’t keep watering it. Give it a good soak by standing the pot in a few inches of water for a while, let it drain, then leave it alone until the compost is quite dry, before giving it a good soaking again. After it stops flowering in about April (northern hemisphere) the leaves will go yellow and wither. Stop watering at this time and put the pot somewhere cool and dry for the summer. When you get the chance during the dormant period, repot the tuber (it will be like a small flat potato) into a slightly larger pot. If possible, use compost that is loam based, with added grit and a handful of something like peat as well. You can use soil-less compost but it makes watering more difficult – especially at the end of the dormant period when you want the compost to take up moisture again. In about September (or when you see growth starting), soak the pot. If no growth had shown when you watered it, wait for shoots to appear before watering again.
I have just received a lovely, potted cyclamen from a friend on the occasion of my Mother’s passing and would dearly love to keep the plant healthy and beautiful for as long as possible. I live in the outskirts of Washington D.C. in the U.S. and don’t know if my clay soil will be healthy for the plant. Also, it gets very hot and humid here in the summertime. The plant is good-sized, has medium green/silver veined leaves, the flowers being almost perfectly white with deep magenta edges, the edges being highly ruffled.
If it is a potted Cyclamen it is almost certainly a florists’ cultivar of Cyclamen persicum. They really like cool conditions and, if they get too hot, will tend to go dormant. C. persicum is a Mediterranean plant which grows at (generally) low altitude and is not frost hardy. It comes into growth in the autumn (fall), flowers in the early spring (February-March) and goes dormant for the entire summer. The cultivars are normally grown in pots as houseplants – but here the problem is that they really want temperatures around 50-55F when in growth and the dry heated conditions we tend to live in these days in the winter don’t suit this. So you need to find as cool a spot for it as possible. It could be planted out, but would prefer a well-drained soil, and is likely to go dormant at some point. Also, I don’t know what your winter temperatures are like, but you would have to lift and repot it if you have frosty winters. Please take into account that repotting Cyclamen when in growth is not the easiest thing to do. Really I would recommend that you let it go dormant in its pot. Repot it into something larger in a free draining compost which will re-wet OK in the autumn (the compost it is in is probably peat-based and will be really difficult to re-wet), keep it dry (but not totally dessicated) over the summer and let it come back into growth in the autumn.
Please tell me that, although I was negligent and left my potted plant exposed to too much sun one day, it will survive. It continues to wilt and die.
The top growth will almost certainly die off. This is not too much of a concern as at this time of year (northern hemisphere – April) Cyclamen are starting to think about going dormant for the summer anyway. I am saying this, of course, without knowing where you live. Cyclamen have a tuber (similar in some ways to a potato) that is the storage organ they use to remain alive during their dormant summer period.
They come into growth in the autumn (fall) and, if we are talking about a florists’ cultivar (which is derived from Cyclamen persicum), will come into flower between Christmas and roughly March. Often it is possible to buy them in flower in the autumn (fall), as they can be forced to flower by artificially controlling temperature and light levels. The important thing for the moment is for you to keep the compost just moist until the plant decides if it is going to put up new leaves now or go dormant. If it decides to go dormant, overwatering it will possibly end up with the tuber rotting. Even if it does put up new leaves now, it should still go dormant for the summer, in which case you should keep it almost dry and in a cool place until about September.
I have a question about my cyclamen. I have no idea what species it is, but maybe you can help me. I bought it about a month ago and the flowers stopped growing. It is a potted plant and it lives in the living room of my apartment. I put it next to the window and open the blinds during the day. The leaves were turning yellow for a while, but I put some Miracle Grow on it and the leaves now look fine. Is there anything I can do to it to make the flowers start growing again?
