The florist variety of cyclamen (C. persicum) was ‘the plant’ during the Christmas holiday in the Victorian era; today it is making a comeback in popularity. The name cyclamen comes from the Greek word circle referring to the round corm from which it grows. It has also been called Poor mans orchid, Alpine violet and Persian violet.


The uniquely shaped flowers usually have 5 petals that can be single, double or delicately ruffled which come in shades of pink, purple, salmon, fuchsia, mauve, red and pure white as well as two-toned petals. They are sometimes described as a cluster of butterflies hovering over a rosette of variegated leaves. The flower stalks rise above the round-heart shaped leaves that are marked with a silvery marbling or wide silver margins. The plants range in size from a large standard that grows up to 14 inches tall to the f-1 hybrid minis which are prolific bloomers.

How to care for your Cyclamen plant
Florist cyclamen is a cool season blooming houseplant that with proper care can last on average 2-3 months or longer. It requires bright indirect light and should be placed in the coolest room in the house with night temperatures of 50F and around 65F during the day. To maintain longer bloom time provide high humidity (pebble tray) and keep it away from heating vents.

Even soil moisture is essential, therefore, water the plant from the bottom by emersing the pot in a water-filled bowl. Another option is to water in the side of the pot avoiding the tuber and leaves. Be sure to drain off all excess water. Avoid pouring water directly on the tuber as this can cause the tuber to rot.  Allow the plant to dry a bit before watering again.

Feed your Cyclamen with 1/2  strength of a well balanced liquid fertilizer every 3-4 weeks. Too much fertilizer will produce more leaves than flowers.

Plant care tip
Remove any faded flowers and yellowed or damaged leaves by twisting the stem at the base of the corm and pulling it sharply.

Yellow foliage can indicate that the plant is too warm or too wet. Yellow leaves with brown spots are a sign of fungal disease Botrytis).
Insects: Aphids, cyclamen mites, red spider mites

How to Re-bloon your cyclamen plant
Cyclamen is not easy to rebloom but it can be done. Some will just discard the plant when blooming is done while others will take on the challenge. Here’s how its done.

When the plant is finished blooming, gradually reduce watering.  Once the leaves turn yellow, stop watering all together. This will coax the cyclamen into dormancy which it needs to rebloom next year.  Store the corms in their pot or take them out of the pot put in paper bag and store in a cool (50F), dry, dark place.

In May or June replant the corms 1/2 above the soil line in fresh soil place in bright cool room. Begin to water and fertilize regularly. When new growth appears, move the plant to a shady spot in the summer. Once cooler weather sets in (autumn) bring it back inside to enjoy the blooms.