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How to Grow and Care for Cyclamen Plants Indoors

The weather outside may be frightful—but you can brighten gray winter days with easy-to-grow, colorful cyclamen plants indoors.

The weather outside may be frightful—but you can brighten gray winter days with easy-to-grow, colorful cyclamen plants indoors.

  • Grow cyclamen in containers with excellent drainage.
  • Fill container with nutrient-rich Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix.
  • Place plants in a cool location in bright, indirect light.
  • Water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
  • Feed every four weeks during active growth with Miracle-Gro® Blooming Houseplant Food.
  • Remove dead foliage and flowers at the plant’s base to keep plant healthy and tidy.

When the cold, dark days of winter descend, you need some blooming beauties to brighten your days—and cyclamen plants makes the perfect cheerful addition to indoor décor. With lovely, graceful flowers in pink, red, white, or purple rising above heart-shaped, silver-streaked foliage, these pretty plants make an ideal addition for holiday cheer—or a charming gift for a teacher, hostess, or even your favorite valentine. After all, with a little know-how and TLC, cyclamen blooms for at least 6 weeks, helping perk-up those long, drab winter days until spring blooms fill your garden.

Cyclamen Secret: If you’ve tried growing this pretty plant only to watch it shrivel up in the summer, don’t despair! That’s totally normal. Cyclamen plants grow and bloom during fall and winter, when the temperatures are cool, then begin their summer dormancy as temperatures rise. Don’t toss that plant in the compost—we’ll show you how to keep it growing and blooming for years.

 

How to Choose a Cyclamen Plant

It’s easy to find cyclamen plants—just visit your favorite garden center, big-box store, florist, or even grocery store. While some cyclamen species grow outdoors, you’re looking for florist’s cyclamen: Cyclamen persicum. You’ll see lots of these pretty houseplants displayed in late autumn, especially as the holidays near.

Look for plants with healthy foliage and many buds. Avoid plants that appear wilted, dry, sport yellow leaves, mushy crowns, or fully-bloomed flowers. While a few open flowers on your new plant are nice, you want a plant that will continue to bloom for months, so make sure to pick a plant with many unopened buds.

 

How to Plant Cyclamen

Once you’ve found your favorite cyclamen, it’s time to give it a new home. Choose a container with drainage holes that’s slightly larger than the plant’s plastic nursery pot. Because cyclamen plants dislike wet feet, you may want to use a porous terra cotta pot, helping excess moisture evaporate more quickly. Fill the container about one-third full with Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix. Remove the plant from its plastic nursery pot. Try not to disturb the roots, but if the plant is root-bound, gently tease apart the roots. Place the plant into the pot and add more soil around it. Make sure the plant’s crown sits just above the soil surface. Firm the soil around the plant, and water well.


Where to Grow Cyclamen

Cyclamen need a cool, bright spot indoors to thrive. Place your plant out of direct sunlight but where it will enjoy lots of indirect light. Cyclamen prefers temperatures between 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperatures are too warm, the plant’s leaves will turn yellow and fade, because warm temperatures signal to the cyclamen that it’s time to enter dormancy.

Winter’s dry air wreaks havoc on our skin and hair, and cyclamen also needs a winter humidity boost to look its best. Help increase the humidity around your plant by placing its pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the pot. As the water evaporates, the humidity around the plant increases. Your cyclamen will appreciate the TLC.

 

How to Water Cyclamen

Overwatering is one of the best ways to kill your pretty plant, so let’s not do that, OK? Wait to water cyclamen until the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Cyclamen like moist--but never soggy--soil. To keep your plant healthy, avoid splashing water onto the leaves, which may cause disease. Most of all, never let the plant’s roots sit in water—it can cause root rot, which can kill the plant. Always make sure excess water drains from the container.

When your cyclamen starts looking like it’s on the way to death’s door in the spring, remember: it’s just getting ready to rest so it can put on another pretty show in the fall. Reduce watering when the plant enters dormancy. Water lightly every 2 weeks until you see new growth in the fall, then resume regular watering.

 

How to Feed Cyclamen

Looking pretty and producing fabulous flowers takes a lot of energy, so feed your cyclamen every 4 weeks with Miracle-Gro® Blooming Houseplant Food during cyclamen’s active growing seasons of fall and winter. Stop feeding the plant during dormancy, and resume when you see new growth again in the fall.

 

How to Prune Cyclamen

A little pampering helps cyclamen look fabulous throughout the growing season. Remove spent flowers and dead leaves with a gentle twist and pull of the stems at the plant’s base. They should easily separate from the plant. Or, if you prefer, use clean, sharp scissors to tidy up your plant. Removing spent flowers encourages reblooming, redirecting the plant’s energy for new growth.

 

How to Help Cyclamen Rebloom

As temperatures rise, your cyclamen plant stops growing, and the leaves turn yellow. Don’t panic! Your plant just needs a rest. As cyclamen enters dormancy, it’s time to stop feeding your plant and reduce watering. Place your cyclamen in a cool, dry place for summer—a sheltered, shady spot outdoors, a basement, or a potting shed. Keep the soil barely moist. Water about every two weeks, making sure the soil drains well.

When temperatures cool in the fall, it’s time for your cyclamen to wake up! Around September, look for new growth. Check the plant for any pests, then refresh the soil. Gently remove the plant from its pot, empty the soil and rinse the container, then add new Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix to the container as you repot the plant. Bring your cyclamen indoors if it vacationed outside for the summer, place it in cool spot in bright light, and resume its water and feeding schedule.

 

How to Repot Cyclamen

Happy, healthy cyclamen eventually outgrow their homes. Every 2 to 3 years, check to see if your plant needs a bigger pot. If it looks like your cyclamen is outgrowing its current container, choose one that’s just slightly larger, and repot your plant. Don’t be tempted to go too big: a container that’s too large holds too much wet soil, and we all know that cyclamen dislike wet feet, right? Choose a pot about 1 to 2 inches larger than the plant’s current container and repot the cyclamen in fresh potting mix, then follow the growing directions above.

And voila! You’ll enjoy another season of brilliant blooms and fabulous foliage to cheer your winter days. (Aren’t you glad you didn’t compost your cyclamen in summer after all?!)