Cyclamen are widely available throughout the winter and offer head-turning beauty with their butterfly-like blooms and silver-frosted foliage. Arrange them amongst candles and glass Christmas ornaments for an elegant holiday centerpiece. For a mid-winter brighter, display several together in boldly colored pots that contrast with the flower colors.
Beware; Florist Cyclamen (the species sold for indoor growing) can have you feeling joyful at their beauty one day and like a bad plant-parent the next! They do have simple needs, but they aren't quite what many expect. So, if you give them a warm, sunny spot and keep them moist – they will quickly begin to look sick!
Cyclamen are Mediterranean plants that are naturally dormant from early summer to fall; with their dormancy triggered by warmer temperatures and their renewed growth by cooler ones. So, overly warm indoors temps (70°F and up) can shorten their bloom season, as it feels like summer is coming to them. They also possess plump tubers, rather than roots, which are easily rotted by excess water – so keeping the soil constantly moist is not advised.
Three things will keep your indoor Cyclamen happy: plenty of light, cooler temperatures and a well-drained watering -from the bottom - only when the soil is dry. This combination will allow you to enjoy weeks of blooms before the plant naturally goes dormant. Then you can decide to toss it or store for a retry next fall.
The Deeper Details
For a more in depth look at how to care for Florist Cyclamen and other popular flowering potted plants, visit the University of Missouri Extension website.