I suspect that what you have is a florists’ cultivar of Cyclamen persicum. This is really the only sort that would be sold as a pot plant (as opposed, that is, to something you may buy in a pot from a garden centre or nursery, which is more like a rock plant). C. persicum cultivars really prefer cool conditions (55F) and not too dry an atmosphere. Also, although they do like some sun, in the wild C. persicum is either a woodland plant or it will hide its tuber under rocks with just the leaves and flowers poking into the light. Around now (northern hemisphere – April), it is likely to be going dormant for the summer and the leaves can be expected to be going yellow soon anyway. When this happens, let it become fairly dry and have a rest (without the compost getting so dry that you can’t get it wet again!).
I recently received a cyclamen plant as a gift. It was originally in a plastic container. I do not know the species, but it had 4 to 5 pinkish flowers, which drooped or hung somewhat, and green leaves. The plant flourished at first, and then the flowers slowly began to disappear. Over the next few weeks, each leaf began to die. When there were approximately 4 to 5 green single leaves left, I repotted into a larger clay pot with the addition of plant food, in an attempt to save the plant. However, this attempt was to no avail as the plant subsequently and apparently died completely. Additionally, the only trauma the plant received was a few eaten leaves by cats shortly after the plant was brought home. I watered from the bottom only and according to your instructions contained in your online article. Now, no leaves or flowers exist – only the root system is left. Please respond to the following questions at your earliest convenience: Will the plant return from the soil? Is it merely dormant? What should I do? What did I do wrong? How can I tell the species?
If your Cyclamen was sold as a pot plant, it is almost certainly a florists’ cultivar derived from Cyclamen persicum. At this time of year (northern hemisphere – April), I would expect any cyclamen to be thinking about dormancy.
They basically grow in the autumn (fall), winter and spring, and are dormant in the summer. Just when they go dormant will be determined to some extent by they conditions under which they are growing. Too much heat in a sunny window, for instance, will encourage early dormancy, whilst growing in light but cool conditions may see them continuing into mid-May. I suggest you run with what the plant wants to do, and when the leaves have gone yellow, withhold water and let it rest until September. Keep the pot in a cool place, if possible, and dry – but not so dry that the compost will never wet again!
Please help me. I’m killing it. A friend gave me a Cyclamen last Sunday and I have already had two leaves turn yellow and die, and three more are turning yellow. I seem to be killing it rather quickly. I have watered it from the bottom, pouring off water not soaked up in 15 minutes. I have given it some half strength liquid plant food. I tried it in a north facing window, then an east facing window where it got quite warm, and now have it back in my only north facing window. What can I possibly be doing wrong? We live in the top of the Rockies at about 8700 feet elevation. There was nothing to tell me what kind it is, but I assume she got it at the grocery store. It is very small, in a very small plastic pot, one of those decorated with a paper cover over the pot and a matching bow. I removed the paper cover and put it in a saucer. I would appreciate any information you can give me.
Cyclamen are essentially Mediterranean plants (in the widest sense) and therefore follow a growing season of:
Come into growth in the autumn (fall);
Flower in the autumn, winter or spring; and
Go dormant in late spring/early summer.
Your plant is very likely to be a florists’ cultivar, bred from Cyclamen persicum, which has been retarded by starting the tuber off late. C. persicum naturally flowers through February-March-April, but the florists’ forms are brought into flower anytime from (northern hemisphere) September through April. In any event, I would expect it to be going dormant around now (northern hemisphere – May), and it will rest in its tuber until about September. I suggest you keep it more or less dry (but not dessicated) until about September, then give it a little water and leave it until you see new growth appearing before watering normally.
‘Normally’ in this sense means: Soak the pot, then let it use up the moisture until the compost is fairly dry, and then soak well again. Cyclamen do not really appreciate a constant dribble of water. They like to be kept in good light, but not direct sunlight, and cool – maybe 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep away from central heating etc. The yellowing leaves are probably due to over-watering and/or getting too warm. I would suggest that once all the leaves have gone (or turned yellow & been pulled off) you have the tuber out of the pot and put it in something larger. Since you need to keep it dryish over the summer, choose compost that will re-wet easily. Peat based composts often dry out too much and are difficult to re-wet again. Whilst it is dormant, try to keep it as cool as possible. Certainly keep the pot out of direct sunlight.
