Cyclamen is a vibrant plant originating in the regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This beautiful plant comes in a variety of vibrant colors including red, pink, purple and white, with miniature cyclamens featuring a pleasant fragrance in the morning hours. Given their warm and humid native environment, these plants need a little extra care to thrive in our homes during the cold season. This guide will provide all of the information you need to select, place and maintain these popular holiday season plants in good health through Christmas and beyond.
Selecting Your Cyclamen
When looking for a healthy cyclamen, look for foliage in a deep shade of dark green. Avoid any plants with yellow foliage, which is generally a sign of either rot from excessive moisture, heat stress (soft yellow leaves), or overly dry conditions (crispy yellow leaves). After assessing the foliage, make sure that the stems of the flowers are upright with vibrantly colored flowers. If the stems are flimsy and drooping over, the cyclamen is dealing with stress from too much heat. If the flowers have a pale color, the plant has either not received enough nutrients or it has become heat stressed. If the temperature outside is below 40 degrees at the time you purchase your plant, Merrifield cashiers will cover the plant with a plastic or paper sleeve to keep it from being affected by the cold weather. Bring your plant inside as soon as you get home to keep it safe from the cold, and do not leave it sitting in your vehicle.
Finding the Right Location
We recommend placing your cyclamen in a cool spot that stays between 60 and 70 degrees. Cyclamen prefers bright, but indirect, light. The strong afternoon sun can be too much for this plant, so it will do best on an east facing windowsill or a northeast window where it gets direct morning light but is protected from the full strength of the afternoon sun. If you do place it in a western or southern facing window, place it a couple feet away from the window rather than directly on the windowsill. It should not be placed directly in a west or south facing window as it will be too hot.
Water Regularly And Use a Humidity Tray
Cyclamen plants prefer their soil to stay consistently moist to the touch and they thrive in humidity, due to their native environment on the forest floor. If you are prone to forgetting about your plants, place your cyclamen in view where you can easily water it, so that the soil will stay at the consistent moisture level it prefers. When you are watering your cyclamen, you should avoid watering the center or “crown” of the plant. Instead, water around the rim of the pot. You should be checking the plant daily to see if it needs water. If they are very saturated, you can wait a couple of days, but not too long where it will completely dry out.
Because this plant is native to a more tropical environment, the dry air in our homes during the cold season is not ideal for it. To mimic the conditions of its native environment more closely, you can use a humidifier, or you can increase humidity by placing the cyclamen on a humidity tray. You can make this tray by adding pebbles and water to a dish and placing it underneath the plant. This will increase the surrounding humidity that this particular plant craves.
Encouraging Rebloom in Your Cyclamen
If you properly care for your cyclamen, you can make it rebloom for years to come. After it has gone through its blooming phase it will drop all of its blooms and foliage. You can then place it in a location where you won’t forget about it and let it dry out a little bit between waterings. Your cyclamen will remain dormant through the summer, and will begin to grow new foliage when the temperatures cool again in the fall. The difference in temperatures in the fall with warm days and cool nights, is key to stimulating your cyclamen to bloom. If your temperatures are kept cooler at around 55 to 65 degrees fahrenheit during the day and 45 to 55 degrees fahrenheit at night for about one month, you will see it rebloom in the fall season.During your cyclamen’s growing season, feed the plant about once a month with a bloom booster, which we sell here at Merrifield. It does not need to be fertilized during it’s dormant period in the spring and summer.