Cyclamen Basic Plant Care
Cyclamen plants bloom in the late winter to early spring but are commonly given as holiday gifts thanks to forced blooming in a greenhouse. The heart shaped leaves of pink, red, or white leave behind a sweet scent that lends to the Cyclamen’s popularity. Care for cyclamen as houseplants or grow where hardy in rock gardens, borders, or raised beds. Care of Cyclamen plants is relatively easy as the plants require a cool, moderately humid environment with bright filtered light.
Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) Care: Light Requirements
Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) plants thrive best in bright filtered light. The direct sunlight of the summer is too harsh and drying for the cool weather plant. A position in full light during the winter is preferable. Cyclamen houseplants prefer a cool environment between 55-70oF. Take care to bring outdoor plants inside before a frost.
Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) Care: Water Requirements
Cyclamen enjoy an evenly moist environment with moderate humidity. As a cool weather plant, Cyclamen do not perform well under hot, dry air or drafts. Water moderately when in full leaf and avoid the crown. The leaves will wither after flowering. Reduce watering at this time. Keep dry during Cyclamen’s dormant summer months. Begin watering again when growth (leaves) reappears.
Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) Care: Fertilizer Requirements
For cyclamen care, apply a low-nitrogen liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season. The increased potassium and phosphate fertilizer will enhance the blooms while still providing adequate nutrition for the foliage of the Cyclamen plant.
Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) Care: Pests & Diseases
Mice or squirrels may cause problems during care of Cyclamen. Plants are also susceptible to other pests such as spider mites, vine weevil, and cyclamen mite. Gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) is an example of pathogen problems that may occur under glass. Gray mold usually results in plants that have been kept in an environment that is consistently too wet and humid. Gray rot typically produces noticeable gray spores on infected parts of the plant. These should be removed and placed in a paper or plastic bag for disposal. Take care to wait until the leaves have no standing water as heavy periods of moisture are the ideal time for spreading the infection. If Botrytis blight has been a problem before, avoid overhead watering systems, misting, and excessive watering of the Cyclamen plants.
Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) Care: Propagation & Potting
Cyclamen persicum should be planted in a soil-based potting mix or soil that allows for good drainage while retaining essential moisture. Plant Cyclamen with the tops of the tubers just above the soil surface. When tubers fill the pot, Cyclamen plants should be repotted into a slightly larger pot.
If continuing on with seed, sow in darkness at 43-54oF as soon as ripe. Soak all seed in water before sowing and rinse thoroughly. Open-pollinated seeds should be grown in summer but will not produce growth until the early winter of the next year (about 14 months). Other seeds should be planted in late winter to mid-spring and will produce growth the fall of the same year (about six to eight months).