Every year when the weather becomes cooler, the cyclamen starts blooming with nice smell and colorful flowers. If you want to learn how to care for cyclamen, all you need to do is to follow these steps. We’ve gathered everything you need to know about the care of cyclamen.
Cyclamen is a common name for perennial flowering plants from the Primulaceae family. Generally, natural habitats of cyclamen are forest openings and rocky places. It has a genus of 23 species. On the other hand, cultivated as ornamental plants, cyclamen has a big number of hybrids and cultivars. Naturally capable of growing in pots and gardens, we can see that cyclamen are sold as “indoor plants”. Especially in winter, this gentle plant starts to multiply in everywhere with various colors.
Also known as the Persian Violet in Europe, cyclamen has an exceptional fragrance. Europeans must have loved this fragrant plant so much that they brought the cyclamen from where it grows naturally in the Middle East, Anatolia and Mediterranean countries to their own countries. Nowadays, cyclamen is loved in various parts of the world.
Cyclamen is used as a color name in the public. Because the cyclamen is the first image that comes to mind when said “fuchsia’s pink tone”, it is associated with this color.
Even fashion designers explain this color as “cyclamen color” while buying fabrics.
The most significant feature of the cyclamen, whose height is around 5-10 centimeters, is it’s kidney to heart-shaped leaves.
When does it flower?
It’s possible to run into a certain phase in cyclamen every period of a year. Because cyclamen likes colder weathers, the plant blooms in fall or winter. Within this time plant blooms either constantly or in certain periods. We can say that, between the end of September and early April is the period when cyclamen starts flowering. Cyclamen goes into a dormant state when the effects of summer are felt, around the end of April. Vital activities of the plant almost pause during hotter months. After summer, plant buds and goes back to bloom in autumn. This is the yearly routine of the cyclamen. Cyclamens that are sold in shops have different habits. They don’t always have a resting period in summer. But there is one thing that doesn’t change in other kinds of cyclamens that they like colder weather and breeze.
Although generally the flowers have various colors; white, pink, purple or red colors can be seen. But apart from that, it will also bloom in purple or cream.
Cyclamen is traded continuously because their continuity in nature has decreased and this has jeopardized the future of the plant.
Ideal weather for the cyclamen
Cold endurance level varies according to the type of the cyclamen. Some species cannot withstand even a few degrees below zero while some can withstand – 30 degrees Celsius. Cyclamen flowers are also known to be compatible against extreme frost. But we can say that resistance to the cold air ranges from – 7 to – 10 degrees Celsius. Extreme cold can damage the leaves and buds. Only the flowers that have bloomed will be affected. In winter, during very cold days the plant should only receive the wind that blows from the North.
What are the growing conditions of the cyclamen?
Primarily the plant loves bright and breezy places, it should be placed away from the other plants because it needs plenty of fresh air.
When considered as an ornamental plant, it is preferred to be grown in gardens, balconies and parks. The home atmosphere is very challenging for cyclamen (for both native and hybrid species). But if desired, the plant can be kept for a few hours inside the house on some days of the week. If you can ventilate and provide air flow in your home, you have a chance to grow cyclamen indoors. It would be more appropriate if you can provide a sunny and breezy corner in the house. But plant should not be exposed to the direct sunlight. The best environment for the plant is a dim-lit place. On sunny days, you can use blinds to protect the leaves.
As cyclamen is a bulbous plant, when the plant goes into drying process you should keep the bulb in a cool and dark corner under the soil. You can observe the drying process mostly in June when the leaves turn yellow. Plant should be kept dry until autumn, when the plants start blooming again. You must clean out the dried and yellowing leaves.
Cyclamen is a pretty delicate plant when it comes to watering; it should be watered lightly.
In summer, you can meet all the water needs of cyclamen by watering it at least twice a week. An important factor to be considered while watering it is that you should make sure every part of the plant is watered. Soil of the plant should be watered 360 degrees around the plant. Using the same amount of water every time for watering is very important. In fact, the plant should be watered in the same days of the week. Water must be infiltrated 4 cm under the soil. You also need to check that no water left under the pot after watering. You should make sure that there are holes underneath the pot. It should be noted that cyclamen does not like very wet and soggy soil.
While watering during winter, you must be sure not to use cold water. Water must be at room temperature. Also while watering the cyclamen, water must be soft and have a lower level of mineral content.
If everything is going well and your flower is in a good condition; we recommend you not to change your water measure and schemes.
Warning: Tuber in the middle of the cyclamen is very much prone to rotting. Therefore, it must not come into direct contact with water. You should water abundantly in a broad circle around the plant. Instead of a soggy soil, you should provide a damp soil.
What kind of soil for cyclamen?
It’s important for the cyclamen to have a rich peat soil with humus and good drainage. If natural soil is preferred, humus rich black soil is the ideal choice. In order for a healthy foliate and blossom soil, it must be mixed with silt. Silt is fertile soil carried by rivers. You can also add sheep manure and fine pumice stone powder to soil. If you cannot find real soil, you can use humus added soil for ornamental plants. Soil you choose for the cyclamen will feed the plant for a season. When you get to the next season, if the roots have grown towards the bottom of the pot, it would be good to switch it to a bigger pot. It’s needed to achieve a healthy root development and efficient blooming.
It’s important not to change it to an extra large pot when re-potting. Cyclamen placed in a large pot, will have poorer bloom for trying to feed the roots more. You only need to use a size larger pot.
How can we tell if cyclamen doesn’t like the conditions?
If the plant doesn’t like the conditions, then it will go to an earlier resting period. If the environment of the cyclamen is not cool enough and doesn’t have airflow, it will likely go to the resting period. If you intent to re-pot, you should wait until the plant goes dormant and keeps the soil dry for two weeks, and then you can continue with the re-potting.
Features of the Hybrids
The information we have written above are generally valid for a natural grown cyclamens.
There are two kinds of hybrid species. There are hybrids called Florist’s Cyclamen that are very showy and the hybrids that stand in cold temperatures in gardens in Europe. In case of Mediterranean climate; hybrid’s vital activities in general, features and blooming occurs accordingly to the natural plants like we have discussed above. Hybrids can bloom any time of the year, unlike other species. It can grow without entering the summer sleep.
Problems faced when growing cyclamen
- Leaves of the cyclamen should be cut off from the bottom part when they turn yellow.
Reasons why leaves turn yellow: Usually this is a problem that can be seen because of hot and dry weather. Temperature of the environment of the cyclamen should not be higher than 15 degrees Celsius. If there are yellowing leaves even though weather conditions are fit, exposure to direct sunlight or not adequately addressing the need for water might be the reason. However, if the entire plant has faded, you should consider the possibility whether the plant has been watered too much. You should try watering from the bottom.
- If your cyclamen no longer blooms; do not worry. The problem may be about the weather conditions. If the plant stops flowering immediately, air in the room might either be too dry or you might be watering too much/too less.
- If you encounter problems such as decaying or suberization, it is probably because of too much watering.
Reproduction of cyclamen
Reproduction with seeds is the easiest method. In the late summer, sow the seeds to the soil 4 cm apart from each other. Then lightly water. If the temperature is appropriate, germination will begin shortly. But if temperatures are still high, the germination will halt until the weather cools down.
In reproduction process of the cyclamen, method of duplication from the bulb is also used. Instead of leaving out the entire bulb, it should be planted to leave only the half of the bulb out. Soil should be watered only when it dries out. This method should be followed when the plant goes dormant due to the fact that the bulb is prone to decay.