Cyclamens are gorgeous winter flowering plants that last for a long time. There are many engrossing varieties of cyclamen to choose from such as ruffled and rounded flowers. All varieties are extremely beautiful with large bright flowers and heart-shaped foliage.
However, the only drawback of cyclamen is that it is a poisonous plant. It can be toxic to dogs, cats, and humans. So you should keep it out of reach from your pets and children. It is an extra caring thing for Cyclamen than other household plants.
A Guide to Cyclamen Care: Handy Tips for Beginner Gardeners
Many gardeners force cyclamen to grow year-round which is a wrong approach. Because they don’t know that this plant requires a dormancy period in order to survive. When the dormancy period starts, the leaves first turn yellow and then die. This is completely normal for these plants.
In this situation, many people think that they are doing something wrong and try to save the plants. They give more water, heat, or light to save them. But they end up killing the plants.
Below are some important tips for cyclamen care:
Suitable Temperature for Cyclamen
Like other household plants, cyclamens are fussy about the temperature. They don’t like too hot temperatures. In a hot environment, they will force an early dormancy. You should try to place them in a cool area but keep in mind that they are frost-hardy.
The ideal temperature for cyclamen is between 50 and 70o F. In this temperature, the flowers will last too long. Further, this plant is very sensitive to drafts as well. So try to avoid areas where too cold or hot air blows.
Watering Cyclamen Plants
Watering cyclamen is a bit different thing than many other houseplants. For example, some varieties such as African violets don’t like getting their stems and leaves wet. So you need to water the plants from the bottom.
The bottom water allows the soil to soak it up via the holes in the bottom of the pot. After making the soil completely wet, remove any water left in the tray. Never let the plant sit in water for a long period.
Cyclamens like moist soil during their active growing period. However, avoid overwatering the plants because it will kill them. Let the soil dry slightly between watering. Check the soil regularly. If that feels dry to the touch, you should add some water.
Humidity Requirements for Cyclamen Plants
Another most important factor for successful cyclamen care is humidity. These plants love humidity, especially, during the winter months. Using heaters such as the humidity out of their air at homes and offices. That’s not only bad for our skin but also houseplants.
You can use different ways to increase humidity. For example, you can use a humidifier or place a pebble tray filled with water near the plants. Another good option is to grow your plants in a small plant cloche or mini indoor greenhouse.
For the best cyclamen care, you can keep an indoor humidity monitor near the plants. So you can make sure that the air is not too dry using this device.
Light Requirement for Cyclamen Care
Like other houseplants, cyclamens also like bright light but they don’t like direct sunlight. Because direct sunlight is too intense for them so don’t place them under the sunlight.
You can just place them in a room where they can get bright light. The best place to place them near an east or west-facing window.
How to Use Fertilizer for Cyclamen Care?
The best time to fertilize the plants is when they are growing and blooming. You should choose a weak half dose of liquid plant fertilizer for cyclamen. Feed them once every 2 to 3 weeks when they are growing. Don’t fertilize the plants when flowers begin to fade and during dormancy.
For bringing it out of dormancy, you should feed it again for new growth. The best time to feed the plants is when leaves are growing. You can use a general-purpose fertilizer for these plants.
How to Control Pests on Cyclamen?
If your plants are healthy, there is no need to worry about pests. Because pests are not a big issue for these plants. However, fungus gnats and spider mites can create problems for the plants.
Spider mites like dry conditions and can’t survive in a too humid environment. So you can improve humidity to get rid of spider mites. Plus, you can gently wipe the leaves and branches with a damp cloth to remove them.
Similarly, wet soil is an ideal place to live and bread for fungus gnats. If you find gnats around your plants, let the soil dry out. It will help you to get rid of fungus gnats.