Cyclamen Plant Care: How To Care For Cyclamen Plants

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.

cyclamen plant care how to

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 cyclamen 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.

#1 – How To Care For The Cyclamen Plant

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 with indirect light facing north. Optimal temperature should never go above 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

#2 – 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.

#3 – 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.

#4 – When Growing Cyclamens From Seed Should They Be Planted In Individual Pots?

Trying to grow cyclamens from seed but do not know the right time to plant them in individual pots?

After the development of two or three leaves, each plant may get lifted and transplanted to a 2 1/2-inch pot. A good soil mixture usually comprises of sandy loam, leaf mold, and well rotted manure. When well established you can shift them to three-inch pots, at which time they should hold six or eight sturdy leaves.

Until they become ready to shift into five- or six-inch pots, they need no commercial fertilizer. During winter, give them a temperature of 50 to 55 degrees, maximum light, plenty of water, and good ventilation. Keeping the young plants growing during the summer makes a challenging stage but when fall comes they start up vigorously.

Cyclamens seem to require cool damp nights to do well. The cyclamen plant usually grow commercially from seeds. Eighteen months after sowing, it will reach its full bloom.

Purchase cyclamen coum seeds if you want potted cyclamen flowers indoors!

A Reader Shares: Growing Cyclamen From Seed a Slow Process

Growing cyclamen from seed may appear as a slow process. Sow the seed soon after gathering them in early spring, in a very light mixture of peat, sand, and soil. It should remain covered to twice its depth and kept moist at all times. The flat should stay placed in partial shade in a temperature of 70 degrees.

Fresh seed germinates in about three weeks. When it does, it is brought into full sun and kept watered for about four months or until little bulblets have formed and have 2 to 3 leaves. These are then transplanted into small pots and barely covered with the same light soil used for the seed.

In two years the reward will be two or three flowers. Finest plants, those producing as many as 30 flowers or more, are grown from five year-old bulbs which, by the way, should never be planted below the surface of the soil.

#5 – Should I Transplant My Cyclamen Every Year?

Did your two-year-old cyclamen alreading holding several buds this year, blast before they reached the full bloom stage? This may seem like a point when you don’t know what to do next. Should you really transplant cyclamen every year?

Anyone who managed to grow many cyclamens experiences the mite troubles. They make their presence known just when the buds appear and the plants refuse to bloom. The buds turn brown and dry and if, by chance, a bloom opens, it becomes crippled.

Crippled flowers and wrinkled foliage surely indicate mites. A person with only a few plants can keep the plants clean without too much trouble by the following a certain method.

  • Purchase a can of spray material containing at least 1 1/2 per cent rotenone.
  • Mix the spray in a pail of water according to directions and set the plant, pot and all, in the spray material. The spray should cover the entire plant.
  • Leave the plant in the pail until air bubbles cease to rise for about two minutes, then remove and set it aside.
  • Since any eggs on the plants should hatch inside of two weeks, repeat this treatment every two weeks or less using fresh spray material each time.

Two or three dippings should clean the plants of mites. Even if they did not exist in the bud, such treatment makes a good precaution as mites may hide in the crown or on the young unfolded leaves.

This dipping becomes the most effective if done after dark when the mites appear active. Mites live during the dormant period of the plant on the tuber itself and you should take proper care to free the plants from mites before they become dormant. Take the dormant tubers out of the pots in the fall, dip them in the spray material and start them over in new soil.

#6 – How Can I Keep And Make My Cyclamen Bloom Again?

You own a cyclamen which seems near through blooming. Curious about how you can keep it and make it bloom again?

Moisture in the air surrounding a cyclamen serves as the most essential requirement for keeping it growing. It requires good soil, proper drainage, an even temperature and careful watering make.

But, with all this moisture in the air must remain present. With the above conditions you may carry a cyclamen over from year to year.

Keep the plant growing. In the spring, remove the old outside leaves and shake the plant from the pot. Remove most of the soil, cut back the dead and the heavy roots, and repot the plant in a pot a size or two smaller than the one it came from.

Moreover, keep the plant in a cool moist place and in a month new growth will start. In the fall, move the plant to a larger pot and by Christmas it should again be in bud and bloom.

#7 – How To Handle The Reblooming Of My Cyclamen?

Want to know how you should handle your cyclamen after blooming so you can get flowers from it again?

In general, it cyclamen seems as a plant not worth keeping for a second crop of bloom, but with proper care, and luck, you might get something worthwhile.

After blooming, gradually dry off and rest in a cool place. Repot in new soil in July and give full light, but not sun. If corm shows vigorous growth, a profusion of small flowers will follow. On the other hand, if growth appears weak from the start, it probably will not amount too much.

