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Cyclamen Flower: Everything You Need to Know

What comes to your mind when you think of classic winter bloomers? The Cyclamen flower, right!

Cyclamens are charming flowers mostly known for their unique reflexed petals that make them look like butterflies.

Generally, the Cyclamen flower blooms from January to March. Their long, twisted petals are spherical and sharply curved upward. The flowers have white, red, pink, and purple hues and have a fragrant scent. Under adequate care, they bloom elegantly both indoors and outdoors.

Pink cyclamen flowers
Pink Cyclamen flowers (Source: Facebook)

The plant is usually grown for its flowers as they are popular winter bloomers having a significant meaning.

Continue reading to explore this flower and its care.

How Often does the Cyclamen Flower?

Cyclamen are among the traditional winter bloomers. Therefore, you may easily find them in shops and gardens throughout winter.

Typically, Cyclamen blooms from late December to the end of April under the right conditions.

Cyclamen Hederifolium (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The flowers are on a long elongated stem about 15-20 cm long. The 2-inch bloom of Cyclamen comes in different color ranges such as white, pink, red, lavender, etc.

The twisted petals point upwards, whereas the main flower points downwards to shield the stamens and pistil from rainfall.

Usually, after sowing, Cyclamen flowers in around 25-33 weeks. However, this may get delayed by two to four weeks as per the rise or fall in the temperature (above 85°F) or (below 53°F).

The flowering also depends on several factors like variety, humidity levels, temperature, light intensity, pot size, and seasonality.

Cyclamen are easy and reliable plants indoors, but taking care of them during their dormant period to rebloom them for the next season can get tricky.

Overview of Cyclamen Flower

Did you know there are over 23 different varieties of Cyclamen? Cyclamen cyprium is one of them and the national flower of Cyprus.

Also, the Persian Cyclamen is a widely popular flower referred to as the Persian violet or the common orchid. Despite their name, Primulaceae is the family to which they belong.

Cyclamens are neither an orchid nor violet. Therefore, this is deceptive. Furthermore, it is unknown where the name came from.

IndicatorIdentity
StructureDownward-facing blooms with reflexed petals
Size2-14 mm
ColorPure white, all shades of pink, lavender, red, purple, flame, etc
ScentFresh green floral scent
Flower TypeTuberous perennial
Blooming SeasonBlooms right through January, February and into March
LifespanA couple of weeks
ToxicityToxic to pets and humans

Cyclamens can beautify your gardens instantly, but they can quickly get invasive and take over the place.

As Cyclamens propagates by the seeds, it can spread all over your garden. Your other plants may suffocate as a result.

Additionally, removing them without destroying your garden is tough as their tubers are quite deep and tough to remove.

Cyclamen Flower Pollination

When it comes to pollination, flowering species can be divided into two sections; self-compatible and self-incompatible.

Cyclamen is a self-incompatible species meaning they rely on insects for pollination. Their primary pollinators are tiny moths, thrips, and honeybees.

Honeybee sucking necter of the Cyclamen flower
Honeybee sucking nectar of the Cyclamen flower (Source: Flickr)

As their seedpods ripen and fall to the ground level. The ant feeds on the sticky coats attached to them. Later the seeds germinate wherever the insects and ants leave them.

Interestingly, Cyclamens can self-sow and cover the entire grass after pollination.

Likewise, most Cyclamen varieties will begin blooming nine to fifteen months after germination.

Aside from this, there is another way for Cyclamen to pollinate: artificial pollination.

Tips to Hand-Pollinate Cyclamen

  • Choose a bright sunny day for pollination.
  • You can gently flick the plant’s stems, and the pollen will fall on the Stigma.
  • Or, get a paintbrush with a small tip and paper towels.
  • Drop the pollen on the paper towels by gently flicking them.
  • Collect the pollen through the paintbrush and dip them in the pistil Stigma of the flower.
  • Now that the pollination is complete, you will see the formation of the seed pod.

The flower stalk will curl, elongate and arch down after pollination, and the blooms fade.

At the stalk’s tip, a seed capsule will develop. Depending on the variety, each capsule contains six to twelve seeds.

How to Make a Cyclamen Plant Flower?

The best way to care for Cyclamen is to mimic their natural environment as much as possible.

Generally, it is best if you can plant your Cyclamen in drifts around the base of mature shrubs, trees, and north-facing walls.

The area should get slight shade in summer and moisture in autumn to late spring.

Besides this, the following are the certain care requirements that you should take care of.

  • For Cyclamen to thrive and bloom, it prefers bright filtered light. Place them in a cool bright location with 1 or 2 hours of sunlight each morning.
  • The ideal range to maintain is 50 to 70 °F. The blossoming period could be delayed by 2-4 weeks if the temperature fluctuates from the ideal range.
  • Water your plant if the soil is dry to touch. Be careful with watering, as overwatering can kill them—only water once a week and every ten days in winter.
Watering an Indoor Plant
Watering Your Indoor Plant (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
  • Use well-draining, slightly acidic (pH 5.6-6) organic soil mix for the Cyclamen to bloom fully. Alternatively, you can use sphagnum peat moss to increase the soil acidity.  
  • Cyclamen loves humidity levels between 50–60%  with proper air circulation. You can balance the humidity by using a humidifier, especially during winters.
  • Fertilize your plant using a low-nitrogen, phosphorus-rich liquid fertilizer while actively growing.