Do indoor varieties of cyclamen go dormant? I have a few pots that were beautiful in the winter and now (northern hemisphere – May) barely have any leaves. I thought that perhaps they were not getting enough light since the amount of sunlight may have decreased as the foliage on the trees has created a great deal of shade around our house. But having just read about cyclamen on your home page I was wondering if perhaps they are just going dormant. These are miniature cyclamen. Do you have any insight into what may be going on with these plants and what I should do to restore them to their former beauty?
Yes, they have gone dormant. They should certainly have done so by now, although I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had been some weeks ago. They need to be allowed to rest until the autumn (fall) by keeping the pots dryish and in a cool place out of direct sunlight. If the tubers (a bit like a potato) are still in the original pots – which are usually rather small – then I suggest that while they are dormant you should repot them into something a little larger, but do not water them. Try to use compost that will re-wet fairly easily – maybe something which is loam-based, with some extra grit in it. The problem with most peat-based composts is that if they dry out completely the air trapped in them prevents them from re-wetting. If you get this problem I suggest you add a couple of drips of hand dish-wash detergent/soap, which will not harm the plants, but will act as a wetting agent.
In the autumn (maybe September, but possibly into November) when new leaves start to shoot, give the pots a good watering. Soak them well, and then don’t water until they get dryish – then soak again. If you get worried that they aren’t doing anything by late October, as long as the tubers are still plump and hard they will be OK, but you can start them into growth by watering at this point. Don’t worry about shade. Cyclamen persicum from which the florists’ Cyclamen are derived, is basically a woodland plant. They love cool shade.
I have just bought a white Cyclamen from a store, and was hoping that you could give me a really brief description on how to care for it. (i.e. when and how much water; how much sun; fertilizer; etc.) I have just started getting interested in plants, and therefore any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated. I really don’t want to kill such a beautiful plant. I live in an apartment that receives morning sun and is fairly bright the rest of the day (although without direct sun after 11 a.m.).
The main things really are keep it cool, out of direct sunlight, and don’t over-water. Let it dry out, then stand the pot in several inches of water to give it a good soak then let it drain and leave it until it is fairly dry before repeating the process. What you have is probably a florists’ cultivar of Cyclamen persicum that has been forced into growth. They are naturally winter-spring flowering plants.
Could you please tell me when a good time to transplant it would be?? I am still getting new budding shoots on my plant, but I know one of these days, it will be too big for the small pot it’s in.
Best time is when it is dormant. Really, you should wait until the plant ‘starts to move’, and then repot. For example, assuming the leaves die off and it goes dormant in April, then if you repot in July you should find that the roots have just started to produce a few new shoots, although there is no evidence of growth above the compost. The only downside to this is that if you pot it into moist compost then it may start the plant into growth before you really want it to.
‘Hardy’ Cyclamen Species
I know this may be a silly question, but how do I know which way up to plant a corm
It’s not really a silly question! Up to a point, it depends on the species. However, as a general guide – assuming there are no visible roots, then you will find that one side has the growing point, and the other side has nothing. Plant with the growing point upwards. Otherwise, if it’s saucer shaped, plant with the convex side downwards/concave side upwards. Incidentally, they are tubers, not corms!
I bought some hardy cyclamen last fall, before I found out they were possibly not hardy in my Zone. I live in the USA in Zone 5, Kansas City Missouri. I believe we are pretty far into this zone, but I am not sure. We have fairly mild winters here–not a lot of snow, but we do get down into the sub-zero Fahrenheit temperatures for about 2 weeks in mid-winter. I found no leaf growth this summer, but now have found that all four bulbs are flowering quite profusely. I was surprised, as I assumed that they did not make it. My question is: will they begin to grow leaves over the winter? Do I need to mulch them? I have them on the north side of my house, and I did not plant them very deep, as you do not plant the indoor variety very deep. How fast will they multiply?
