The cyclamen plant is a lovely perennial tuber from the Primulacaea family, native to Mediterranean countries such as the Greek Islands, Turkey and some parts in Europe.
The name “Cyclamen” comes from Greek origins- Kylos, or “ring” which explains how the seeds twist and turn as they grow.
A Cyclamen’s leaves are dark green, shaped like a heart, and its surface usually bears a striking pattern marked in a lighter green or white shade. The flowers are upswept and come in a variety of pastel hues.
The “regular” Cyclamen grow anywhere from 12 to 18 inches, while the mini cyclamen types reach a height of around 7 to 8 inches.
A Little Cyclamen History From England!
The Cyclamen plant was known in England as early as 1735. During that time, the Cyclamen flowers would bloom after 4 or 5 years of careful nourishment. Thanks to modern cultivation, growing methods and cross-breeding, Cyclamen blooms beautifully in only less than a year.
Naturally, the Cyclamen blooms from January till March when the air is colder, then rests during the warmer summer months.
Cyclamen plants are a favorite for use as an indoor flowering houseplant, and it’s because of a number of things.
One, the variety of bright-colored flowers are astounding – you can see multicolored ones, pure whites or in any shade of red.
Today’s persicum hybrids are the most sought-after variety of the Cyclamen tuber. There are also different sizes to choose from; the miniature cyclamen varieties come in a number of bright shades, and they can bloom as much as the bigger sized varieties!
This potted plant is perfect for those who wish to decorate their living space with fresh, colorful blooms. You can take cyclamen flowers and put them in vases or in table decorations, where they’ll lend an exotic, delicate look in any area of the house.
How To Care For The Cyclamen Plan
The Cyclamen Plant is quite sensitive to heat, so make sure to place this lovely plant in a cool location. Otherwise, the high temperature may cause the flowers to prematurely wilt and wither.
If possible, place the Cyclamen in a bright window facing north. Optimal temperature should never go above 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Often Should You Water Cyclamen?
Watering your Cyclamen requires a careful approach. Do it several times per week. Don’t just pour water above the tuber as it can spoil the Cyclamen buds, leaving the plant to rot.
It’s best to water from the bottom up (sub-irrigation) from under the pot and in the saucer, or around the edge of the pot.
Wait for a good 15 to 20 minutes, then remove the water that wasn’t absorbed by pouring them off the saucer. This is where “self-watering planters” excel.
Water them daily during the hotter summer months. Additional nourishment can be provided in the form of liquid plant food, but only at half strength and only on occasion.
When Do Cyclamen Bloom?
The Cyclamen Plant blooms during colder climates and stays inactive during the hotter months.
It rests for awhile after the flowers bloom, which is the perfect time for additional care and maintenance. Gradually reduce watering time and food.
If possible, put your Cyclamen plant outdoors and find a shady spot for it to rest on.
Tips On Cyclamen Plant Care & Maintenance
Cyclamen plants require regular grooming. Remove the withered leaves and flowers as they can replace them profusely during the months of September to March.
Repot your Cyclamen by placing them in a larger pot filled with either potting mix, like an african violet mix or fresh peat moss.
Remember that these sensitive tubers aren’t too keen on extreme temperatures, so make sure to bring it indoors come wintertime!
Mold in plants, especially the Cyclamen can be deadly to the plant. It appears as small, brown patches and may appear in the Cyclamen’s rotting stems and the blooms, or it can leave gray mold deposits nearby.
Cyclamen flowers should bloom in large numbers and the leaves should be large as well. The appearance of small leaves and flowers could mean that your Cyclamen is suffering from malnutrition.
Don’t overcompensate by feeding over the recommended amount of plant food nor providing water that your plant could not absorb.
Remember that liquid plant food should be at half strength, and only water around the edges.
Withering and dry spots can appear if the Cyclamen leaves are exposed to prolonged sunlight.
Grooming should be done naturally as to prevent deformation. Don’t use a “leaf shine”. Instead, use soft brushes for cleaning and leave out the sprays for your other plants.
Cyclamen Plant Buying Tips
When shopping around for Cyclamens, look for the ones that exhibit fresh, green and juicy leaves. The buds under the leaves should be abundant. The best selection of Cyclamen appear during fall season until Christmas time.
Many think that a Cyclamen plant is just a one-time tuber for gifting, but once you get familiar with it and know better, you can make the Cyclamen bloom during the colder months time and again.
These plants aren’t hard to maintain, as long as you water it carefully and keep it away from direct sunlight.
Video: Tips On Watering, Selecting And Requirements Of The Cyclamen
Cyclamen is a wonderful indoor plant during the winter season. In the video below you’ll learn the best conditions for cyclamen indoors, important watering tips, selecting plants and more.
Attractive foliage, coupled with a long blooming period where it produces lots of colorful flowers makes cyclamen an excellent color addition indoors.
There is a wide variety of flower colors ranging from soft pastels of pink, white and purple.
Cyclamen Propagation: How To Grow Your Cyclamen Collection
Making new plants out of your existing Cyclamens can be fun and rewarding. You can utilize a soft paint brush on a well-developed bloom, gently flicking on it until the pollen falls down.
Collect the pollen and return it to the flower’s stigma. Continue to water the plant and place it in a cool spot. With luck, the seeds will ripen somewhere from May to June.
Collect the seed and stem, then let it mature further by placing it in a dry, airy area for around 6 to 8 weeks.
Put the seeds in a special sterile seed soil, then put the soil in a mini-greenhouse or tray that you can easily cover with plastic.
TIP: The plastic containers you find at the grocery with spring mix and spinach make excellent “starter greenhouses” for seeds.
Ensure that the soil mix is moist; place the container in the dark to allow germination for about 4 to 8 weeks. Allow more light as they grow and make sure the soil mix is moist at all times.
Separate the healthy seedlings when they appear to have a few leaves. Place them in separate pots with a thin soil layer until they grow to maturity.
Alternately, you can propagate your Cyclamen using the division method.
Cut the tuber in two during the Cyclamen’s rest period, dip it into a fungicide solution, then replant it in separate pots to allow further growth.