Hardy cyclamen, Cyclamen coum, have inverted petals that give them the appearance of hovering butterflies, while florist cyclamen, Cyclamen persicum, have petals that are straight. However, reblooming and propagation varies between the two species. The hardy cyclamen thrives in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, and is a lovely addition to the perennial garden. When the foliage falls back and the plant goes into dormancy, florist cyclamens are commonly thrown away. Florist cyclamen propagation is challenging and should not be attempted by the typical gardener. However, hardy cyclamens can be easily propagated.
What you need to know about cyclamen
Florist’s cyclamen is known by its botanical name: cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)
A type of low-growing plant having leaves that emerge from a corm or bulb that is primarily underground. Herbaceous in appearance (leaves die back to reshoot the following year)
Height: less than 10cm in most cases, although flower stems can reach 20cm.
Heart-shaped to oval-shaped leaves are common. Dark green on top, pale on the bottom. Spots and marks of silvery color are common.
Warm and cool temperate climates, as well as other regions, are all good candidates for growing this indoors.
Ideally, the soil should be well-drained and receptive to the addition of organic matter.
Position: in a shady, cool area of the yard or garden. During the summer, there may be some shading, but there is often good lighting. Light, morning sun, and draught-proofing are all that’s needed in the indoor environment.
From early winter till mid-spring.
A controlled-release fertilizer should be fed to livestock once a year in early winter. Feeding liquids throughout the growth of leaves and flowers.
When watering potted plants, fill the saucer halfway and let it soak up the water. As plants emerge from their winter dormancy, they need only a small amount of water, but as they grow, they need a steady supply.
Appearance and characteristics of cyclamen
Cyclamen has long been a household name among gardeners. And with good reason! In the winter and spring, it will burst with flowers and, with certain types, bright colors that many plants have yet to bloom. As an added benefit, many of them have an entrancing scent to go along with their clothing. Cyclamen, despite its reputation as an indoor plant, may thrive in the yard if given the correct conditions.
An subterranean corm (a bulb-like structure) from which cyclamen leaves and flowers emerge. When the plant is fully leafed, the corm’s rough-textured, flattened top is often not apparent, but when the foliage dies back, it can be seen.
The blooms have a particular look and feel to them. There is one bloom per 15–20cm of stem length. Flowers have a downward-facing main stem, with upward-facing petal tips. White, pink, lilac, red, and purple cyclamen flowers are among the many available hues. Many flowers are ruffled, and some of these are “fancy” ruffled varieties. Many of them have a lovely scent to them.
The silvery striping on the cyclamen’s leaves makes it an eye-catching greenery. As the cyclamen season draws to a close, these leaves, which are herbaceous in nature, will turn yellow and die back.
Uses of cyclamens
You may use cyclamen to brighten up your house or garden in a variety of ways, including:
- Potted flowers for the house
- Outdoors, in shaded locations, in pots
- Planting in large numbers beneath deciduous trees is recommended.
A cool, shaded spot with dappled shade during the summer months and moderate sunlight during the rest of the year is ideal for growing cyclamen in the garden. The soil should be open and well-drained, with a modest amount of organic matter, such as composted manure, applied if possible. During the growing season, cyclamen prefers a steady supply of water, but it must never be flooded. Using water on the corm is a no-no.
If you’re growing cyclamen in a container, be sure to provide it with bright, indirect light, preferably with some morning sun. Invest on a high-quality potting soil. If you’re watering, use a saucer and allow the mixture to soak up the water before adding more. As a result, the risk of overwatering is reduced. A reverse-cycle air conditioner’s heated output and drafts are bad ideas for the plant.
Putting your cyclamen outside at night while you’re growing it indoors can be a nice idea. It will be happier, healthier, and more productive the longer it is exposed to the night’s chilly air.
Plant the cyclamen corms just above the soil surface in containers or in your yard. Corms should be spaced around 15cm apart when grown in the garden. At planting time, water your cyclamen sparingly and seek to distribute water around the corm, rather than directly on top of the corm.
Caring for cyclamen
The corm of your cyclamen, whether it’s in the ground or a pot, should not be wetted. Apply a controlled-release fertilizer and a liquid feed with an organically fortified product as soon as the plant emerges from winter dormancy.
Late spring is a good time of year to apply a liquid fertilizer at the suggested rate. Reduce watering when leaves begin to yellow, and then water very sparingly when the plant is dormant.
How and when to prune cyclamen
Keep an eye out for fading leaves and remove them as soon as possible. Remove any remaining dead leaves at the end of the season.
Diseases and pests affecting cyclamens
Overwatering can cause rots and fungal diseases in the corm of cyclamen. Potted plants may also be infested by mealy bugs. Put them in the garbage with the rest of your plastic bags sealed.
How to propagate cyclamen
Follow these instructions if you want to cultivate cyclamen from seed.
- Flowers may generate seeds if they are allowed to grow naturally. However, because most plants have been highly genetically modified, the seed supply is extremely limited and may not germinate.
- Sow the seeds in a tray of seed-raising mix and keep the soil warm and moist while you wait for them to germinate.
- It’s possible that the germination process could take up to three months.
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Before planting, soak cyclamen seeds for 12 to 24 hours in water. Water helps seeds prepare for germination by absorbing moisture from the seed coat and germinating the seed coat. Sowing seeds in the spring, when the soil temperature is 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit, results in plants that blossom the following year, in the springtime of course. The first year of flowers from seeds sown inside in the winter is possible.
To multiply Cyclamens, you need to lift the tubers and divide them. The tubers are swollen underground. When the tubers are ready for replanting in the fall, this is the optimum time to do so. The new tubers can begin developing roots before winter arrives if the divisions are placed in prepared soil at a depth of 2 inches and covered with soil. In order to protect them from the hard winter weather, a 2-inch layer of organic mulch has been applied at this time Spring is the time of year when new growth appears.
Seed-starting cyclamens is possible, but outcomes can be irregular and unpredictable. Plant propagation is also an option, however tubers cut for propagation are more susceptible to decay. It’s best to leave these procedures in the hands of professionals who have the necessary resources to assure a successful spread.
Florist cyclamens, which come in a wide range of colors from pink and white to deep crimson, are lovely houseplants, but they are short-lived. When the plant is done blooming, it sheds its leaves and goes into dormancy. In order to keep the soil from drying out completely, it may be necessary to place the plants in a cool spot and to water them occasionally.