It is likely that the plants are Cyclamen hederifolium. I will assume that this is the case, but you may care to look at the Species pages on this web site and see if they match what you are seeing in your garden. Leaves will come before flowering finishes. You could mulch them, but this is better done during the summer, not now they are growing. If they are C. hederifolium, then they really are bone hardy and will survive the climate you describe – particularly if there is snow cover during the very cold spell. Incidentally, they do not have bulbs, but tubers – a bit like a potato. As for depth – they may pull themselves a bit deeper, but they don’t really need to be deep under the surface. They will only multiply by seed. They should set seed fairly freely which will be spread around by insects. It takes about 2-3 years from seed to flowering.
Planting depth is critical. Eventually the corms will sit on or fractionally below the surface but when planting new ones it is best to bury them ever so slightly under the surface of the soil. They root better this way and when ready, they will work their way up to the level that feels most comfortable for them. Now when I say ever so slightly, that is exactly what I mean – no more than half an inch or the flower stems may rot off.
Space the plants about a foot apart (nine inches if you are feeling extravagant and want a brilliant show) and before you plant, work in as much well-rooted leaf mould or multipurpose compost as you can. Hardy cyclamen really love earth that is organically enriched – but not with farmyard manure which can be too rich for their modest appetites.
What you can also do is mulch around the plants with chipped bark for as well as suppressing weeds and keeping in moisture it will act as the perfect seedbed. When the flowers fade and spiral their seed heads down into the soil, they will have cool crevices in which the seeds will happily germinate.
At frst you’ll notice a rash of small leaves but over the years they will increase in size – and so will the corms at their base. It will not be long before your plantation increases in size and adds to its spectacle, cheering you up each autumn with a rug of colour.
Don’t miss Alan’s gardening column today and every day in the Daily Express. For more information on his range of gardening products, visit www.alantitchmarsh.com.
Cyclamen are wonderful winter blooming plants that are popular around the holidays. But indoor cyclamen plant care is different than it is for other houseplants. Don’t worry, this detailed guide will give you everything you need to know about how to care for cyclamen indoors.
Like I mentioned above, cyclamen are popular winter flowering plants, and for this reason they make very popular gift plants around the holidays. The flowers last for a long time, and they are gorgeous!
Unfortunately, most people throw their cyclamen away once it’s done blooming because the plant will go into its normal dormancy state, and people think that it’s dying, or that they killed it.
But, with the right cyclamen plant care, you can keep your plant for years, and get it to bloom over and over again!
In this detailed cyclamen plant care guide you will find…
- Information About Cyclamen Plants
- Cyclamen Plants Growing Season
- Cyclamen Temperature Tolerance & Location
- Watering Cyclamen Plants
- Cyclamen Humidity Requirements
- How Much Light Do Cyclamen Plants Need?
- Repotting Cyclamen Plants
- What Fertilizer To Use For Cyclamen
- Cyclamen Flowering Season and Dormancy
- What To Do With Cyclamen After Flowering
- Cyclamen Propagation Methods
- Controlling Houseplant Pests On Cyclamen
- Troubleshooting Common Problems
Information About Cyclamen Plants
There are tons of beautiful cyclamen varieties to choose from, some of them have ruffled flowers and others are rounded. You can even get an adorable miniature cyclamen plant.
Whatever variety you choose, you can’t go wrong. All of them have large bright flowers which appear to float above the gorgeous heart shaped foliage.
A common question I get asked about them is: “is a cyclamen plant poisonous?”. The short answer is yes. Cyclamen plants can be toxic to cats, dogs and humans.
So, if you have any fur babies or kiddos running around, it’s best to keep this one out of reach.
Adorable miniature cyclamen plants
Cyclamen Plants Growing Season
Cyclamen plants have an opposite growing season than most indoor plants. Since they are a winter flowering plant, it means that they grow and bloom during the cooler winter months, and go dormant during the heat of the summer.
