Cyclamen is a tubular plant native to the Greek islands of Turkey and some parts of Europe. They can also be called Persian violets and sow’s bread. These plants are loved for their long-lasting pastel colored blooms and gorgeous dark green, heart-shaped foliage. There are 23 different types of cyclamen plants and they belong to the Primulaceae family.
While they can be grown outdoors in zones 7 and higher, cyclamens are commonly used as a houseplant around the world. If you’re thinking of growing a cyclamen plant, here are some tips to keep your plant healthy and thriving.
How to grow and care for cyclamen plants
Most cyclamen plants popular today are hybrids of the originals, which were bred as far back as 1735. While growers back then had to carefully tend their plants for up to five years in hopes of budding for two months, today they are much easier to grow.
Cyclamen plants tolerate a variety of soils as long as they are well-drained. They prefer slightly acidic soil. If you’re unsure about the pH of your soil, start with a soil testing kit. If you need to increase the acidity of the cyclamen before planting it outdoors, mix some organic matter into the soil.
If you grow the cyclamen plant indoors, you also need acidic soil. A good way to do this is to add sphagnum peat to the soil. When potting the plant, fill in the soil with regular potting soil, but then mix in sphagnum peat into the top two or three inches of soil.
If you are growing cyclamen outdoors then keep it in a shady spot. It’s best to keep them in their pots in a spot where they don’t get direct sun.
A north window is ideal for your cyclamen plant. The pot should get some indirect sun. Don’t put them in a window where the temperature gets too high.
Temperature and humidity requirements
Your cyclamen plant needs to be kept above 50 degrees whether you grow it indoors or outdoors. They also don’t like temperatures above 68 degrees.
Maintaining proper humidity is essential if you want the cyclamen plant to flower. This is particularly important when humidity levels drop frequently due to winter warming. You may want to run a humidifier near your plant or grow it in an indoor miniature greenhouse to ensure there is enough moisture in the air. Alternatively, you can place a humidity monitor near the plant to ensure you remember to check the plant’s humidity levels frequently.