Cyclamen is a beautiful evergreen ornamental plant that stands out for its colorful flowers and that resist low temperatures.
Cyclamen is the perfect plant for you if you want to have a garden or a flowering corner even in winter, because it is very resistant to cold and is one of the few flowering plants that has an autumn flowering, which generally lasts from September until May.
Originally from the Mediterranean, Africa and Asia, the cyclamen, whose botanical name is Cyclamen, belongs to the family of Primulaceae.
Its leaves are deep green and have a characteristic heart-shaped shape, while the flowers are pedunculate and have petals that go upwards, in bright and showy colors: white, fuchsia, pink or red.
There are about 20 different species of cyclamen, but essentially they can be differentiated in:
Wild cyclamen, less common and suitable for outdoor use, suitable as a border near large plants that shelter it from the sun. It blooms in late summer with small flowers.
Vase cyclamen, the most common, with larger flowers and colors ranging from white to pink.
Cyclamen: Cultivation in the Ground
We have said that cyclamen does not need much care and it is enough just to respect the few needs it requires.
If you have decided to grow your cyclamen in the ground, in the garden, choose a wild cyclamen, because it is a more rustic and cold-resistant species.
The soil must be draining, soft and moist and, at the time of planting, must be enriched with fertilizer or mature manure.
The cyclamen is to be placed in an airy area, but sheltered from wind and frost and protected from the sun, in the shade of big trees or hedges.
Cyclamen: Cultivation in Pots
Home-grown cyclamen needs a temperature of no more than 15°C and should be placed away from heat sources and not directly exposed to the sun’s rays.
It wants a moist soil, but without water stagnation. If the house is overheated in winter, distilled water can be sprayed onto the leaves.
If you want to start growing your cyclamen from seed, you can do this:
- The best time to sow cyclamen is between July, August and September.
- Prepare a box with soil mixed with sand and rich in humus.
- Protect it in a cool place away from draughts and preferably in the dark to promote germination.
- Sow cyclamen and water in moderation.
- Cover the container with a transparent plastic casing to maintain a constant level of temperature and humidity.
- After about a month, the first shoots will start to sprout and then you can remove the cover.
- When the seedlings are strong and have at least two leaves, you can transfer them to a pot or garden.
Cyclamen is a winter flowering plant that can withstand the cold better than the hot summers.
The ideal temperature for healthy and lush cyclamen to grow is between 6° and 18°C.
Cyclamen wants acidic, humus-rich soil. It can be enriched with homemade compost and, if you like natural remedies, it is excellent a fertilization with coffee grounds.
The soil must also be well-drained, to avoid dangerous water stagnation. If it is too clayey, it may be useful to add sand.
During the flowering period, the cyclamen should be watered every two or three days, without wetting the stem and leaves, to avoid the appearance of unpleasant moulds.
When the plant is in vegetative rest, in spring, the waterings are to be reduced.
The soil must never be too humid, in order not to create rottenness at the roots and, for this reason, it is always good to empty the pots before proceeding to a new watering.
Cyclamen can be attacked by parasites or mould and fungal diseases can occur.
To combat cyclamen diseases, a specific pesticide can be purchased in nurseries and garden shops, or natural remedies can be used.
But prevention is always the best cure and, if it respects the needs of the plant, in general you will not need any specific cure.
Just place the cyclamen in a cool, moist place, because it does not tolerate hot, dry air.
Provide your plant with a well-drained substrate, because cyclamen does not like heavy watering and the soil should only be wet if it is completely dry.
My Cyclamen is Withered
The cyclamen is a perennial plant, which continues to vegetate from year to year, but at the end of the flowering, its leaves remain beautiful and luxuriant even for some weeks, and, when the heat arrives, they tend to wither, because they are about to enter into vegetative rest.
In this period, we have to suspend the watering and let the leaves dry up in a natural way.
Then, it is good to move the plant in a dark, cool and dry place and let it rest for a couple of months. Once the period of vegetative rest has ended, watering must be resumed, the first time also in an abundant way, watering the soil completely.
Or, we can immerse the pot in a pool full of water for about one hour and then let the excess water drain, before repositioning the cyclamen in its residence.
In this way, the plant will come back to sprout and blossom again.
This is a very easy and effective system, otherwise, you can extract the tubers from the pots, leave them for a day in the air to dry and then place them in a bag of jute or linen, full of chips and sand and store them in a dry place in the dark until spring, when you can replant them.
Cyclamen is a flower that has taken on many different meanings over time, due to its very varied characteristics.
The ancients used to attribute to it a negative meaning of distrust and mistrust, because the roots of cyclamen possess a poison that is dangerous for man and animals.
Always for the ancients, however, for the round shape of the tuber, which was associated with that of the uterus, and the amount of its petals, the cyclamen has become the symbol of fertility and for this reason given to future or new mothers.
Today, the cyclamen, which survives the harsh winter, is considered a lucky flower and is the perfect gift for those who are going through a period of difficulty.