That’s why they’re such popular gift plants around the holidays, and throughout the winter. It’s also why they made my list of the top flowering houseplants!
This is perfect for those of us who live in a cold climate, because cyclamen plants bloom just when we need them the most – during the dark dreary winter months!
Caring for cyclamen indoors isn’t difficult, but since the growing season is opposite, it’s very different than other houseplants. Use this as your cyclamen plant care guide, and you’ll be good to go!
Potted cyclamen houseplant
Indoor Cyclamen Plant Care Instructions
The biggest mistake people make with cyclamen plant care is trying to force their plant to grow year round. Most people don’t realize that cyclamen plants need a period of rest, or dormancy, in order to survive.
When the plant begins to go dormant, the leaves will start to turn yellow and die, and this is completely normal.
But most people think they’re doing something wrong, so they try to save the plant by giving it more water or light or heat… only to end up killing it for realsies (not that I would know anything about that… grumble, grumble)!
Once you understand how cyclamen plants grow, caring for them will be so much easier!
Growing cyclamen outdoors
Cyclamen Temperature Tolerance & Location
Cyclamen houseplants are super fussy about the temperature, and if they get too hot, it will force an early dormancy.
They like to be kept cool, but they’re not frost hardy. It’s best to keep indoor cyclamen plants growing in a room where the temperature is kept between 50-70F. The cooler they’re kept, the longer the flowers will last too.
They’re also very sensitive to drafts, so avoid hot or cold drafty air (like heat vents or drafty windows). Providing the ideal cyclamen growing conditions is pretty easy during the winter, simply put them in the coolest room of your house.
But again, make sure they stay away from any heat sources (heat vents, fireplaces, space heaters…etc).
Gorgeous red cyclamen plant
Watering Cyclamen Plants
Cyclamen watering is another thing that is a bit different than most houseplants. Like African violets, cyclamen plants don’t like getting their leaves and stems wet. So it’s best to water a cyclamen plant from the bottom rather than from the top.
To bottom water plants, fill the plant tray or cache pot with water, and allow the plant to soak up the water through the holes in the bottom of the pot.
Once the soil is wet, dump out any water that’s left in the tray, and allow the excess water to drain completely from the pot. But never allow the plant to sit in water for an extended period of time.
Cyclamen plants like to have their soil kept evenly moist during their active growing period. Be careful though, consistent overwatering is a cyclamen killer!
Allow your cyclamen to dry out slightly between waterings, just so the soil is dry to the touch. But don’t allow it to dry out completely, or to stay dry for too long. Check the soil each time you water, and only water the plant if the soil is dry.
If you’re not sure how to keep the soil properly watered, I recommend getting a soil moisture gauge to help you out. Using an African violet pot would be perfect for growing cyclamen plants, and would be a great help to protect against overwatering.
Light pink cyclamen plant flowers
Cyclamen Humidity Requirements
Another important piece of successful cyclamen plant care is humidity. Humidity is especially important during the winter months, and cyclamen plants like a lot of humidity.
Heating our homes during the winter sucks the humidity out of the air, and that’s not just bad for our skin, it can be pretty tough on houseplants too.
To help increase the humidity level around your cyclamen, you can run a humidifier near the plant. You could also try putting it on a pebble tray filled with water (don’t let it to sit in the water though).
Other great options are to grow your cyclamen in a small plant cloche, in a sunny bathroom or kitchen, or try using a mini indoor greenhouse.
To help you maintain the proper humidity level, you can keep an indoor humidity monitor near your cyclamen plants to make sure the air doesn’t get too dry for them.
I love this hot pink cyclamen plant!
How Much Light Do Cyclamen Plants Need?
Cyclamen plants like bright light, but they don’t like it hot so keep them out the sun. Direct sunlight is too intense for them anyway. In the house they will do just fine in a bright room, or near an east or west facing window.
Repotting Cyclamen Plants
If your potted cyclamen has outgrown it’s container, you can repot it into a larger one. The best time for repotting cyclamen plants is while the plant is dormant.
