Cyclamen photo courtesy of Desislava Vasileva
The Cyclamen is a highly decorative, winter-blooming plant that can be grown indoors or outdoors if you live where winters are mild. These plants are smothered with heart-shaped green leaves traced with lacy designs. As if that isn't enough, the Cyclamen blooms with big bright flowers in reds, pinks, magenta and whites, sometimes blushed with violet; the blooms being held high above the foliage on stately stalks.
The Cyclamen is showy and decorative most of the year, but it's a good idea to let your plant die back for a few months allowing the tuber ( a type of bulb) to rest before it bursts back colorfully into life. Here are some tips on how to successfully grow Cyclamen plants indoors in a pot or outdoors in the garden.
- Give you Cyclamen good light in a bright window.
- Keep your plant COOL. The Cyclamen prefers temperatures between 40' and 70'F. Hot homes will cause leaves to yellow and push the plant into dormancy.
- Allow the soil to dry just on the surface before watering again.
- Use ordinary potting soil.
- Make sure most of the tuberous base is ABOVE the soil.
- If any of your flowers set seed, clip them off so they don't drain the plant's energy.
- Let your plant drop leaves and go into dormancy as the spring and summer arrive. Cyclamen grows from tubers that should be allowed to rest for several months with less water and warmer temperatures. You can also give them less light if you want to put them where they will not be so noticable during dormancy.
- As autumn comes and temperatures cool, give a little more light until the first sprouts of green appear.
- Feed lightly to bring them into active growth.
- Remember that Cyclamen are cool growers and will not do well in a warm home for very long. Use them indoors while they are showy and move them to a cool, airy location, ideally outdoors, to grow for the rest of the year.
- Grow your Cyclamen in a shaded area
- Tubers are tolerant of some drought, but don't let them go very dry.
- Give your plants organics mixed into the soil.
- Keep seed heads removed. The seed heads look much like buds but are hard instead of soft.
- Plant perennials or small shrubs to fill the space around your Cyclamen tubers while the plants are dormant in spring and summer.
- Keep Cyclamen protected from frost.
You can grow your Cyclamen both indoors and out if you grow it in a pot. This way you can show it off indoors when in full bloom and move the container outdoors to the patio, balcony or garden for the rest of the year.