Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to Care for a Cyclamen

Hybrid cyclamen
This is one of the loveliest of Christmas plants! The cyclamen, originally found in Greece and the Mediterranean, is almost irresistible with its heart shaped leaves marbled in silver and flowers reminiscent of a small tropical bird. 

This one is waiting to be sold at a florist nearby. I stopped in to see what holiday plants were available. Holiday blooming plants are one of the best Christmas decorations you can own.

Cyclamen are usually available for sale throughout the winter if you want one after Christmastime. It's one of the most beautiful blooming plants that can grace your home.

They are probably not the best plant for a beginner as they require special care to keep beyond the holidays. The effort is well worth it, though. You will teach yourself that you can work with nature and succeed, when you get the right instructions!

Full Care Instructions--
  • It requires direct sun to do its very best. It will tolerate less than that for a week or so, if you have a special place that you would like to show it off, during the holidays. 
  • Water it as soon as the top feel dry. If it is in a 6"(15cm) diameter pot it should take about 2 cups (about 1/2 liter) of water. If it wilts because it became too dry, don't worry, just put it in the sink and thoroughly soak it, the let it drain for a few minutes. It will perk back up
  • It does seem to appreciate some humidity which a daily misting with water can help provide, especially if your place is quite warm. 
  • After it stops blooming,fertilize it regularly until the end of April. 
  • As the weather becomes warmer, it should start looking forward to a dormancy period. The hot weather is a signal t the cyclamen, that it is time for a rest. You can water it less and less and let it "die" back by until the end of June or so. 
  • The plant can then be stored in a dark, cool place such as the basement or even the refrigerator, for a few months.
  • Do give it a little water from time to time.
  • Around the end of September you can bring it out, then soak it thoroughly, put it in a sunny window and it should start growing again. Fertilize it regularly and you should have a lovely blooming cyclamen by Christmastime. 
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**To see other plants on this blog click here:   The Indoor Garden blog
***For a variety of  video clips on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click here: 
The Indoor Garden TV show