Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) is a tuberous, herbaceous perennial flowering plant. It has heart-shaped leaves, up to 6 inches usually green with lighter marbling on the upper surface. Flowers bloom from winter to spring (var. persicum) or in autumn (var. autumnale) and have 5 small sepals and 5 upswept petals, usually white to pale pink with a band of deep pink to magenta at the base. After pollination, the flower stem curls downwards slightly as the pod develops, but does not coil as in other cyclamens. Plants go dormant in summer. It has a dark-brown tuberous root which is semi-poisonous. Cyclamen is used on a terrace, in flower-boxes, hanging baskets or in beddings.
Species: C. persicum
Scientific Name: Cyclamen persicum
Common Names: Cyclamen, Persian cyclamen.
How to grow and maintain Cyclamen:
It flourishes best in bright light without direct sunlight. If conditions are too dark the flowers are more sporadic and if things are too bright the flowers and leaves can become faded.
It grows well in moist, well-drained, fertile organic soil with a mix of sand.
It prefers cool temperatures from 50°F/10°C – 65°F/18°C are ideal. Do not expose to temperatures below 10°C (50°F).
Water once or twice weekly once the cyclamen begins putting on new growth in fall. Supply enough moisture so the soil doesn’t dry out completely, but avoid overwatering that causes soggy soil. Irrigation for dormant summer-planted tubers is rarely necessary until new growth begins.
Humidity levels are best if they’re improved by placing the plant in a pebble humidity tray or using other methods of increasing levels.
Fertilize once every two weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half while the plant has flowers and foliage.
It can be easily propagated by seed, in darkness as soon as ripe at 12 to 15°C. Can be beneficial to soak seed for 10 hours prior to sowing.
Re-pot with fresh soil and a slightly larger pot while the plant is dormant. Cyclamen persicum does the best planted in a soil-based potting mix, with the top of the tuber just slightly above the soil line.
Pests and Diseases:
It has no serious pest or disease problems. May suffer from vine weevils.