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How To Care For A Cyclamen Plant?

Cyclamen are lovely little plants. Attractive green foliage and quirky, delicate little flowers make them a firm gardener’s favorite! But how do you care for a Cyclamen plant when you have never grown them before? What are the pitfalls to look out for? Where should they be placed?

We are here to answer all these questions, and more, about this endearing little flowering plant.

How Do You Care For A Cyclamen?

how do you care for cyclamen

Cyclamen can grow indoors or outdoors, and caring for them follows pretty much the same rules whichever your plant them:

  • Plant it in a cool, bright spot, away from too much direct sunlight.
  • Keep the soil moist but do not over water the plant as they don’t like to get their roots wet.
  • Let it go dormant over the summer and reduce watering, to ensure that it flowers again the following year.
  • Feed it with a multi purpose feed every couple of months or so, if you are planning on keeping it going the following year.
  • Repot it if it produces enough new growth to crowd the pot, and divide outside tubers if they grow too big for their space.
  • Deadhead your Cyclamen regularly during the flowering season, to encourage new blooms and keep the plant healthy.
  • Check the leaves for signs of infestation by aphids, vine weevils and Cyclamen mites, and deal with these problems if they occur.

This article gives some additional good tips.

Do Cyclamen Like Sun Or Shade?

Cyclamen will tolerate sun or partial shade – they’re quite accommodating like that! However, full sun all day will not help them thrive.

You can place them in your garden near some larger plants that will shade them as the sun reaches its highest.

Or, find a cool, naturally shady place in your garden where the sun does not shine directly all day long.

If your cyclamen is indoors, simply place it in a room where it will not receive direct sunlight all day, or move it about as the sun moves.

You should also watch out for heat sources, and do not place your Cyclamen next to a radiator or a fire.

Cyclamen will, generally speaking, be fine in whatever position you plant them, as they are hardy little creatures. However, full sun all day every day might cause them some problems.

This detailed video shows you the best position, care and watering ideas for your Cyclamen:

How Often To Water A Cyclamen?

Like most plants, Cyclamen don’t like to sit in soggy soil. Over watering can cause problems with root rot, so it’s best avoided.

  • Water your Cyclamen thoroughly about once a week.
  • Use filtered water or rainwater if at all possible.
  • Allow the soil to dry out before you water your plant again – if this is longer than weekly then so be it.
  • Use the soil as a guide – if it is completely dry then water at will; if it is still moist then hold off for a few days.
  • All plants will need more water in the heat, so if you are going through a particularly dry spell then you may wish to water more often.
  • It’s worth adding some liquid fertiliser every couple of weeks during the active growth phase when you water your Cyclamen.

How Much Water Does A Cyclamen Need?

A good guide to watering your Cyclamen is to keep an eye on the soil that the plant is growing in.

If the soil is bone dry, then the plant could do with a drink; if it is moist then you can hold off for a little longer.

Cyclamen don’t like to be over watered, so try to make sure you are not causing the plant issues with too much of the wet stuff.

It’s fine to drench it well every week to 10 days, but you really don’t need to do much more than this.

If the weather is particularly dry or hot then you can water slightly more, but again, use the soil as a guide.

If a Cyclamen is over or under watered, it will let you know – the leaves will droop and curl, and the flowers may droop or even fall off.

Do You Water Cyclamen From Top Or Bottom?

Most of us, when we think of watering plants, imagine tripping about with our watering can, sprinkling water from on high onto our grateful plants.

However, this is not always the most beneficial way to do it!

Watering from above can splash water onto the leaves, which can cause mildew and leaf rot.

Watering from below is a great way to get water to the roots, where it is needed the most.

  1. Place your Cyclamen’s pot on a shallow tray, and carefully pour water into this.
  2. Leave it for an hour or so, to allow the plant to suck up the moisture.
  3. After it has sat in the puddle for a while, pour away the excess water.
  4. For outdoor plants, if it has not rained for a while, take a thin nosed watering can and pour water around the base of the plant, avoiding the leaves.

How Long Do Outdoor Cyclamen Last?

how long do outdoor cyclamen last

Cyclamen, despite their delicate appearance, are actually supremely hardy plants. Outdoor plants can last as much as 100 years, if tended correctly!

As long as you keep your Cyclamen in the conditions it prefers – cool, shaded and regularly deadheaded, it should reward you with long life.

One of the most important things to remember about growing Cyclamen is that they really don’t like to get too wet.

If you ensure that the soil is well draining, and that the roots don’t sit around in the wet, you are well on the way to having a good, healthy crop of beautiful Cyclamen flowers.

Now that you have a better idea of how to cultivate, grow and care for your Cyclamen plants, you can join the ranks of gardeners who love to have this little beauty brightening their borders.

Cyclamen Key Facts

NameCyclamen
Scientific NameCyclamen
FamilyPrimulaceae
Light RequirementsLight position is required but plant will need to be shaded from the hot sun
Soil RequirementsWell drained, poor soil with a neutral pH
Temperature Requirements50-60 degrees F (10-15 degrees C). Frost hardy
Water RequirementsInfrequent. Water only when soil is dry
Fertilizer RequirementsGeneral purpose fertiliser every couple of months
Bloom TimeThroughout autumn and winter
PestsCyclamen mites, vine weevils
Size6-16 inches

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