Miniature flowering cyclamen have small long lasting fragrant flowers and small leaves with attractive marbled patterns. Standard cyclamen have large long lasting flowers with a slight fragrance. There are also double and ruffled standard varieties.
Cyclamen are sold in flower and in pots from March to October. When buying, choose plants with one or two flowers and plenty of buds under the foliage. Cyclamen are tubers and die down after flowering. The best position for them is a well-lit airy room away from direct sunlight. They enjoy cooler temperatures.
How to Care
Feeding and Watering
Regular feeding using a soluble fertiliser such as iCan Fast Food will guarantee flowering success. A slow release fertiliser such as Osmocote can be used. Follow the directions on the packet.
Be careful not to overwater, allowing the mix to dry out between watering. Water the plant from the bottom of the pot by either filling the saucer with water or dunking the pot into a bucket of water. When the bubbles stop, remove the plant and drain. If watering from the top take care not to wet the tuber or foliage as this causes disease to spread.
Cyclamen enjoy humid conditions. To increase the humidity, fill a saucer with pebbles, sit the plant in its pot on the pebbles and fill the saucer with water. Top up as required. Do not let the roots sit in water.
After flowering, let the plant die down naturally and stop watering. Let the potting mix dry out completely and leave the tuber in the pot until signs of new growth appear. Knock off old potting mix and repot into fresh potting mix. Place the tuber so it is sitting on top of the potting mix and not buried. Place in a cool well lit area and water sparingly until in full leaf.
Pests & Diseases
Mites cause the leaves and flowers to distort and are difficult to control. Spray regularly with Mavrik or if the infestation is really bad, destroy the plant. Mites are usually only a problem when replanting tubers from the previous year.
Grey Mould (Botrytis) is a fungus that grows in warm humid conditions. Buds and new leaves turn grey/brown shrivel up and die. Move the plant to ensure better air circulation. Be careful not to wet the tuber and leaves.
If the room temperature is too high, flowers and leaves may become droopy and wilt. When the plant is watered they remain droopy. To rectify, move to a cooler room.