Native to the Mediterranean and North Africa, Cyclamen persicum, the potted florist variety, blooms in the fall, winter and spring, depending on growing conditions. Some greenhouses time the blooming cycle for the holiday season, and cyclamen is often grouped with indoor holiday plants like poinsettias and Christmas cactus. When it is time to repot, wait until the blooms are spent and leaves start to yellow, often as early as April, signalling that the plant is going dormant for the summer.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Potting soil
- Hand spade
Select a clean pot with good drainage and a diameter 1 to 1 1/2 inches larger than the cyclamen's current container.
Moisten packaged peat soil mix or combine equal parts of moistened, sterile houseplant soil and perlite for your potting medium. Place 1 inch of the mixture in the bottom of the new container.
Turn the cyclamen plant upside-down and tap the pot gently on the edge of a counter or table to loosen and remove it from its pot. Discard any salt accumulation caused by fertilising from the top of the plant's soil.
Position your cyclamen plant in the centre of the container; fill the open areas in the pot with potting soil using a hand spade. Keep half of the corm, the bulblike centre of the cyclamen, above the soil line. Pat down the soil with your fingers, leaving 1 inch of head room for future watering. Do not water at this time.
Place your repotted cyclamen in a cool, dry location with good air circulation for the next six to eight weeks for its resting period. Do not supply any water during this period. After this time, move your repotted cyclamen to a cool, shaded indoor window and water it. Once new foliage appears, water the cyclamen again and move it to a location with bright, indirect sunlight.
Tips and warnings
- Repot your cyclamen when the bulblike corm and root ball is fairly large. Cyclamens need repotting only every two to three years.
- You can place potted cyclamens outdoors in a shady location, turned on their sides to keep them from absorbing water, during their summer dormant period.
- If you are having trouble getting your cyclamen to take water after its dormant period, add a few drops of liquid dish soap to the water. It acts as a wetting agent and won't harm the plant.
- Cyclamens like cool weather. Daytime temperatures no greater than 20 degrees C and night temperatures as low as 4.44 to 10.0 degrees C provide the best growing conditions and extend blooming time.
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- Cyclamen: Florist Cultivators
- University of Missouri Extension: Care of Flowering Potted Plants--Cyclamen
- Washington State University Extension: Frequently Asked Questions--Houseplants
- Texas A&M; AgriLife Extension: Texas Master Gardener -- Houseplants
- University of Maryland Extension: Care of Holiday Plants
- University of Minnesorta Extension: Cyclamen Care