Cyclamen, a popular winter-flowering houseplant, features a compact growth habit, colorful flowers on long stalks, and ornamental foliage marked with silver and green. Blooms appear in bright colors or pastel shades, depending on the variety. Unfortunately, most cyclamen plants are discarded after their initial blooming period. With proper care, however, a determined gardener can keep the plant blooming for several months and encourage another bloom the following winter. For the best results, purchase a cyclamen plant in autumn with numerous unopened flower buds and stems that stand straight up.
Keep your cyclamen plant in a location that receives full sunlight throughout the day, such as a west-facing window. Maintain a nightly temperature of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a daily temperature of no more than 68 degrees. Never allow the temperature to drop below 40 degrees or permanent damage may occur.
Water the plant whenever the surface of the soil is dry to the touch, about once every five days. Soak the outer rim of soil thoroughly, as watering the center will result in tuber rot. Wait several minutes after watering, and then drain away any excess moisture. Applying two to four cups of water each time is usually sufficient.
Feed your cyclamen once every three to four weeks, beginning one month after purchasing or receiving the plant. Use a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer following the manufacturer's directions for the best results.
Remove dead foliage and flowers whenever possible by sharply tugging on the target growth. Wait one day and try again if the leaf or flower is not dislodged by the first tug. Be careful not to pull too forcefully, or the tuber may be damaged.
Cease watering and fertilizing when the plant enters a dormant state, indicated by the yellowing of the foliage. Keep outdoors in a shady location where it will not be rained on. Wait until all the leaves dry up completely, which takes about two months, and then repot in a container that is 1 inch larger in diameter than the previous container.
Water the plant thoroughly the following fall when new leaves begin to form, but no later than the end of October. Transfer the plant to its original location, resume normal care, and the plant will bloom again shortly thereafter.