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How to Grow Cyclamen Plant

Cyclamen plant

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 plants. 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 makes Cyclamen a popular gift for Valentine's Day.

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

Botanical name: Cyclamen

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

Propagation of Cyclamen Plants:

Cyclamen is most often propagated from its tubers (roots). Dig up tubers and divide 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.

How to Grow Cyclamen - Plant Care:

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.  Prior to planting, mix in compost and organic matter to 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.

High temperatures  or too little light, can cause yellowing of leaves, and flowers buds to wither before opening.

Insects and Disease:

Cyclamen plants an 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.


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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