General purpose potting soil will usually work just fine for planting cyclamen. An African violet potting mix would work great for growing cyclamen in pots too.
But if you tend to under water your plants, or the soil dries out too quickly, then I recommend adding in some peat moss or vermiculite to help the soil retain moisture.
Make sure to plant your cyclamen in the new pot at the same depth it was growing in the old pot. Don’t bury cyclamen tubers too deep, they should be kept slightly above the soil line.
Cyclamen has gorgeous foliage
What Fertilizer To Use For Cyclamen
You can feed your cyclamen houseplant using a weak half dose of liquid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks while it’s actively growing and blooming. Stop fertilizing once the flowers begin to fade, and never fertilize it when it’s dormant.
When you bring your cyclamen out of dormancy, you can start fertilizing again when the plant starts to put on new growth. A good rule of thumb is to only feed cyclamen plants while they have leaves growing.
I recommend using an organic compost fertilizer, which you can get in liquid form or buy compost tea bags and brew your own.
An African violet organic plant fertilizer or a general purpose houseplant fertilizer would work great for fertilizing cyclamens too.
Miniature potted cyclamen plants
Cyclamen Flowering Season and Dormancy
In nature, cyclamen plants bloom during the winter, and go completely dormant during the summer. Cyclamen houseplants follow a similar pattern, and will go dormant shortly after they bloom.
After the flowers fade, the leaves will start to turn yellow and fall off. Eventually the plant will die all the way back to the soil, and officially begin it’s dormancy.
When this happens, most people think that they killed the plant so they’ll throw it out. But just like an amaryllis, cyclamen plants need this dormant period in order to bloom again.
So don’t toss it out! With the proper cyclamen plant care during dormancy, you will be able to get your plant to bloom again year after year! Read about bringing plants out of dormancy.
My cyclamen plant ready for dormancy
What To Do With Cyclamen After Flowering
Once the leaves begin turning yellow and the flowers start to fade, it’s time to prepare your cyclamen for dormancy. Follow these cyclamen growing tips to help your plant though dormancy, and get it to rebloom again next year.
- Once the leaves start to turn yellow, stop watering the plant and allow all of the leaves to die back
- Remove the dead leaves and place the pot in a cool, dark location for 2-3 months
- Allow the soil to dry out completely, and don’t water the plant during it’s dormancy
- After 2-3 months, bring the plant back out of dormancy and give it a good drink of water, make sure to soak the soil and allow all the excess water to drain away
New cyclamen flower buds starting to open
Wait until you see new growth before you water the plant again. Once you start to see new leaves growing out of the soil, you can begin watering and fertilizing it regularly.
Shortly after the leaves grow, the plant will start to bloom. Woohoo! I sure do love those gorgeous flowers.
You can store your dormant cyclamen plants outside during the summer in a shady spot where they will stay dry if you prefer, but make sure to move them back inside before it gets below 50F.
Growing a cyclamen plant in water
Cyclamen Propagation Methods
Cyclamen plants can easily be propagated by dividing cyclamen tubers and potting each one into it’s own container. Each individual tuber will grow into a new plant.
They can also be grown from seed, but it can take a year or so before cyclamen seedlings will start to bloom so this method of propagation is definitely much slower.
Controlling Houseplant Pests On Cyclamen
Pests are rarely an issue with healthy cyclamen plants, but spider mites and fungus gnats can become an issue.
Spider mites thrive in dry environments, and won’t survive if it’s too humid. So get rid of them by raising the humidity level around the plant.
You can gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth the help control spider mites, but don’t spray anything on your cyclamen plant or you could damage the leaves.
Fungus gnats on the other hand live and bread in wet soil. They are just a nuisance and rarely do damage to a plant.
If you see gnats flying around your cyclamen houseplant, allow the soil to dry out a bit more between waterings. You can use a yellow sticky trap to help control fungus gnats. Learn how to get rid of houseplant bugs here.