#8 – How To Replant Cyclamen

Can you replant a Cyclamen plant for bloom a year after?

The cyclamen belongs to the perennial group but it appears like a bit of a gamble to carry it over for flowering next year. If you want to try, keep the plant rather cool and in good bright light but indirect light, but not in sun, as long as the leaves stay green.

When the last leaf dried, store the pot in a cool place and keep it dry. After all letting all the dangers of frost pass, set the pot on its side in the shade of a shrub. When new growth starts about August 1, shake out the old soil and repot in a fresh mixture of 2 parts loam, 1 part leafmold, 1 part each sand and dried cow manure.

Place pebbles in the bottom of the pot for drainage and set the corm so most of it is above soil level. Water thoroughly, then be careful not to overwater. Lastly, apply moisture to the soil, never the bulb.

Get cyclamen persicum species here!

#9 – Any Advice On Growing Cyclamen Indoors And Outdoors?

Like to grow some of the cyclamen bulbs and then maybe try growing some from seeds? Looking for any advice on growing cyclamen outdoors in the landscape and also as a potted plant for use indoors?

Get this indoor cyclamen potted cyclamen flower seeds from Amazon.

We obtained our first Baby Cyclamen bulb in an unusual manner. At a country fair in Connecticut, a fellow exhibitor had three plants on display. They were in full bloom with about 30 flowers on each.

At first, he would not part with one for love or money but finally my brother persuaded him to trade one for a rare begonia. From this original bulb, we have grown many hundreds of plants.

Now, when frost brightens the air and maple leaves are tinged with red, we look forward with increasing eagerness to the flowers of our Baby Cyclamen, exquisite flowers less than half an inch wide on stems 3 to 4 inches high.

These delicate pink little gems, native to the low hills of the Mediterranean from southern France to Sicily, are lovely both for house culture and for the rock garden as far north as New Jersey. Many are fragrant. These we isolate to increase our collection of sweet scented ones.

Flowers Before Foliage

Unlike the house plant cyclamen, the first flowers of this variety (Cyclamen neapolitanum) are produced before the foliage appears. When buds appear well-formed atop the bulb, apply water and repot in a good alkaline humus soil.

The soil mixture is very important. Use equal parts sand, humus, garden loam, and well decayed cow manure or peat for a well-drained soil. You want to drain off any excess water. Next, add to each bushel of this a 4-inch potful of ground limestone.

Plants do best in partial shade in an east or west exposure. They need ample water during the growing season, thrive in an indoor temperature of from 60 to 70 degrees and are seldom bothered by insect pests. Destroy mealy bugs, which occasionally appear on the lower leaf stems, with a strong soap sud spray or any good insecticide.

Flowers last over a period of six weeks. Afterward, beautifully mottled leaves mature and completely cover the bulb.

Often the blooms self-pollinate but, if you want seed, a touch of the finger from flower to flower when the sun shines on the plant in the morning will assure a good set of seed. Do this for three or four days in succession as flowers open.

Watching seed mature is fascinating. From the tip of the dried flower, the small seedpod begins to curl back slowly down to the stem to the bulb where it rests, hugging the bulb closely through the long winter.

It continues to grow to the size of a large pea. In early spring, the little spring-like stem unfurls and the hard seedpod opens to scatter seed away from the mother bulb.

In early spring, too, the old, outside leaves turn yellow. This indicates the right time to withhold water gradually, until all leaves fade. Now, the potted bulb sits in a cool airy place until flower buds come.

Cyclamen Bulbs And Flowers

cyclamen plant care

If you received a Cyclamen this year, and the flowering stopped, time to withhold water to put the tuber to rest. Leave the tuber in the soil during the artificial drought, which keeps the tuber dormant and resting.

Store the pot in the coolest place you have during the summer perhaps, in your basement. Occasionally splash some water in the pot so that the soil does not become bone dry. Otherwise, the tuber will shrivel.

When the month of August comes, knock the soil from the pot. Remove all dead leaves, and part of the old roots and soil. Give the pot a thorough scrubbing with soap and hot water before repotting.

Use the same soil mixture for cyclamen as for gloxinias which feel loose and spongy, but rich in organic matter. Equal parts good garden loam, clean coarse sand, and coarse peatmoss make the essential ingredients in this potting mixture. You can also include a handful of steamed bone meal added to each pot as it keeps the plants in good condition through the blooming season.

Replant with the top of the tuber showing about a half inch above the soil line. Keep the soil moist, and in a few weeks, growth will become active. Growing cyclamen works easier in a cool, moist atmosphere.

Allow enough sun to reach the plant so that the leaves grow a healthy green on stems that are sturdy and compact. Lack of moisture in the air about the plant, and extreme temperatures will result in a pale plant that produces few leaves, no blossoms, and it will eventually die.

