Indoor plants – cyclamens

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Indoor plant tips

Indoor Plants – Cyclamens

The vibrant flowers and interesting leaves of the cyclamen make it a popular houseplant, but it needs special care to keep it blooming year after year. Here’s a look at how to take care of cyclamen plants both during and after their blooming period.

Basic Cyclamen plant care

Cyclamen care starts with the correct temperature. In nature, cyclamens grow in cool, humid environments. If the temperature of your house is over 20 Celsius during the day and 10 Celsius at night, your cyclamen will start to die slowly. Temperatures that are too high will cause the plant to begin to yellow and the flowers will fade rapidly.
Cyclamen that are sold as houseplants are tropical and cannot tolerate temperatures below 4°C. Hardy cyclamen, which are sold in garden nurseries for outside use, are typically more resistant, but check the plant’s label for the specific hardiness of the cyclamen variety you are buying.

The next essential part of taking care of a cyclamen is to make sure that it is properly watered. Cyclamen are sensitive to both over and under watering. Make sure the plant has excellent drainage with a potting medium that holds water well. Water your cyclamen plant only when the soil is dry to the touch, but do not leave the plant in this dry state so long that it shows visible signs of not being watered, such as droopy leaves and flowers. When you water the plant, water from below the leaves so that the water does not touch the stems or leaves. Water on the stems and leaves can cause them to rot. Be sure that when you water the plant, you thoroughly soak the soil and let any excess water drain away.

The next part of cyclamen plant care is feeding. Fertilise once every 1-2 months with water soluble fertiliser mixed at half strength. When cyclamen get too much fertiliser, it can affect their ability to re-bloom.

Cyclamen care after blooming.

After a cyclamen blooms, it will go into a dormant state. When it goes into a dormant state, it looks very much like the plant is dying as the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. It is not dead, just sleeping. With proper cyclamen plant care, you can help it through its dormancy and it will re-bloom in a few months time. (Please note that hardy cyclamen planted outdoors will go through this process naturally and do not need extra care to re-bloom.)

When taking care of a cyclamen after blooming, allow the leaves to die and stop watering the plant once you see signs that the leaves are dying. Place the plant in a cool, somewhat dark place. You can remove any dead foliage, if you like. Leave it undisturbed for two months.

How to get your Cyclamen to re-bloom

Once a cyclamen has emerged from its dormant period, you can start to water it again. Make sure that you completely soak the soil. You may want to place the pot in a tub of water for an hour or so; then make sure any excess water drains away. Check the cyclamen tuber and make sure that the tuber has not outgrown the pot. If the tuber seems crowded, repot the cyclamen in a larger pot. Once the leaves start to grow, you can resume normal cyclamen care and it should re-bloom shortly.

Cyclamens are available at a Stodels branch near you.

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