HOW TO CARE FOR CYCLAMENS

The picky houseplant with beautiful flowers but demanding needs.

written by Gabrielle Smith

ABOUT THE CYCLAMEN:

The Cyclamen, also known as the Persian Cyclamen, is a challenging, but beautiful house plant. This plant is native to the cool and humid environment of Turkey and thrives in indoor conditions that replicate this environment. The Cyclamen is perfect for experienced plant owners that are able to provide filtered sun and high levels of humidity for the plant. If these conditions are met, the Cyclamen is the perfect winter flowering plant for any home or office.

Botanical Name:Cyclamen persicum 
Common Names(s):Cyclamen, Persian Cyclamen, Florist Cyclamen
Plant Type:Flowering
Place of Origin:
Turkey                                                                        
Sun Exposure:Filtered Sun
Seasonality:Winter, Spring, Autumn
Toxicity:Unsafe for cats and dogs

HOW MUCH WATER DO CYCLAMENS NEED?

The Cyclamen requires frequent watering about every 3 days. Water with roughly  ½ an inch of filtered water or until the soil is completely moist. Water your Cyclamen directly on to its soil, avoiding the crown of the plant. If you have a busy schedule and are afraid of forgetting to water your Cyclamen, a good watering alternative is to submerge the plant in room temperature water to allow the soil to completely soak. Be sure to always water directly on to the soil, as this will keep your plant protected from fungal diseases such as leaf spotting. During the winter months your Cyclamen will become dormant and therefore need a less consistent watering schedule of every 1 to 2 weeks. 

HOW MUCH SUNLIGHT DO CYCLAMENS NEED?

Ideal Cyclamen Light Requirements:
Native to the cool and humid climate of Turkey, the Cyclamen light requirements reflect that of their natural environment. Your Cyclamen should be placed in a location where it receives filtered sun. Filtered sun is when the sun’s exposure is being filtered through a sheer curtain, or is not able to have the sun’s rays directly hit the leaves/flowers of your Cyclamen. The ideal indoor location for your Cyclamen is about 5 feet away from a southern or western-facing window. This will provide a touch of direct light for no more than 1 hour a day before that direct exposure is once again obstructed.

Can Cyclamens Grow Under Artificial Light? 
If your home does not have a lot of natural light, your Cyclamen will thrive under a grow lights that emit a cool temperature. Be sure to place the light a maximum of 18" above your plant.

WHAT IS THE IDEAL TEMERATURE FOR CYCLAMENS?

An ideal temperature for a Cyclamen ranges between 45 degrees Fahrenheit and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Although low temperature is preferred, your Cyclamen will be perfectly fine in average room temperature between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the fact that the Cyclamen can handle varying temperatures, it is important that your plant is not exposed to temperatures that are too high, particularly anything higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot temperatures will cause damage to your Cyclamen or death.

WHAT IS THE IDEAL HUMIDITY FOR CYCLAMENS?

In addition to low temperatures, the Cyclamen also prefers high humidity. High humidity is between levels of 50 and 80 percent. In order to increase humidity levels for your Cyclamen, occasionally mist its leaves with water or place a tray of moist stones underneath the pot of the plant. Both of these methods will ensure your Cyclamen is maintaining high humidity levels and able to thrive in it’s indoor environment. 

WHAT ARE THE COMMON PESTS & DISEASES FOR CYCLAMENS: 

1. Gray-Mold Rot - One of the most common diseases that can affect the Cyclamen is Gray-Mold Rot. Gray-Mold Rot occurs when your plant has been overwatered and the center of the plant is too moist. In order to protect your plant from Gray-Mold it is essential to only water your Cyclamen at the soil and never at the crown of the plant.

2. Spider Mites, Mealybugs, and Scale - In addition to gray-mold rot, pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale can cause growth and health issues for your Cyclamen. These pests typically infest Cyclamens through contact with a nearby plant that you recently brought into your home. The best way to protect your plant from these pests is by regularly removing all dead leaves from the pot and removing dust from leaves using a damp cloth.

ARE CYCLAMENS TOXIC?

Unfortunately, the Cyclamen is toxic to both dogs and cats. The tubular area of the Cyclamen contains saponins that cause stomach and ingestion issues as well as possible poisoning. If you have a Cyclamen in your house and do not want to part with your plant baby, make sure it is in a secure area where your pet will not be able to get at it.

Use the Flora App to ensure all of your plant's needs are being met. Flora will send you alerts and reminders to let you know when it's time for your plant to be watered as well as give you a detailed guide on the optimal conditions to help your plant to thrive!