Cyclamen leaves turning yellow means dormancy is starting
Troubleshooting Common Cyclamen Plant Care Problems
- Cyclamen yellow leaves – Yellow leaves on indoor flowering plants can mean that the plant is getting too hot and is starting to go into dormancy. Move the plant to a cooler location, and keep it out of the direct sunlight. Yellow leaves on a cyclamen plant that has just finished flowering is a sign that the plant is going into it’s dormancy period, and it’s totally normal! See the section above about cyclamen dormancy.
- Cyclamen flowers drooping – Droopy cyclamen leaves and flowers are usually caused by improper watering. Check the soil level to make sure it’s not too wet or too dry. See the section above to learn how to water cyclamen plants.
- Cyclamen leaves look dirty and deformed – If the leaves or flowers look like they’re dirty or faded, take a closer look at the plant. Check the undersides of the leaves for signs of spider mites, you might notice their webbing before you see any bugs (spider mites are teeny-tiny). See the houseplant pests section above for more details. Learn more about how to get rid of spider mites on houseplants.
Where To Buy Cyclamen Plants
Since they are winter blooming plants, you probably won’t be able to find cyclamen for sale during the summer.
But it’s usually easy to find cyclamen plants for sale at your local garden center during the winter, especially around the holidays.
Otherwise you can buy cyclamen plants online, or order seeds if you want to try your hand at growing them from seed.
With proper cyclamen plant care, these beautiful plants will bloom year after year during the holidays, or shortly after! Perfect timing for winter! And now that you know how to care for cyclamen plants indoors, you’ll be able to enjoy the flowers year after year!
If you struggle with indoor plant care and keeping your houseplants thriving through the cold winter months, then my Winter Houseplant Care eBook is perfect for you! It will show you exactly how to care for your houseplants through the long winter months, and give you tips for growing even more indoor flowering plants. Buy your copy today!
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- How To Care For A Voodoo Lily Plant
Do you grow cyclamen indoors? Share you cyclamen plant care tips in the comments below!
Growing Hardy Cyclamen Outdoors: Hardy Cyclamen Care In The Garden
By Mary Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener
Cyclamen need not only be enjoyed in the home. Hardy cyclamen lights up the garden with showy mounds of silvery-white foliage and heart-shaped leaves that appear in autumn and last until the plant goes dormant in late spring. Deep rose-pink blooms appear in late winter and early spring. Fall-blooming varieties are also available.
Although this woodland plant looks delicate, hardy cyclamen is vigorous and easy to grow. The plant pairs well with other small woodland plants such as hellebores, ajuga, or trillium. Hardy cyclamen tops out at 3 to 6 inches (7.5-15 cm.).
Planting Hardy Cyclamen Bulbs Outdoors
Growing hardy cyclamen outdoors is simple as long as you follow a few general guidelines. Hardy cyclamen is difficult to propagate from seed, but you can plant bulbs, or tubers, in late summer or early autumn. Plant the tubers with the top of the tuber just below the surface of the soil. Allow 6 to 10 inches (15-25.5 cm.) between each tuber.
Unlike florist’s cyclamen that grows outdoors only in warm climates, hardy cyclamen tolerates cold climates and freezing winters. However, this cool climate plant doesn’t survive where summers are hot and dry.
Hardy cyclamen grows in nearly any type of loose, well-drained soil. Dig a few inches of mulch, compost, or other organic matter into the soil before planting, especially if your soil is clay-based or sandy.
Hardy Cyclamen Care
Care of hardy cyclamen is simple and the plants require minimal maintenance to look their best. Water the plant regularly during spring and summer but don’t overwater because the tubers may rot in waterlogged soil.
Brush excessive leaves and debris from the plant in autumn. Although a light layer of mulch or leaves protects the roots from the winter cold, too much cover prevents the plants from getting light.
Divide tubers in late summer, but don’t disturb old, well-established tubers, which can grow to the size of a plate and produce hundreds of blooms every year. One tuber can sometimes live for several generations.
