How to Grow Cyclamen

Cyclamen, with its exotic blossoms and patterned leaves, makes a lovely houseplant. While some people toss it out shortly after it blooms, it's well worth the extra attention and care it takes to nurture it through season after season.

Instructions

Step 1

Purchase the healthiest looking cyclamen plant you can find at your local garden center or nursery. Select one that is still in the unopened bud stage, rather than fully opened blooms. The colorful blooms don't last a long time, so this will insure your having them to enjoy a little longer.

Step 2

Place it in an area where it receives lots of light, but not direct sunlight. Too much sun burns the leaves.

Step 3

Keep the soil moist, but not too wet, while the plant is blooming. Be careful not to water the plant on its corm or crown. This could cause it to rot. As the blooms die and drop off in late spring/early summer, the plant is entering a period of rest. During this rest period, decrease the watering frequency, but do not yet allow the plant to dry out. When the blooms drop off, you can rescue the seeds from the seed pod inside the bloom. These can be dried and saved to plant for more cyclamen plants. Seedlings must grow for about 18 months before they become large enough to bear flowers, so do not lose patience with these new little cyclamens.

Step 4

As the parent plant enters its summer rest, move the plant to a cooler, darker location and allow the crown to dry out. After its summer rest, the cyclamen must be kept in cool temperatures, which it prefers. It likes temperatures of below 70 during the day, and in the 50s at night. If these temperatures are maintained, the plant will bloom throughout the winter months. Again, the leaves will die down after the plant has flowered. Allow the bulb to dry out. When new growth starts again, increase the watering and light.

Tips and Warnings

Be careful not to water too much during the plant's rest periods, and take care not to water the plant's crown.

About this Author

Susan Miller has been a professional journalist since 1990, specializing in travel and business. She has written for the "Indianapolis Star," "South Bend Tribune," "Indianapolis Business Journal" and was a Midwest correspondent for the American News Service. Miller studied design, photography and technology at Purdue University and Central Piedmont Community College.

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