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blooming plant of the month                                                       (printable PDF)
cyclamen
Azalea - Blooming Plant


BOTANICAL NAME

Cyclamen persicum
(SICK-la-men PER-si-kum)

COMMON NAME

Florist’s Cyclamen
(SY-kla-men, as a common name)

DESCRIPTION

Cyclamen plants bear distinctive five-petaled blooms atop smooth, slender, leafless stems. The blooms are downward pointing but strongly reflexed; waxy; and sometimes ruffled, serrated or edged with a contrasting color. They rise above a dense base of fleshy heart-shaped or kidney-shaped leaves, which are often variegated (usually dark green with light green or silvery gray markings although some varieties feature silver leaves with green highlights).

COLORS

Cyclamens are available in red, magenta, fuchsia, rose, pink, salmon, purple, lavender, lilac, white and bicolors.

DECORATIVE LIFE

Cyclamens typically bloom from three to five weeks, sometimes longer (new blooms replace the old). Once flowering stops, the leafy plants can survive for several more months.

AVAILABILITY

Cyclamens are available year-round, but peak availability is approximately from October through March.


in-store and consumer care

LIGHT

Place Cyclamens in a bright environment but out of direct sunlight. During the winter months, however, these plants can tolerate exposure to direct sunlight for 1 hour to 2 hours daily.

WATER

Keep plants moderately moist—not soaked—at all times. Water thoroughly when the soil surface is dry to the touch. Cyclamens are extremely sensitive to both underwatering and overwatering, so never allow plants to dry out and wilt, and, conversely, never allow the pots to sit in water for prolonged periods.
    
Ideally, place pots in a shallow container of tepid water for 15 to 30 minutes (the soil will absorb water from the holes in the bottom of the pots), then allow them to drain. If you water from the top, drip water just inside the edges of the pot to avoid getting water in the plants’ crown, on the tuber or on the leaves.

TEMPERATURE/AIR

These plants prefer cool environments—preferably 60 F to 65 F during the daytime and 50 F to 60 F at night. Placing Cyclamens in a warm room or near heat sources will shorten their life dramatically. Also, these plants like fresh air, so placing them outdoors for a few hours a day, when temperatures allow, is beneficial.

HUMIDITY

When flowering, Cyclamens require high humidity. Place pots on a pebble tray, making sure the bottoms of the pots are out of the water. Also occasionally mist the air around the plants.

ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY

Although Cyclamens’ sensitivity to ethylene gas varies from slight to extreme, you should purchase only plants that are treated with an ethylene inhibitor at the grower or during shipping. Flower wilting, shriveling, drying and/or drop are the effects of exposure to ethylene.

FERTILIZER

To help buds open, feed Cyclamens every two weeks with a high-phosphorous plant food mixed at half strength. Do not feed dormant plants.

GROOMING

Remove blooms as they fade and leaves as they yellow or dry, carefully cutting, twisting or pinching the stems off at the crown.

REBLOOMING

Many people discard Cyclamens when they begin to deteriorate, but they often can be brought back into bloom. After flowering, gradually reduce watering until the soil becomes dry, allow the foliage to die down, then clip it off. Place the dormant plant in a cool, bright room, providing just enough water to keep the roots from drying out completely. Then repot the plant in fresh soil as soon as new growth appears, leaving half the tuber above the soil surface. Gradually resume regular watering as the leaves develop (over two to four months). Blooms will follow.

challenges
YELLOWING / SHRIVELING LEAVES

Too-high temperature, too-low humidity, underwatering, exposure to direct sunlight, extended storage time

PALE / LIMP / DEFORMED LEAVES, BLOOMS
 
Spider mites and/or Cyclamen mites (see Pests/Mites)

SHRIVELING / DRYING FLOWER BUDS

Underwatering, not enough light, too-low humidity, too-high temperature, exposure to ethylene

BUD DROP

Not enough light, underwatering, too-low humidity, too-high temperature, exposure to ethylene

SHORT BLOOM LIFE

Too-high temperature, too-low humidity, underwatering, overwatering, not enough or wrong kind of fertilizer, exposure to ethylene

PLANT COLLAPSE, ROTTING CROWN

Overwatering, water on the crown and/or tuber, too-high temperature

MOLD / FUNGAL DISEASE

Overwatering, water on the crown and/or tuber, too-high temperature, poor air circulation

PESTS / MITES

Too-high temperature, too-low humidity. Discard plants, or remove affected leaves and treat with a neem-based insecticide.

 

 

To view the gallery of Cyclamen plants please download the PDF.

(printable PDF)
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buying tips


• Buy Cyclamen plants that have several well-developed buds that are showing color and, possibly, an open bloom or two.


fun facts


WHAT’S IN A NAME
The genus name Cyclamen is presumably from the Greek word “kylos,” meaning “circle,” possibly in reference to the rounded tubers. The specific epithet “persicum” means “of Persia,” referring to the nativity of this species of Cyclamen.

FAMILY

Cyclamen is a member of the Primulaceae (primrose) family. Besides primroses, Cyclamen relatives include loosestrife (Lysimachia).

HOME SWEET HOME

These plants are native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Western Asia, including the countries of Greece, Turkey, Cypress, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and Iran.



Some information provided by:
Botanica, by R.G. Turner Jr. and Ernie Wasson
Chain of Life Network®, www.chainoflifenetwork.org
Complete Guide to Conservatory Plants, The
  by Ann Bonar
Complete Houseplant Survival Manual, The
  by Barbara Pleasant
Dictionary of Plant Names, by Allen J. Coombes
Hortus Third
  by Liberty Hyde Bailey and Ethel Zoe Bailey
Houseplant Encyclopedia, The
  by Ingrid Jantra and Ursula Krüger
House Plant Expert, The, by Dr. D.G. Hessayon
Stearn’s Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners
  by William T. Stearn

Photos © Morel Cyclamen by Emmanuel Ulzega



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Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.