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How to care for a Cyclamen plant

What are Cyclamen plants?

This striking plant is a species of flowering perennials, popular in homes and gardens throughout autumn and winter. Taking proper care of your cyclamen plants before and after flowering ensures they will come back year after year. Knowing a few simple tips and tricks can help you on your way to becoming a cyclamen care expert.

Shop cyclamen plants at Longacres here.

Indoor Cyclamen

The indoor variety of cyclamen, also known as florist’s cyclamen, are common for their bright and eye-catching flowers in shades of white, pink and red. They begin to flower in the autumn, and will continue for approximately six weeks before entering a dormant period over summer.

Indoor cyclamen thrive when kept in a bright and cool space, that isn’t in direct sun as this could scorch the leaves. Watering cyclamen plants is essential, and the pot should have adequate drainage holes in the base to allow excess water to drain away. The soil needs to remain damp, but standing water at the base of the pot could result in root rot.

We recommend placing your cyclamen plant (whilst still in its plastic pot with drainage holes) into a slightly larger decorative pot with a closed base. This is to ensure the plant has optimum space for the water to drain away from the roots, without risk of the water spilling over your counter or floors.

Outdoor Cyclamen

The outdoor variety of cyclamen, grown from tubers, are a popular plant found in gardens over autumn and winter. Cyclamen grown outdoors are a hardier variety compared to the indoor plant, as they will have to withstand colder temperatures.

Outdoor planted cyclamen thrive in well drained soil, and waterlogged ground could result in rot. To ensure your cyclamen is in good soil, add a mix of mulch and compost into the soil below the roots to aid in drainage.

Even though outdoor cyclamen are better suited for colder temperatures, extreme frost or snow can damage the plant. To protect the leaves and flowers during harsh temperatures, add a layer of mulch to the base of the plant, or cover with a fleece frost guard overnight.

Cyclamen care post-flowering

Cyclamen are often given as gifts, yet once their flowers have died and the leaves turn yellow, they are commonly thrown away. However, with the correct light and temperature, these plants can come back year after year.

Outdoor planted cyclamen will die back and go through the dormant period naturally. They will begin to flower the following year without needed intervention, as temperatures in the ground change and rainfall increases. Indoor cyclamen require a little more attention to ensure bright blooms the following season. We recommend following these simple steps to give your cyclamen plant the best chance at a yearly bloom.

  • Once the leaves have begun to turn yellow, gradually reduce the amount of water given to the plant
  • Remove any dead or dying foliage using scissors or pruners (don’t worry if you end up removing all visible plant growing above the soil)
  • Once all leaves and foliage has died, the bulb will become dormant
  • Ensure the plant is away from bright or direct sunlight, and leave in a cool (but not freezing) place
  • Do not water the plant during the dormant period, normally six to eight weeks long
  • When new growth begins to show through the top of the soil, move into a light area and water thoroughly
  • Feed indoor cyclamen monthly using an indoor plant food or fertiliser whilst beginning to flower