How to Grow Cyclamen Plants

Cyclamen Houseplant

About Growing Cyclamen

Cyclamen is a popular, easy-to-grow plant, that is grown both indoors and out. Cyclamen are members of the Primrose family. They are native to Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia. There are 20 species of cyclamen plants, most of which are hardy. The plant has attractive, dark green, heart-shaped leaves. Flowers bloom profusely in a wide range of colors. It’s easy to take care of cyclamen houseplants. They grow well in semi-shaded areas, making them good houseplants. Most varieties grow about 4-6 inches, a perfect size for indoor pots and containers.

Their heart-shaped leaves make Cyclamen houseplants a popular gift for Valentine’s Day. Give them as anniversary gifts, too.

When grown as outdoor plants, we recommend they are placed in shade gardens, or areas around trees and rock gardens, similar to their native habitat.

Cyclamen Houseplant Specifications

Botanical name: Cyclamen

Plant Type: Perennial

Toxicity:  Cyclamen houseplants are poisonous plants. The bulbs and rhizomes are toxic. Keep plants away from children and pets.

Plant Height: 6 – 9 inches tall.

Flower Colors:  Single or double-flowered blooms in shades of pink, red, violet, and white.

Plant Hardiness Zone: 9 – 11

Ideal Soil pH:  6.0 – 7.0

Medicinal Uses of Cyclamen Plants

It is important to note that parts of the plant are toxic. Do not make homemade remedies unless you know what parts of the plant to use. 

 Cyclamen is used for eye diseases, gout, relief of menstrual pains, snakebites, and tinnitus. It is also used as a laxative.

Cyclamen Plant Care - Propagation

Cyclamen is most often propagated from its tubers (roots). Dig up tubers and divide them into sections. Each section must have at least one eye. Replant divided tubers, planting just below the soil level.

Cyclamen seeds can also be harvested from spent flower blooms. Horticulturalists use this method to cultivate new varieties. Growing from seed takes more time than separating tubers. Few seed companies carry the seeds.

Cyclamen Plant Care and Maintenance

Cyclamen plants grow well in a variety of soils and a wide pH level. They do their best in a rich, well drained soil, with a slightly acidic soil pH.  Before planting, mix in compost and organic matter in the planting area.

Plant cyclamen tubers just below the soil level, no more than 1 to 2 inches deep.

Water plants well, and allow the soil to dry a little between watering. Use bottom watering for indoor plants. Do not allow the soil to remain wet and soggy, as root rot can occur.

Mist leaves during periods of low humidity.

For optimum plant growth, add fertilizer monthly. For indoor plants, use fertilizer spikes or liquid fertilizer.

Different varieties of cyclamen plants will bloom at varying times and frequency.

To promote blooms:

  • Add a fertilizer high in phosphorous, and increase the light level.

  • Provide cool nighttime temperature, 60 to 65 degrees.

Remove spent blooms when they die back for a neat and tidy appearance.
High temperatures or too little light can cause yellowing of leaves, and flower buds to wither before opening.

Insects and Plant Disease

Cyclamen plants have problems with mites. It is difficult to control, and most people discard the plant.

Root rot is the most common. It can be avoided by well-drained soil. Houseplant pots need to have a hole in the bottom for good drainage.

Plant Hardiness

Most varieties of cyclamen are hardy. However, there are a few varieties that will not survive a frost. If you are not certain as to the hardiness of the variety you have, cover plants, or bring them indoors when cold weather arrives.

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