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    Cyclamen Plants: Tips on Caring for Enchanting Flowers, Their Proper Growth and Propagation

    I spend lots of time taking care of different flowers and know a lot about the most popular houseplants that are quite easy to maintain. Speaking about cyclamen, I should point out that it can be regarded to be a perfect indoor plant which, if cared for well, is pleasing to eyes.

    Cyclamen Plants – Gorgeous and Sophisticated Perennials

    Though cyclamen plants are mainly kept as houseplants, they can be easily found in wilderness. Personally I’ve discovered them in the wild in the beginning of March. These wonderful perennials have whitish-green leaves and are usually noticed thanks to red, white, pink or purple flowers.

    Before choosing any plant, I always look through their pictures. Of course, there is no guarantee the plant will be the same as pictured on the pack of seeds, however, I am lucky enough to determine what flower I need with the help of cyclamen images.

    The genus of this plant enumerates about 20 perennial species. If you deal with wild ones, their cultivation should take place only in shade areas and open places, as these enhance their beauty and a refined perfume.

    Among different types of cyclamen many people choose those they like best. My friend, for example, prefers cyclamen persicum. This herb is mostly native to the Eastern Mediterranean area and can reach 6 inches in diameter. Its showy and fragrant flowers bloom from mid-winter to spring.

    Sowing Cyclamen Seeds

    The plant bears a capsule that contains up to 30 seeds. If the flower is properly cultivated, it lives up to four years without transplanting. Sowing the seeds is very easy, but before the procedure they are to be soaked in warm water. I usually leave them for at least 12 hours, as this time is enough to soften the seed coat.

    Sprinkle compost over the seeds, water and cover with a layer of black polythene. The germination takes 30-60 days, and I usually take off the covering once the seedlings appear. When the first leaves start developing, you can plant the plants individually into pots.

    Rules of Cutting Cyclamen

    Propagation of cyclamen requires special knowledge. If you are not well-experienced in the process of pruning, you can consider the rules I keep to. The best way of cyclamen propagation is cutting off the lower leaves, as they usually take root quicker.

    It’s also important to cut the stems between 30 to 60 degree angles, close to main stems. How to prune a cyclamen? Select healthy sections for cutting and cut the stem up to 4 inches long below the node. Remove leaves from the bottom 1 inch of the stem and dip it in rooting hormone. It doesn’t matter much when to transplant the stem as some types of the plant can root even if they are placed in clean water.

    Planting Hardy Cyclamen Corms

    Hardy cyclamen corm roots are shallow, but the corm increases in size. I plant them at a depth, considering soil conditions, severity of moisture and cold outdoors. So, how to plant a cyclamen?

    Corms are easily planted when they are in dormant state. Place the corm deep so that there is 1 inch of soil covering it. The distance to place the plants depends on the size of the corm. If I am not going to disturb the plants for a while, I usually place them about one foot apart. After planting cyclamen, don’t forget to water the plant, because during the season of growth water is very important, as it provides essential elements for proper growth.

    Growing Cyclamen in Pots

    When plants are in the summer dormant period, you can pot them up. If you are potting hardy cyclamen, don’t expect to keep them indoors, because due to the size they are to remain outdoors.

    To keep the flowers growing in good condition, you should provide enough light, water and feeding. How to grow cyclamen plants in pots? Choose proper pot size. I take the pot that is wide enough for the corn to have a couple of inches of space from the sides. I usually grow these flowers in clay and plastic pots with mixed potting soil.

    Cyclamen Care Considerations

    Care for cyclamen begins with the correct temperature, watering, humidity and fertilization requirements. When the temperature is over 68F during the day and 50F at night, the plant will soon die. Ideally, it should be kept in the place with the temperature that does not exceed 60ºF. I always keep the plant near or on a window sill, as only there it can get enough sunlight to thrive.

    Humidity control is an essential point of care instructions. To ensure proper humidity, one of my friends places the pot with the flower in a pebble lined tray that is filled with water. Once I immersed the pot in water and the flower died.

    Deficit or excess of water causes many problems and hampers the tubers from which the flower grows. Caring for cyclamen in a proper way, I water it with cool water not allowing it to touch the plant’s crown.

    Regular fertilization is the one that takes place once every 1-2 months. How to care for the plant in a proper way? Give it the feeding that begins a month after it has been purchased, but be careful: when the flower gets too much fertilizer, it cannot re-bloom.

    Taking Care for Plant’s Leaves

    When the plant stops blooming, leaves curling is the problem that starts bothering those, who are worried about their favorite flowers. The common mistake is to discard the plant at that very point. When the leaves start curling or become yellow, you should stop watering the flower. Keep the plant in a cool place.

    Old leaves will fall off and new ones will start growing. Then you should water the soil thoroughly. You can add a few drops of hand dish-washing detergent that will work as a wetting agent.

    Diseases and Pests Common for Cyclamen Plants

    There is an impressive number of diseases that affect cyclamen plants all the year round. To the most common of them belong:

    • Bacterial soft rot (the plant is getting yellow and dies). The only way out is to plant healthy corms and discard those that are already infected.
    • Botrytis blight (appearance of leaf spots that soon become tan). Problem management: reduction of humidity.
    • Fusarium wilt (corm’s vascular tissue becomes dark brown and then turns black). Solution: discard infected plants and plant only disease-free corns.
    • Leaf spots (grey, brown and yellow spots on leaves). Management: watering of the flower in a way that doesn’t wet the leaves.
    • Pythium root rot (transplanted plants start dying). To avoid occurrence of the problem one is to apply thiophanate methyl or chlorothalonil.
    • Viruses (abnormal shapes and colors of plants). Management: maintenance of good thrips and aphid pests control.

    Cyclamens are highly sophisticated flowers that require proper care. If you are ready to spend much time ensuring its proper growth and health, I recommend you buy several species and enjoy their beauty every day.

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Questions on Cyclamen image
Cyclamen

Since I received the first cyclamen plant as a precious gift almost 2 years ago, there was no sense to address any cyclamen society with...

08/20/12 – 12:16
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