I have just acquired my first Cyclamen – sometimes called Persian Violet. These beautiful, delicate plants are native to Europe and the Mediterranean region east of Iran. They are adapted to the deciduous woodlands and placing them in filtered light with morning or late afternoon sun is ideal. The leaves are heart-shaped and ‘butterfly wing’ flowers emerge from the tuber in colors of white, pink, or purple. At one time these plants were endangered from over collection for the horticultural trade, but proper education and propagation in nurseries has alleviated that threat.
I have always thought that caring for a cyclamen would be difficult, but with proper care you can have one for many years.
Watering: Cyclamen like humidity. Add a daily misting. Stand the pot in a bowl of water until the soil is thoroughly moist, then let it drain and don’t water it again for another week or so, until it is dry.
Light: Bright, indirect. Cyclamen do not like heat; and temperatures above 20 degrees may induce your plant to go dormant.
Feeding: Feed with a low nitrogen fertilizer every two weeks.
Dormancy: The dormancy period for the cyclamen is April – September. When the leaves begin to turn yellow start decreasing watering and feeding, and stop completely when all the leaves are brown. Don’t pull off any green leaves that may be left as these are how the tuber stores its food for the rest period. Give your plant a thorough watering now and if no green leaves appear move it to a cool, dry place until fall again when you will begin to see first signs of leave growth.
Now enjoy your Cyclamen!