Cyclamens - Never grown them before

eahamel(9a)December 2, 2011

I've always admired cyclamens, but never tried to grow any because I assumed they wouldn't survive long in our hot climate. Then in November, I saw one planted in a large pot, obviously had been there more than a year, and survived our heat just fine. So, I've gotten some. I'm going to put them in a large pot along with a couple other things, and am wondering what to do with them when they go out of bloom.

I've seen some really spectacular ones at one nursery, but didn't get any because of the cost. They were large, 6" pots, for 8.99. I got a couple of smaller ones in 4" pots for $4.99. I read something about some being miniatures - could these in 4" pots be miniatures? Or are they just smaller ones that haven't grown up yet. I know that's hard to answer without seeing them. I'm really tempted to get one or two of the big ones - some had ruffled petals, and there was a variety that had leaves that were mostly whitish with a ring of darker green in the center - really outstanding.

I also found some at Lowe's, regularly $2.98, but some of them seem to have been dried out at one point because they had some dead, dried leaves. They were marked down to 50 cents, so of course, I had to get some. The ones I got looked okay and have buds coming on.

Any tips on how to keep these happy? Do they need to be deadheaded or fertilized to keep them blooming? What do I do when they quit blooming and start dying back?

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Eahamel,

Maybe you could go to a local nursery & chat up a worker or 2 w/ some questions as if you were going to buy?

Because I believe there are several different kinds. Here in NYC, they sell some around Thanksgiving to Xmas; I've given those as gifts & the one I kept myself went dormant after blooming.

Yet I also have friends here who have some that are winter hearty grow outdoors, coming back every spring.

If it were me, I'd try to go where I've seen them growing & see if I could talk to the folk growing them & ask questions. Sorry I don't have better, more specific info, for you.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 10:39AM
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Pirate Girl, I've talked to people at several nurseries and they don't know much about how to grow them here because hardly anyone tries it. Word is, they won't grow here because of our heat. Someone did tell me, they might come back one year but won't survive long-term here. I'm a bit disappointed. Someone else told me they are very prone to fungus and are the most heavily sprayed plant there is because of that. Not too encouraging!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 5:35PM
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Eahamel. There are different Cyclamen types.
Hardy Cyclamens live in zones 4-9.
Florist Cyclamens would die in temps under 40F for prolonged periods.

It's true, Cyclamen are prone to fungus, but only if soil stays wet. (in pots, too,) especially in cold temperatures.

Since you like Cylamen, why not grow in a pot? Indoors. Toni

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 5:21PM
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Hi Eahamel,

Although I've killed off my share of Cyclamen (and probably someone else's share as well), I keep ending up with them. My partner gave me one this last spring & now it is re-blooming, a first for me!

After it was done the first time, it mostly died back for the summer, sending out just a few little leaves & no flowers. I repotted the corm in a very fast potting mix: if they stay wet, they rot, but they're THIRSTY little buggers & get all wilty in a trice!

Once it started getting cooler & the days shorter, new leaves started coming on & now it's got half a dozen lovely flowers & several more buds. I keep it next to an unheated window, with southern exposure now, but I'll move it to a dimmer window once it tires itself out again.

It looks like, if you keep them happy you'll get blooms twice a year, with some unattractive rest periods in between... maybe in TX, pop them somewhere cool & dim, like the basement for the summer while they're dormant?

Good luck & I think the key is getting them enough water without getting the corm soggy... a fast mix may be the way to do that.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 11:41AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I used to sell them when I worked in the garden center in PA. We kept them outside uless it got too cold. They are a beautiful plant. My boss said to keep them away from other plants because red spider mites love them. That was back in the 80's. Maybe the newer varieties don't get them?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 6:46PM
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Thanks for the good info! I'm going to try to grow them indoors and will keep the corms in a dry spot in the summer. I don't use a lot of a/c and my house gets to maybe 83-85 indoors, so we'll see if they can take that heat for a dormant period. We don't have basements here along the Gulf Coast. The soil is clay and they will fill with water. Someone in my neighborhood had a bomb shelter when I was a kid, and he had to pump the water out of it from time to time. He finally gave up on that project and left it alone. Yes, people used to make bomb shelters - the gov't wanted everyone to be prepared for an attack if one happened.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 8:07AM
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Zackey..nope, Cyclamen Mites still like
But, mites can attack any's a chance we take when we bring in new plants.

Eahamel. You can't summer your Cyclamen outdoors? If you can place in a semi-shady to bright location.
After flowering, Cyclamen go dormant for a short period. Leaves start yellowing, which indicates it needs rest. No water or fertilizer.
Sometimes, while leaves yellow, new foliage grows in.

I keep mine outdoors until first frost alongside Christmas Cactus.
Guess I should say, 'had.'
Mine was going on it's 3rd or 4th year..This autumn we had abundant rainfall. A couple leaves grew, but I didn't have the heart to check. If it lives, I'll be happy, if not, well, time for a new Cyclamen.

Home Depot had some true beauty's last week, but had to pass, attempting optimism. Toni

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 7:06PM
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Yes, I could keep them outdoors in pots through the summer, but the temps in summer range from 95 - 105, and it may go down to 80 at night. It's very humid, too. That can last for several months. Usually May through September. That's why no one can grow them here. They don't survive our hot, humid summers. Lots of plants that can be grown in the north don't survive our hot summers.

Hope yours has survived!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 7:49AM
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birdsnblooms you have a super-shady spot in your yard? Shade outdoors is equivalent to medium/bright light indoors.

Do temps cool in autumn? Sept through Oct/Nov? Toni

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 3:00PM
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I have a great deal of trouble with cyclamen. Unfortunately, lots of women like them for weddings so we do have to deal with them at work. We will always order extra for those plants that are destined to die before the wedding. Sometimes we will have one or two left over and allow it to go dormant until the weather cools. We don't water at all through the hot summer months.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 6:58PM
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I can never get mine back after dormancy. I just bought another one to kill. Love these plants and I have a really green thumb but for some reason they never come back for me. Too dry maybe during dormancy?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 7:45AM
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