Growing Cyclamen, although it may seem daunting at first, is actually super easy! They are a forgiving little plant, and can grace your beds for a long time to come – with the right care and attention. Here are the answers to a few commonly asked “how to grow Cyclamen” questions, so you can enjoy this pretty plant to its best advantage.
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How To Grow Cyclamen From Seed?
Planting Cyclamen from seed is a great – and cheap – way to fill your garden with these delicate, beautiful flowers.
Growing these pretty flowers from seed is fairly easy, but it doesn’t follow all the same rules you may be used to when planting seeds!
- Cyclamen like to planted around July time, when the seeds are as ripe as they can be – this will give the best results.
- Plant about 20 seeds in 3-4 inches of well draining compost mixed with grit. These plants don’t like to get their feet wet!
- Place the pots in a cool, dark place. Around 15 degrees C is ideal, and keeping the pots covered with something to block the light is a good idea.
- Now, you wait… It may take as much as 2 or 3 months for germination to take place, so don’t give up if you don’t see shoots straight away.
- Once the seeds have sprouted, take off the cover and place the pots under grow lights – but remember to keep them cool.
- Transplant them into bigger pots as they grow and need more space to spread.
- Keep them cool throughout the summer, as they will generally go dormant in the warmer months.
- Don’t expect flowers for the first year, as the plant will need to grow and really establish itself before it sends out flowers and seeds.
- Now you are ready to either plant them outside or keep them indoors in pots – either way, ensure that they don’t get too much water or direct sunlight!
Here is a good article that gives you some good tips on growing Cyclamen.
How To Plant Cyclamen Bulbs?
Planting Cyclamen as bulbs is an easier way to get more flowers quickly, as the plant is basically already established.
It will still need a little care and attention, but it can spring up and reward you with beautiful flowers sooner than it might when planting seeds.
- Cyclamen bulbs, also called tubers, are best planted in the early autumn. They will produce some foliage, and should also pop out some flowers too.
- They need to be planted in a cool, partially shaded spot, that has good well draining soil.
- Dig a hole that is wide enough to fit the whole tuber, and is between 5 and 10cm deep.
- Place the tuber into the hole, top side facing upwards, and cover it with soil then water it in well.
- Water occasionally during this first autumn, especially if there is a warm spell or if the soil feels dry.
- You won’t need to water after the winter, once the plant has become well established and is growing stronger.
- Deadhead the spent flowers and stems, to ensure that the plant stays as healthy as it can be.
When To Plant Cyclamen Bulbs?
The best time to plant your new Cyclamen bulbs is in the autumn. This gives the plant long enough to get established before it starts producing those all important flowers.
Some large, established tubers will produce foliage just a few weeks after planting, and some will even push out a few flowers.
For the most part, they wont flower in the first year, but with the right conditions you might get lucky!
Where To Plant Cyclamen?
If you are planning to start a long lasting Cyclamen bed, you should start planting these bulbs in their optimum position straight away.
They like a cool, shaded spot. Direct sunlight won’t kill them, but they don’t like to be in it all day every day!
Find them a spot where they are at least partially shaded for part of the day; you can place them in areas the sun doesn’t reach too much, or plant taller plants.
Cyclamen like soil that is well draining, so they won’t be sitting around with wet roots for any length of time.
If your soil is particularly heavy, consider adding some sand or grit before you plant your Cyclamen, to give them the best start.
It is also worth adding some slow release liquid fertiliser to the soil, to give the newly planted tubers the best start in life.
This video will take you through the best planting conditions for Cyclamen:
How To Propagate Cyclamen?
Cyclamen, like a lot of tuber plants, reproduces underground. This means you can propagate them by lifting the tubers and dividing them:
- In the autumn, gently lift the tubers from the ground.
- Separate the tuber into smaller pieces, and replant each one in well draining soil about 2 inches down.
- Mulch it well to protect it from the colder weather.
You can also propagate Cyclamen from seed – this is a trickier method, but it does produce good results as long as you have a little patience:
- Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting. You can either plant them directly outside, or start them off in pots so you can keep an eye on them.
- If you are planting them outside, do so in the spring, after the soil has warmed to around 12 degrees C.
- Wherever you plant them,make sure they have really good well draining soil, to ensure that their roots don’t get wet and rotten.
How To Repot Cyclamen?
Repotting Cyclamen is very easy, whether you want to do so to make more space in their pot, or if you want to divide the tubers to create more plants.
Repot the Cyclamen during their dormant period, at the beginning of summer when the flowers and most of the leaves have fallen off.
Avoid watering it so that the soil gets very dry – this will make it easier to remove from the pot.
Simply upend the pot, holding your hand beneath the soil, to remove the pot from the soil and the root ball.
If you want to divide the tuber, now is the time to do so – break it into smaller pieces, making sure you have enough pots and soil to house them.
Place the tubers in about 2 inches of soil, cover them over and water well.
You should see glossy green leaves and a good crop of flowers the following growing season!
Growing Cyclamen from seed, potting it on and propagating it, is one of the best ways to grow this hardy little flower.
Now that you have some hints and tips up your sleeve, you can plan to cover your whole garden with these lovely flowers (or at least fill a bed or two!)