Temperature Is Important

A daytime temperature of 65 degrees, with perhaps a rise to 70 during the warmest part of the day, and then a drop to 50 or 55 degrees at night should prove ideal. Perhaps you own a sunny bedroom which you do not use that could be kept closed from the rest of the house so that it would be cool.

When the plant grows in full bloom, brought into a warm room for decoration for a few hours, or perhaps a day or so. When cyclamen feels hot and dry, their leaves turn yellow quickly and buds and blossoms soon disappear.

You can easily grow cyclamen in a greenhouse. A greenhouse with a collection of tropical plants makes a great “hot house” for the cyclamen.

Pots of cyclamen may sunk in this thrive during the winter and produce many blossoms. Azaleas can also thrive in this same bench together with rex begonias, gloxinias, episcias, and other tropical plants.

Normally, planters discard cyclamen tubers after they bloom and new plants are grown from seeds which come into full flower from 15 to 18 months after sowing. This planting happens during August or September. The seeds are large enough to be easy to handle, and they are not at all difficult to grow.

Plant them a quarter inch deep in regular potting soil. Keep moist and cool (50-60 degrees) and germination will occur in four to eight weeks. When they grow large enough, move them 3 inch pots, and the following summer move the plants to 5 or 6 inch bulb pans where they will give a beautiful display of color during winter and spring.

Propagation by Division

You can also propagate cyclamen by cutting apart the tubers like a potato with each section holding one leaf or “eye”. Do this as soon as the plants finished blooming.

Slice the corm into sections. Dust the cut places with a rooting hormone, and root them in moist sand. A cool north window is an ideal place to root the cuttings. Make a “tent” of clear plastic over the cuttings to increase humidity around them.

After they become well-rooted, pot in three inch pots of regular potting soil. Summer by sinking the pots to their rims in a shaded, cool part of the garden. Keep them moist at all times, well fed and in good growth for them to bloom the following winter.

Sometimes, a cyclamen appearing anemic and sickly may be affected by nematodes. Nematodes cause knots to form on roots, and eventually food gets cut off from the plant. Bagged potting soil usually comes sterilized to avoid nematodes.

Cyclamen mites deform the leaves and flowers. Try neem oil as a preventive treatment. If your plant does become infested, burn it immediately.

Aphids feed on young leaves and buds. Tiny black, threadlike thrips give the undersides of the leaves and stems a scaly look, and streak the flowers. On the other hand, red spiders attack plants growing in a room that is too hot and dry.

Cyclamen stems and leaves seem very succulent and full of water. If one of the stems rots and falls over others, it may cause rot on healthy growth. Watch your plants and keep bad leaves and stems trimmed off.

A cyclamen received at Christmas time and placed in a cool east window where the air feels moist, should continue to bloom through the winter. If buds seem to stop coming in February, keep the plant in the same place and fertilize it regularly with a house plant water-soluble fertilizer. Buds will appear again in March or April.

#10 – What Is The Secret To Cyclamen Blooming Outdoors Over 20 Years?

A florist cyclamen has bloomed in a California garden for 20 years. At times, they seem difficult to grow indoors, yet the owner prepared two garden beds – one under a tree and the other on the north side of a garage. This does not fail according to them in every season of the year.

The plants bloom for four months during the late winter and early spring. During this period, temperatures may fall to as low as 15 degrees, but the plants always carry through, Blooming starts at temperatures varying from 37 to 47 degrees at night and an afternoon high of 45 to 55 degrees, perhaps 60 degrees.

The florist uses soil from a compost pile to which they added 1/2 cupful of bonemeal per gallon and if the soil feels heavy, a cupful of sand.

The mixture should be rich, porous and slightly acidic. Alternatively, you can use leafmold, peatmoss or cow manure.

The plants increase in numbers by seeds, usually sown from August through October. You can also sow them monthly to provide a succession of bloom throughout the year. The farm uses the same soil mixture for the seed and one can also inject this in the pots directly into flats 1/4 inch deep and 2 inches apart each way.

In May, the successful gardener give the flowering plants a feeding of liquid fertilizer – a level tablespoonful of good garden fertilizer per gallon of water. This helps build up the corm for next season’s flowers.

The growing cycle generally ends in June when the corms become gradually dried off. From there, they take up the corms to get it sorted but they leave them in the beds due to the absence of summer rains. In September or October a few corms will show sprouting eyes, and they reset them about 8 inches apart.

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.

Check for the presence of aphids when you see curled leaves or crooked leaves underneath. Neem oil is a good natural insecticide.

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, look for hardy cyclamen plants exhibiting 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 Cyclamen houseplants are 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.