Age-Old Wisdom meets Modern Tools
Cyclamens (Cyclamen persicum) are attractive, easy-care houseplants that will bloom continuously throughout the winter months. They are a unique alternative to the traditional holiday poinsettia.
C. persicum have brightly colored flowers of white, red, or pink suspended above attractive, heart-shaped leaves on slender stems. Some people think they resemble butterflies in flight!
When selecting this winter-blooming houseplant, choose one with lots of buds that are just starting to open and sturdy, succulent leaves.
Cyclamens will bloom near the Christmas season and continue blossoming for two to three months.
Cyclamen Plant Care
The most important things to know about cyclamen plant care is to give these houseplants bright, indirect light, fresh air, good humidity, and moist soil without keeping the tuber so wet that it rots.
- Place plant in an east window or a southern exposure. Day temperatures of 60°F to 65°F and nights at 50° to 55°F are ideal. Do not let temperatures get about 70 degrees or the plant will think it’s time to go dormant.
- To keep the plant moist, water cyclamen thoroughly when the soil looks and feels dry on the surface, however, avoid watering the leaves or tubers in the center, which may rot if it remains too wet. A safer method is to place each pot in a saucer of water for about five minutes, or until the soil is uniformly moist.
- Half strength fertilizer is best, or you will get mostly leaves with few flowers. Use a half-strength portion of liquid houseplant fertilizer every two weeks while plant is in bloom.
- As each flower fades, remove the entire flower stalk from where it attaches to the tuber by giving it a sharp tug. New flowers will emerge from one of the many buds waiting just below the foliage.
After Cyclamens Stop Blooming
Some folks just treat cyclamens as disposably holiday plants, similar to poinsettia. If you wish to keep your cyclamens growing, here are tips:
- In early spring, cyclamens stop blooming; leaves will turn yellow as the plants go dormant. Gradually reduce water until June and pick off the dead leaves. Set the plants outside in partial shade, and water and feed regularly. Do not wet the center of the plant.
- In early June, stop watering altogether and expose the corms to full sun.
- At the end of July; then begin watering again. When the corms begin to develop young leaves, replant in a larger pot.
- Bring them back inside in early fall. They will usually start producing new leaves and flower buds soon, and you will have recycled your cyclamens!