Watch out for pests like Broad mites, caterpillars, fungus gnats, greenflies, shore flies, and thrips, as Cyclamens are prone to them if the ventilation is poor and humidity is excessive.

How Do I Get My Cyclamen to Rebloom?

Commonly, people discard the Cyclamen because it can get tricky to get it to flower again.

Read on to find out how to get your Cyclamen to rebloom after they go dormant.

  • Stop watering the plant after the leaves turn yellow and wither and place them in a cool place.
  • You may re-pot it into a pot that is 1 inch wider in diameter than the previous pot once all the leaves have dried, which could take up to two months. Typically, this is only required every two years.
  • To provide appropriate drainage and prevent tuber rot, the top half of the tuber should extend above the soil line. Use a prepackaged peaty soil blend for this. 
white cyclamen flowers indoors
White Cyclamen (Source: Unsplash)
  • Stop watering the plant as it can stimulate new shoots to develop quicker.
  • You can begin watering it by the end of October if there hasn’t been any new growth.
  • After the new leaves emerge from the tuber, place the plant in a bright location.

Re-water the plant thoroughly once shoots appear and the soil begins to dry.

Common Problems with Cyclamen Flowers

Cyclamen is not safe from several common plant problems. The following are a few of the common problems and their causes.

ReasonsProblems
Overwatering
Flowers will droop, and buds can fall off
UnderwateringFlowers stars wilting, and plants will have stunt growth with crispy or yellow leaves
High TemperatureFlowers will fade
Tubers planted too deep in the soilThe plant will not bloom properly
OverfertilizingIt will affect the plant to rebloom
Fluctuation in temperature and humidityFlower buds not opening
Botrytis blightFlowers turn a papery brown and become covered with gray, fuzzy masses
Cyclamen miteFlowers will discolor, shrivel or wilt

As already stated, Mediterranean plants like Cyclamen blooms in winter and goes dormant throughout the summer so that they can escape the dry conditions.

But at times, you may find your Cyclamen flowering in summer, which is the wrong season.

Flowering in different seasons can be due to many reasons, such as high temperatures.

Extreme temperature can force your Cyclamen to go into premature dormancy. As a result of this, your plant may wake up in the middle of the summer and flower.

Should You Cut off Dead Cyclamen Flowers?

If you treat it right, Cyclamen will repeat its beautiful display yearly.

You must routinely check the foliage for any wilted or diseased leaves and deadhead your Cyclamen dead flowers if you want to prolong the flowering time.

Timely pruning of a plant
Keep your plant Healthy: Prune Timely (Source: Tenor)

Deadheading will send more energy to the plant’s tuber; this means your Cyclamen will withstand dormancy well and produce lots of flowers the next time.

When your Cyclamen’s blossoms begin to shrink, remove the entire stem to stop the development of seeds and direct the plant’s energy toward producing more flowers.

Tips to Deadhead Cyclamen Flowers

You should carefully deadhead or trim the flower and the stalks when the flower begins to fade and wither.

So do not just yank the flowers; follow the instructions below.

  • Once the flowers have opened, inspect the Cyclamen daily for dead blossoms.
  • Grab the wilting flower’s stalk from underneath the blossom head. Gently pull upward while giving the stem a firm tug.
  • If the stem is still connected, wait a day or two until it has wholly shriveled before attempting to deadhead the plant again.
  • Deadhead the plant when the stem quickly pulls out.
  • Once the entire plant turns yellow and dies in the summer, remove the flower stems and leaves.

Uses of Cyclamen Plant Flowers

Cyclamen has an important place in ornamental plants. Due to its beautiful color shades and packed petals, it has become a decorative piece of homes.

Usually, Cyclamen are used primarily as indoor, winter-blooming potted plants and to a lesser extent as garden plants.

different colored cyclamen in flower pots
Cyclamen Flowers in the pot (Source: Unsplash)

Furthermore, Cyclamen also means departure and symbolizes resignation.

The next time you want to say goodbye to someone who is leaving the country, retiring, etc., Cyclamens can make a lovely gift.

Similarly, the Cyclamen flower represents a loving and compassionate heart spiritually.

Because of this, you can see them planted next to historic monasteries and churchyards in Mediterranean nations.

Additionally, it is also the holy flower of love in Japan.

The flower petals of Cyclamen beautifully resemble butterflies, and this flower has a fine meaning, symbolizing sincerity.

Hence, if you want to gift someone a plant, Cyclamen is the prettiest option.

Health Considerations to Keep in Mind

Cyclamen has beautiful flowers and foliage but is equally toxic.

According to ASPCA, Cyclamens contain Terpenoid saponins that can be toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.

cats sitting around the indoor plants
Cats enjoying indoor plants companion (Source: Tenor)

Even in humans, Cyclamen can induce symptoms like nausea, vomiting, convulsions, and paralysis if consumed in large quantities.

Hence it is best to keep your pets and kids away from this plant.

Note the following numbers if your children or pets consume the Cyclamen flowers.

Conclusion

Cyclamen are hard and woody flowers. The blooms are magnificent and last for a very long time.

Cyclamen are winter-blooming plants, so people love giving them as holiday gifts.

You should get it right now!

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