Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Something Magical

'Tis the season for poinsettias and Christmas cactus as their blooms adorn the holiday scenery. But one of my favorite winter flowering plants is the Cyclamen persicum which makes a lovely addition to any holiday decor.


They have lovely heart-shaped, fleshy leaves at the end of long stalks which are variegated with silver veining (rather appropriate Christmas colors)


and solitary flowers that come in many colors; most common are shades of red, pink or white that fits the season.



The indoor Cyclamen is a florist cultivar of Cyclamen persicum. This should not be confused with the Hardy Cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium) which can grow outdoors in zones 4-8.

 To successfully grow this plant year over year keep in mind that
  • They like to be kept in good light but not direct sunlight (keep out of a south facing window). 
  • They like it cool. Keep them in temperatures around 55F. If they get too hot they will go dormant.
  • They don't like to be over-watered. It is best to water from the bottom of the pot so that the tuber doesn't get too wet and rot. Let the plant use up the moisture until the compost is fairly dry. (They don't really appreciate a constant dribble of water).
  • Yellowing leaves are a sign of over-watering or temperatures that are too warm. Dead flowers or leaves should be removed carefully by giving their stems a sharp tug. 

Cyclamen are naturally winter to spring growing plants native to the Mediterranean region where they are a woodland plant. Come spring the plant will start to go dormant. It will loose its blooms and leaves. At this time they should not be watered. Cyclamen have a tuber which is the storage organ they use to stay alive during their dormant period. They rest during the summer months and then in September into November new leaves will start to shoot up. Start watering the plant at this time. It can take some time but as long as the tubers are still plump and hard the plant should come back.

What I love most about this plant are the paper thin, twisted and reflexed petals. They are held aloft from the clustered leaves and have a wonderful flow and body about them.



Cyclamen is said to bring one happiness. So I hope that this plant will bring you something magical this holiday season.

7 comments:

  1. I agree. Cyclamen is a great plant for Christmas!I love the heart shaped leaves.

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  2. Cyclamen is a beautiful addition to the indoors at Christmas. I think they are really easy to grow indoors. They just keep flowering, but when they stop the leaves give the interest. A pretty, all round plant. Your images are pretty of them too.

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  3. Pretty pictures of a beautiful plant. Good holiday choice.

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  4. Your directions for cyclamen are very valuable. I was able to keep my cyclamen going for years by doing what you recommended. They actually make great houseplants. Carolyn

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  5. Lovely and helpful post. I appreciate all the educational info on raising Cyclamens. I have one for the first time this year . . . hopefully I can do right by it. Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year! I found you blog over at Blotanical.

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  6. I love cyclamen! It is one of the products we still have growing in our greenhouses at work this time of year & I can't help but enjoy it's beauty!

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  7. Beautiful photos, I had some in my terrace and lost all of them early in dec when we had snow storms! Lula (Botanical Photography)

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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