Cyclamen are winter beauties with their butterfly-like blooms and silver-frosted leaves. They make an elegant holiday centerpiece; arranged among candles, ornaments or holiday greens. Cyclamen can also brighten your winter indoors, well beyond the holidays – if you keep them healthy. Read on to learn how.
While florist cyclamen (the type sold for indoor growing) do have simple needs, they aren’t quite what you may expect. If you give them a warm, sunny spot and keep their soil moist – they will quickly begin to look sick!
Cyclamen are Mediterranean plants that are naturally dormant from early summer to fall; with their dormancy triggered by warmer temperatures and their renewed growth by cooler ones. So, overly warm indoors temps (70°F and up) can shorten their bloom season, as it feels like summer is coming to them. They also possess plump tubers, rather than roots, which are easily rotted by excess water – so keeping the soil constantly moist is not advised.
Three things will keep your indoor cyclamen happy:
- Plenty of light.
- Cooler temperatures.
- Well-drained watering from the bottom – only when the soil is dry.
To water from the bottom, pour water into the plant saucer and wait for it to be pulled up into the soil, and then pour off any that remains after 10 minutes. These three keys will allow you to enjoy weeks of blooms before the plant naturally goes dormant.