Caring for indoor Cyclamen
The small-flowered varieties of Cyclamen persicum (or so called ‘florist’s’ forms) come in white, crimson or magenta and are in a different league to the large-flowered, large-leaved brigade, which feel rubbery, overfed and coarse in comparison.
The scale of the mini ones feels right at this time of year and fits with their hardy cousins, Cyclamen coum, as well as snowdrops and aconites beginning to poke their way up into flower in the garden.
Displaying indoor cyclamen
- Don’t just buy and plonk your indoor cyclamen – they’re worth the effort of a bit of doctoring. The plastic pots they come in don’t do these winter-flowering tubers justice, so plant them up in a brightly coloured bowl or something sparkly and shiny.
- Try not to disturb the roots – you’re doing this for aesthetic reasons only – planting them into a loam-based compost with added grit and a handful of peat.
- You can use a soil-less compost, but it makes watering more difficult, especially at the end of the dormant period when you want it to take up moisture again.
- Gently firm the roots into the new pot or bowl and cover the compost with dried leaves or an emerald-green cushion of bun moss.That’s how they’d look in the wild and it’s always a good aim with houseplants to recreate this as closely as possible.
- Then spread the flowers out from the base. They tend to clump together, but teased out gently and evenly between the leaves, the flowers look lighter and more elegant.
- One of the great things about indoor cyclamen is if (like me), you are a bit hit and miss with your house plant care, they are pretty easy and reliable, looking good for six to eight weeks in our cold house.
- They’re happy at room temperature (about 55F/13C), but shouldn’t get too hot. Find them a light position, without too much direct sunlight.
- In the wild, Cyclamen persicum grows in deciduous woods, or you might find it more out in the open, with its tuber hidden under rocks and just the leaves and flowers poking into the light.
- Too much heat in a sunny window will encourage early dormancy, while growing in light, but cool conditions may see them continue to flower into mid-May.
- I have mine on east and north-facing window ledges, bringing them out more prominently onto our main dining table as and when I want them, but putting them back in between times.
- Cyclamen don’t like freezing temperatures (don’t let them fall below 50F/10C), so on frosty nights I try to remember to bring them into the room.
- As far as watering goes, they don’t like much – the worst thing is a constant dribble of water. Keep them moist, but not dripping wet.
- Once a week I sit the pots in a tray of half an inch of water and leave them overnight. Then the whole root ball gets a good drink and the compost rehydrates. I then drain them and leave them for another week or so without water.
- If water collects in the base of the saucer or pot-holder, tip it out and don’t water again until the compost feels fairly dry. Dead head and remove any dead or dying leaves with a sharp tug to the stem.
Follow the life cycle
Cyclamen persicum are Mediterranean and follow the common pattern of coming into growth in the autumn, growing through the winter and spring and then going dormant while there is no rain and intense sun in the summer.
To help recreate conditions as similar as possible to their native environment, stop watering when they stop flowering and let the leaves go yellow and wither.
This is usually in April, but could be a few weeks later. Then put them somewhere cool and dry (but not totally dry as the compost is then tricky to rehydrate), for the summer.
If you keep them too moist in the dormant months, you may lose your tuber to rot. While plants are dormant, repot them into a slightly larger pot, teasing out the roots.
You can store them outside in the summer, but Cyclamen persicum are not hardy, so bring them into the house again before the frosts begin.
In September (or when you see regrowth), start watering again. Soak the pot well. If no growth shows when you water it, wait for shoots to appear before watering again.
In the right cool place with gentle watering, they should be in flower again soon after Christmas and will get bigger and better each year.
Small-flowered indoor Cyclamen persicum varieties have now made me realise I don’t have nearly enough of the hardy garden Cyclamen coum at Perch Hill for this time of year.
This looks best in carpets as big as you can throw them, almost as lovely in leaf through the autumn as it is in flower now.
My favourites are the deepest magenta colour forms which look good growing outside or arranged inside in a small glass with snowdrops or a few early primroses.