A Guide to Growing Cyclamen
Growing cyclamen during the cooler months adds a welcome pop of colour to your pots, patio or hanging baskets. Cyclamen are hardy plants that enjoy the colder weather. Their gorgeous blooms of crisp white through to alluring shades of pinks, reds and purples stretch up above their gorgeous foliage making them a real winter winner. Follow our tips below for growing cyclamen in your patch.
When to plant Cyclamen
Cyclamen generally begin arriving instore in mid-late Autumn and are available in a range of sizes from minis through to larger grades. It’s best to plant them soon after you get them so you can enjoy their colour throughout the cooler winter months.
Soil and position
Cyclamen require excellent drainage to thrive, make sure that if they’re planted in pots or containers that they have drainage holes. If you’re planting in your garden, add some compost or organic matter and work through the soil prior to planting. Avoid planting in heavy soils like clay. Plant your cyclamen with the top of the corm just above the surface of the soil.
In nature, cyclamen grow in cool, humid environments. Avoid placing your cyclamen in direct sunlight, opting instead for a shady spot with a bit of dappled light. The foliage will begin to yellow and the flowers will decline rapidly if the temperature is too warm for your cyclamen.
Wait until the soil is dry to the touch before watering your cyclamen. Cyclamen are sensitive to both being over and under watered which is why good drainage is essential.
If your cyclamen is showing droopy leaves or flowers it needs to be watered immediately as it’s best not to leave your plant in this state.
It’s advisable to water your cyclamen from the bottom if it is in a pot or container, sit it in a saucer of water for about 30 minutes and then tip the excess water from the saucer. Avoid watering the leaves and flowers as this can lead to rot.
To keep your cyclamen blooming for longer make sure you cut back the stems of the spent flowers and remove any dead leaves from the plant to keep it healthy, thriving and flowering for longer.
Cyclamen are a tuberous perennial meaning that it dies down to its thick roots during its summer dormancy to re-emerge in the autumn.
If you like to keep your cyclamen inside, once it has finished flowering for the season, it can be planted in a shady spot in your garden for the summer months and then re-potted to bring back inside the following winter when it begins to flower again.
If you’re looking to add foliage or flowers to your winter garden, look to add hellebores to your garden alongside your cyclamen. Hellebores add a welcome pop of colour in winter, with their floral displays lasting through until spring. Hellebores are perfect for underplanting on large trees, and prefer a shady spot and well-draining soil, much like cyclamen. Learn more about growing hellebores here.
In a pot or container, look to plant bulbs such as tulips in the bottom of the container and co-plant with cyclamen and ferns.