Where to house dormant cyclamen?

dixielib(z6/7 Ga)April 25, 2006

Hi, I was given a cyclamen for my birthday last November. It has been a beauty all winter long, always covered with blooms. I am hot natured and keep the temps in the 60's during the winter. It is in a bright window. I top watered, but that seemed to be okay. I am only now reading up on this plant, because I thought it was dying. I accidently did ok by it during the winter. Now I am reading all the posts I can find here on cyclamen and realize that it's poor performance now is due to it going dormant. Where should I house it now? I can put it on a shelf of my potting bench outside where it will be shaded and dry. Other choices would be inside in the laundry room or in a closet. What are its requirements when it is dormant? Will all the leaves fall off?

Thanks, Susan

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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Traditional wisdom says that you should lay the pot on its side once the leaves fall and allow to dry out till summer, then repot and resume watering.
Never tried this tho, but yes the leaves do all fall off leaving a hard corm(the caudex) behind.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 4:50PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

If you let it go "dormant", there is a chance it will never wake up again.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 8:28PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

If you don't let a plant go dormant when it wants to--and I don't know how you'd do that--it will just prolong the dying. Cyclamen have a dormant period. It is just as necessary for them as for a daffodil. Can you keep a daffodil from going dormant? I sure wouldn't know how!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 1:45AM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)


Cyclamens do not want to die if the weather is kept cool. A slow growing period in early summer is the "dormancy of cyclamen".

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 10:40AM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

My INDOOR cyclamen now. My 2 pm room temperature is about 80 F ...

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 12:01PM
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Hi Susan,

Its been years since I brought a Cyclamen home and I usually donÂt bother writing in about it. But the care it needs is still in my memory so IÂll add my comments for whatever itÂs worth. I wish someone had told me about this plant in my early days. My first cyclamen was a gift in the month of April by my cousin visiting from out of town. I'd never seen it before and fell in love with it. Two weeks later, much to my dismany, the plant's leaves started turning yellow and no matter what I tried, it died (or so I thought). Needless to say that the poor thing ended up in the trash when all it wanted was to take a summer nap :)

Although I miss these plants dearly, I no longer buy Cyclamen because there is absolutely no cool place in my home for me to place it. ItÂs one of those plants that IÂll have to do without for now.

Cyclamen are Mediterranean plants and usually follow three basic rules:

- Start growing in early fall

- Grow through winter and spring

- Go dormant in the summer (while there is no rain and too much sun)

For those of you who have been to Mediterranean countries, you understand about the lack of rain and loads of sun. Once that season hits, it is perfectly natural for cyclamens to revert to their natural habitat ways and want to take a nap for the summer. Even the people in the Mediterranean once summer hits  will have their afternoon siestas during the summer.

In late April or early May most cyclamens show signs of being tired and will normally go dormant for the summer.
Just when they go dormant is determined to some extent by their growing conditions. Too much heat and sun will encourage early dormancy. But the same cyclamen, if kept in cool conditions, may continue right into mid-May and beyond. But itÂs really the temperature that determines most of it. Too much heat is interpreted by them as summer and summer means snooze time.

For the most part you can expect that by the end of April, most of these plants want to go dormant. My suggestion is to let your plant lead as much as possible and it will let you know exactly when itÂs ready for its nap.

A nice summer siesta outdoors in full shade in your garden is a great place for it. The shelf of your potting bench outside - where it will be shaded and dry - sounds like a terrific place. As long as rainfall and the sun do not hit the plant directly, itÂs fine. All the leaves will go yellow and dry. This process sometimes takes as long as a couple of months. Remove all dead leaves and flowers  gently. A nice cool place is essential as well as letting the soil become dry.

Most people withhold water and let it rest until September. Some  more sensitive souls  feel like theyÂre killing the plant with no water and add just a tiny bit each week; I donÂt know :)

Anyhow, donÂt be afraid of this resting period. ItÂs not only necessary for most cyclamen, itÂs welcomed by them. A good resting period is almost always needed by the tuber; it helps with the next blooming season.

In early fall, remove the tuber from its pot and shake off any old potting mix. Repot in fresh potting mix, place it in a bright but cool location and water minimally until you see new growth. Once new growth appears, itÂs a sure sign that your cyclamen is awake and ready to grow and (hopefully) rebloom.

Anyhow, thatÂs all she wrote. I hope it helps a little!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 3:11PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

I think most cyclamens come from Turkey. I am told by a grower that these plants lose commercial value after 3 years from seeds. Too many die over "dormancy". Instructions for you may look different from what the "experts" really know ...

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 4:56PM
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I've read and done this. As soon as leaves start yellowing, the plant is telling you it's ready for a rest. This doesn't mean putting in a closet..I'd set on your bench, outside.
Anyway, as the leaves die, new leaves start coming in. It may take up to 6 wks for this to happen..so in other words, you'll have more older leaves die then new come in. When leaves are dead, remove them from the plant.
A shaded outside area is best. Also, bottom-watering is required. (corms rot easily) After 6 wks of rest, about the middle of summer or early fall, start feeding w/a mild fertilizer. by early fall you should have a nice plant. I would think keeping outside until first frost, (keep soil barely dry) will promote flowering for next winter..Toni

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 9:56PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

I agree with Toni. The "dormancy" of cyclamen is different from that of roses. A deep "dormancy" of cyclamen may mean weakness and death. Most cases of the early yellowing are actually caused by unhealthy indoor environment. It is like the declining of force indoor tulips. It is not a natural desire to sleep. Also I must emphasize the importance of protecting outdoor cyclamens from any rain falling on top. I have one of mine hanging outside my north window under a large transparent cake-cover taped to the strings. Unprotected cyclamens always perish in the repeated summer rainfalls overhead.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 12:25PM
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flybabytina(NY - Zone 6)

Is anybody "waking up" their cyclamens yet?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 9:58PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

Sure, mine is setting small buds now. To be honest, it never goes to sleep completely.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 10:13AM
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i was given some flats with 4" pots of cyclamen, my friend told me that when plants become yellowish, i should take them out of the pot and clean them from their foliage and roots, to wash, wrap them in newspaper, and store them in a dry place till new growing season, i began doing this, but then become curious about this procedure, so i read some articles and now i regreat what i did, my question is what should i do to salvage some of the cyclamens i striped from roots and leaves. (the tubers i removed compleately leaving only the bulb) i hope they can still come back??????

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 12:33PM
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My cyclamen is going dormant and is showing a couple of (what i believe to be) seed pods. I am curious about how i should treat the seed pods. Do I let them dry out naturally, or do I pull it off the plant and let it dry seperately? I am planning to keep my cyclamen indoors and out of the garden. When is it time to try planting a new cyclamen? Since we wake them up in the fall, I am assuming fall is the best time for planting.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 11:39PM
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when i got my cyclamen i read alot about it online and all say that they should be left to dormancy period in summer but some say they should be watered less frequently and others say we should stop watering and let them dry. i dont know which is true and best. stop watering all together?? i had them without water now for more than 2 months from late april. of course they look dead but can they come to life when i start watering in september?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 2:27PM
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