of the month
If you have trouble viewing these PDF (portable document
format) files, download a copy of the
free Adobe Reader.
(SY-kla-men, as a common name)
Cyclamen plants bear
distinctive five-petaled blooms atop smooth, slender, leafless
stems. The blooms are downward pointing but strongly reflexed,
resembling butterflies; waxy; and sometimes ruffled or edged
with a contrasting color. They rise above a dense base of
fleshy, heart-shaped or kidney-shaped leaves, which often are
marbled light and dark green with silver bands. Some varieties
feature silver leaves with green highlights.
Cyclamens are available in
red, pink, salmon, purple, lavender, white and bicolors.
Cyclamens can flower for two
to four months, with individual blooms lasting up to three
weeks. Once flowering stops, the plants can survive for several
Cyclamens are available
year-round, but peak availability is approximately from October
IN-STORE AND CONSUMER CARE
Place Cyclamens in a bright environment but out of
Keep plants moderately
moist at all times. Water thoroughly when the soil surface is
dry to the touch. Cyclamens are extremely sensitive to
both underwatering and overwatering, so never allow plants to
dry out and wilt, and, conversely, never allow the pots to sit
in water for prolonged periods.
Ideally, place pots in a shallow container of tepid
water for 15 to 30 minutes (the soil will absorb water from the
holes in the bottom of the pots), then allow them to drain. If
you water from the top, drip water just inside the edges of the
pot to avoid getting water in the plants’ crown, on the tuber or
on the leaves.
These plants prefer cool
environments—preferably 60 F to 65 F during the daytime and 50 F
to 60 F at night. Placing Cyclamens in a warm room or
near heat sources will shorten their life dramatically.
Cyclamens require high humidity. Place pots on a
pebble tray, making sure the bottoms of the pots are out of the
water. Also occasionally mist the air around the plants.
Feed Cyclamens every two weeks while in bloom with a
high-phosphorous plant food mixed at half strength. Do not feed
Remove blooms and leaves as they fade, carefully cutting,
twisting or pinching the stems off at the crown.
Under-watering, too-high temperature, too-low humidity, exposure
to direct sunlight
PALE/LIMP/DEFORMED LEAVES, BLOOMS
Spider mites and/or Cyclamen mites
SHRIVELING/DRYING FLOWER BUDS
Under-watering, not enough light, too-low humidity, too-high
temperature, exposure to ethylene
SHORT BLOOM LIFE
Too-high temperature, too-low humidity, underwatering,
overwatering, not enough or wrong kind of fertilizer, exposure
PLANT COLLAPSE, ROTTING CROWN
Over-watering, water on the crown and/or tuber, too-high
Overwatering, water on the crown and/or tuber, too-high
temperature, poor air circulation
Too-high temperature, too-low humidity. Discard plants, or
remove affected leaves and treat with a neem-based insecticide.
WHAT'S IN A
The genus name Cyclamen is presumably from the Greek
word “kylos,” meaning “circle,” in reference to the rounded
tubers. The specific epithet “persicum” means “of Persia,”
referring to the nativity of this species of Cyclamen.
is a member of the Primulaceae (primrose) family.
Besides primroses, relatives include loosestrife (Lysimachia).
These plants are native to the eastern Mediterranean region,
including the countries of Greece, Turkey, Cypress, Syria,
Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and the northern African countries
of Egypt and Libya.
Some information provided by:
by R.G. Turner Jr. and Ernie Wasson
Chain of Life Network®,
Complete Guide to Conservatory Plants, The, by Ann Bonar
Complete Houseplant Survival Manual, The, by Barbara Pleasant
Dictionary of Plant Names, by Allen J. Coombes
Flowering & Foliage Plants, Book 2, by Debra Terry Graber/The
John Henry Company
Hortus Third, by Liberty Hyde Bailey and Ethel Zoe Bailey
Houseplant Encyclopedia, The, by Ingrid Jantra and Ursula Kruger
House Plant Expert, The, by Dr. D.G. Hessayon
New Pronouncing Dictionary of Plant Names by Florists’
Stearn’s Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners, by William T.
Photo courtesy of The John Henry Company