The Indoor version of the Cyclamen plant is called ‘Cyclamen Persicum’ or ‘florist’s cyclamen.’ They are attractive plants with aromatic heart-shaped blooms and white marble leaf patterns that are unique to their species.
Cyclamen Persicum is native to islands in the Mediterranean. They grow in deciduous woods in the wild. The tubers of Cyclamen are hidden under rocks while the leaves and flowers poke out into the filtered light.
It has heart-shaped leaves and is often also referred to as the ‘poor man’s orchid’.
The indoor Cyclamen plants prefer cool conditions, which makes them a great choice for keeping indoors.
In their natural habitat, Cyclamens get active in autumn, bloom through the winters into spring, and then become dormant in summer.
Advantages of Growing Cyclamen Plants
Cyclamen plants are readily available in garden centers during winters. They are quite cheap and affordable.
Cyclamen are beautiful and fragrant flowering plants that bloom throughout the winter months. When the rest of the world is dormant and covered in snow, Cyclamens are a delight to have indoors due to their attractive colors and sweet fragrance.
Indoor Cyclamen plant is different from other common houseplants as it has the opposite growing season.
Unlike most house plants, Cyclamen are winter bloomers.
After blooming till spring, Cyclamen goes into a dormant state during summers. It looks as if the plant is dead. However, they aren’t dead; they are just sleeping.
With proper plant care, you can help it rebloom year after year.
Under the right growing conditions (temperature and light), Cyclamen thrive as they are Hardy plants. They reach up to a length of eight inches high and bloom for weeks (6-8), requiring very little care.
The Different Varieties of Cyclamen Persicum
Cyclamen Persicums are hybrid varieties from the native parent plants. All of them have scented small flowers measuring half to three fourth inches on long stems. They have beautiful five upswept petals with white marbling leaf patterns. It is a tuberous plant that is perennial. The flowers are available in shades of pink, red, violet, and white.
There are three conventional hybrids of Cyclamen Persicum available in the market. They are as follows:
- Sierra series – Sierra series have slightly big flowers (2-3 inches) and are available in white, pink, purple, scarlet, and lilac.
- Scentsation variety– These cyclamens have small flowers and have a strong sweet smell. The flowers are usually pink and red.
- Victoria series– These Cyclamens have characteristic white flowers with a red mouth and red margins.
Care Guide for Cyclamen Persicum
Cyclamen Persicum or Florist’s Cyclamen are very easy to grow indoors. They do not require a lot of care as they come in the hardiness zones seven and eight.
They are especially popular during the winter holiday season. Cyclamen plant bloom for weeks and look strikingly pretty and full of elegance. Let us now look into how to care for them.
Cyclamen plant is usually grown indoors in pots. They should be kept in a cool dark place when dormant.
How to water Cyclamen plants?
Cyclamen plants like their soil moist but not soggy. Always water near the base of the plant. Avoid pouring water over the leaves or the flowers as this can cause the plant to rot.
Touch the soil surface with your finger and water them when it feels dry to touch within an inch. Cyclamen plants are sensitive to overwatering and rot quickly. They should be allowed to dry a little between watering.
Take care not to let them become completely dry as that can dehydrate the plant. You can give it a little water, but not enough so that it makes the soil soggy.
In case you’re not sure how much water is enough, it’s best to get a soil moisture gauge and use it while watering the plant.
Stop watering the plant in the dormancy period. Remove the dead leaves and flowers. Do not water it again until you see new growth.
Next, give it a good soak for an hour and allow it to dry completely. Return to the regular watering routine once growth starts.
How much light should the Cyclamen plants get?
Give your Cyclamen indirect sunlight. A sunny window with direct sunlight can make the plant go into dormancy. The best place is an East or North-facing window.
Without bright light, there will be fewer blooms, and the plant will not bloom in a dark room.
However, when the plant is dormant in summers, it should be kept in a cool shady spot with some air circulation.
Soil requirements of Cyclamen Plants
While Cyclamen Persicum should be
It should always be planted with the top of the tuber half an inch below the soil line. Give them any well-drained soil.
Usually, any generic potting soil will work for the cyclamen plants.
Cyclamen require slightly acidic soil. An excellent way to increase acidity is to add sphagnum peat.
Always check with a soil pH test kit before mixing the sphagnum peat into the top two or three inches of soil. To reduce the acidity, add limestone. The acidic range should be 6-7.
Cyclamen do equally well in a soil-less based potting medium.
Temperature requirements of Cyclamen Plants
Cyclamen grow in a temperature range of 4 to 15-degree celsius ( 40-50F), which is close to their native environment. They will not bloom in temperatures above 18 degrees celsius (65F) or below 4 degrees C.
Cyclamen are temperamental and like cold environments with good air circulation. The flowering lasts for a couple of months if the conditions are suitable.
Warm rooms will give them a short-lived flowering phase and their flower buds will begin to wither.
Do Cyclamens require humidity?
Cyclamen Plants are Mediterranean species and prefer high humidity. It’s recommended to do daily misting when they are in bloom.
An excellent way to ensure a humid environment is to place a pebbles filled tray of water beneath the pots. Make sure the soil does not touch the water.
You can also consider adding some peat moss or vermiculite which can help retain some moisture.
Fertilizer requirement of Cyclamen Plants
Cyclamen plants only need fertilizer once a month during the blooming season.
Do not fertilize them in the dormant period. An All-purpose liquid fertilizer, preferably with high phosphorus and low nitrogen, will work quite well for the plant.
Remove the yellow leaves and dead flowers while the plant is blooming. Pruning will help the nutrients to go to the healthy parts of the plant.
When the plant begins its dormancy period, the flowers and leaves start to drop. Plants do this to prepare for dormancy. Help the Cyclamen by removing dead leaves and flowers. You can use scissors or simply pinch them off.
Some Problems While Growing Cyclamen Plants
Cyclamen plants are susceptible to grey Mould when kept in overly humid conditions. The fungal growth occurs due to excess water and less ventilation.
Remove the affected part and place the plant in a bright area with good air circulation.
Make sure to never over water the Cyclamen plants and remove the dead leaves and flowers. Spray the plant occasionally with a fungicide during the blooming season.
Although Cyclamen are Hardy plants, they can get infected with red Spider mites. Deformed, or yellow curled leaves are signs of mite infestation.
Use an organic insecticide like Neem oil to get rid of mites. Mites thrive in dry conditions. Keeping the environment around the plant humid helps to prevent mite infestation.
Once the dormant period begins, remove the leaves, flowers, and the stems carefully to prevent the plant from becoming sick. Twist the stems gently while making sure there is no damage to the core.
Cyclamen Plants are toxic to dogs and cats. Keep them out of reach of pets. The plants cause digestive problems for them.
Cyclamen should be repotted once in two years. It is a good idea to do this in summers with fresh soil and a larger pot. Fill the new container with fresh soil.
Lift the tuber out from the original pot. Remove the traces of the old soil as much as possible. The top of the tuber should be approximately two inches from the rim.
Cyclamen Plants are a lovely addition to houseplants. Being perennial, they bloom during the winter months and become dormant in summers.
Exact temperature requirement is essential to help them bloom. Once they do, enjoy them throughout your winter months.
These are are a delight to the eyes, and their fragrance spreads cheer in the cold winter months. An important thing to remember is to keep them away from pets as the plant is toxic to them.
Give your Cyclamen plants bright indirect light and humid environment to see them thrive. They may appear dead in summer, but they are just sleeping ready to bloom again in winters.
Place them in a shady area for summers. Start watering around September, and soon you will see new growth.
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