How to Grow Cyclamen
Although often grown as indoor plants, Cyclamen can also be grown in the garden, or as houseplants. and care for these two types of growing conditions does differ a little.
The florists cyclamen that we see sold almost year round is simply a hybrid of a group of tough plants from the Mediterranean, and all are really easy care.
In the garden, we often neglect cyclamen until they begin to flower, a little extra love during the year will provide you with larger flowers and more of them.
One of the most reliable of all plants Cyclamen are a varied group, however nearly all are easy care in Australian conditions.
The florists variety are Cyclamen persicum, these are grown in containers indoors are perhaps the fussiest of all, they are bred for flowers and require a little more attention than those that grow outside. With many Cyclamen available for sale online, here we look at care of these free flowering plants.
General growing conditions
Most cyclamen are not fussy however most do not like heat and full sun, and all require good drainage. Cyclamen graecum is an exception, it seems to thrive in warmer positions. We look at indoor growing conditions first.
Indoor cyclamen care
As they begin to push out new growth in autumn, its time to care for the indoor plants.
Cyclamen can be given a general clean upat this time by removing old dead foliage. Its also a good time to re pot them. A slightly larger pot, fresh potting mix and a good liquid seaweed fertilizer.
Indoor Care summary
- A cool position away from drying heat, and preferably cooler night temperatures.
- Watering from below is important with indoor plants.
- Do not let plants sit in waterlogged soil, good drainage is essential.
- Fertilize with a liquid seaweed fertilizer or slow release fertilizer when in active growth.
- Remember that indoor cyclamen are dormant in summer, so place then in a cool shaded position outdoors and tip the pot on its side to prevent summer rains from getting to wet. However do not let them dry out completely.
Outdoor cyclamen care
In general the cyclamen that we grow outdoors are a hardy group of plants wonderful flowers as well as useful ground cover plants, however some species such as C.africanum will need protection from frosts and cold.
Pictured right we have cyclamen plants growing happily amongst rocks in the garden.
Outdoor Care Summary
- Dappled shade in the ground or in containers
- Good drainage
- Regular fertilizer with a liquid seaweed fertilizer or similar
- Unless conditions are very dry cyclamen grown outdoors will require very little water at all.
Most Cyclamen are easy care, and although they are sold as potted plants for indoors they are actually well suited to the garden in an area of dappled shade, or good indirect light, all varieties require a well drained soil, tubers are planted on or near the surface.
Fertilizer in the form of a general purpose slow release fertilizer can be applied during the growing season, however a little top dressing with well rotted compost and cow manure and occasional watering with a seaweed fertilizer is usually adequate. Cyclamen hederfolium is a favorite, but why not try something different as well?
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