Cyclamens offer a stunning contrast of colors between the foliage and flowers. The heart-shaped leaves are pale to deep green with white markings in different patterns. The flowers are seated on the ends of single stems, and the petals range from white to pink or purple. Most petals have darker colors on the ends that vary in shape. The cyclamen is approximately 8 inches tall, blooms from late autumn to early spring and is a colorful alternative to cold-weather holiday flowers, such as poinsettias. Cyclamens require specific conditions to flourish indoors and are typically tossed out after the first season rather than kept to re-bloom.
Things You'll Need
Select cyclamen plants that have only two to three open flowers with stems that stand up straight. Take the plant that has the most buds underneath the foliage.
Put the cyclamen in a room that is approximately 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night and less than 68 degrees during the day.
Maintain slow steady air movement around the plant. Place a fan set on low speed far enough from the cyclamen so it does not ruffle the leaves but keeps the air moving.
Make certain that the plant receives adequate indirect sunlight, at least eight hours daily, from late autumn to early spring. Place the plant in an east-facing window. Move the cyclamen during the day, if necessary, to catch the sunlight.
Soak the plant over a sink until water drains out the bottom when the soil surface is dry to the touch. If the plant begins to droop, you have waited too long to water it. Repeat the process every time the soil is dry. Keep water away from the center of the plant to avoid root rot.
Feed the cyclamen with an indoor, water-soluble fertilizer mixed at half strength. Apply the fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season and every three to four weeks thereafter while the plant is flowering. Gently pull off any dead flowers and leaves.
Tips & Warnings
- Cyclamens love humidity, and a large, shallow drain tray underneath the pot provides it as the excess water evaporates.
- It is possible to re-bloom the plant in some instances, but this effort requires further time and attention, and the resulting plant will not as vibrant as the original.
- Over-watering is a typical mistake that leads directly to root-rot.
- Temperatures over 70 degrees Fahrenheit will retard the health of the cyclamen.
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