The beautiful home plant cyclamen has gained popularity among amateur flower growers for its incomparable beauty of flowering in the winter. This is especially pleasant, since it is during this period that there are so few bright colors in nature. Many lush buds in combination with foliage painted with graceful silvery-green patterns cannot ignore even the most indifferent to floristry. What are cyclamens, and how to grow such beauty at home? This will be discussed in our article..
In nature, there are 15 species of cyclamen, common in the Mediterranean, Near Asia, and the Caucasus. Among indoor crops, two types are most popular – Persian with many excellent varieties and European, which is much less common..
This species has a flowering period from May to September. Florists do not often plant it in flowerpots, since it is significantly inferior in aesthetic indicators to Persian varieties. Flowers are much smaller – they are about 2 cm long, having only a pink palette.
The tubers of the European cyclamen are often irregular in shape with chaotically branching roots. Moreover, this species is the only non-deciduous among its relatives. When the dormant period comes, it does not grow, but the leaves do not shed..
Another advantage is a magnificent aroma, which varies from delicately pleasant to the smell of “expensive perfume”. Moreover, the intensity of the smell depends on the color of the flower – the brighter it is, the richer the aroma.
The flowers of the Persian cyclamen are quite large and graceful, somewhat similar to the folded wings of a butterfly. The flowering period is autumn-spring, from October to March. An interesting fact is that one flower lives only 10 days, but over the entire period, up to a hundred buds can bloom on one tuber.
This type has many varieties, which are divided into three groups in height: undersized (up to 15 cm), medium-high (up to 25 cm) and standard (up to 30 cm). Among them are such popular varieties as:
– “Scarlet moth” with bright red flowers of medium size;
– “Charlie” with pure white buds;
– “Sylphide”, which has pomegranate flowers with white edging along the edge of the petals;
– “Topaz” with carmine color, etc..
One can especially highlight the series “Roccoco” – varieties of the Persian species with large double flowers, where the edges of the petals resemble a fringe: “Leela”, pale pink “Pink”, “Rose”, “White with an eye”, etc..
Proper care of cyclamen
To have a beautiful, healthy, lush plant, it is necessary to provide it with the most favorable climate and care. Often, after the first flowering, the cyclamen is simply thrown away, but few people know that under favorable conditions the culture can delight with its charming beauty of bright red buds for more than one year..
Cyclamen is quite photophilous, but direct sunlight is contraindicated for it – this harms the buds and leaves. It is better to choose a window or loggia facing the north side for placement.
Compliance with the temperature regime is one of the main components of competent cyclamen care. Since the plant prefers coolness, the optimum temperature will be + 15… + 17C. In the hot season, it is not always possible to maintain a cool microclimate in apartments, but it is advisable to try to keep the flowerpots at a temperature no higher than + 21C. With the beginning of the heating season, it is better to remove flowers away from heating batteries and other heat emitters in the room. In this case, the room must be regularly ventilated without creating a draft..
In most cases, spraying cyclamen is not required, except in persistent heat. In this case, you can use a spray bottle and humidify the air around the plant. In this case, you need to carefully monitor that drops of water do not fall on flowers and shoots – this can lead to a deterioration in its appearance and even death. The pots can be placed on wet expanded clay or pebbles, this is especially true for newly acquired flowerpots. So they better adapt to the dry microclimate of the apartment..
For proper watering, it is important to know which cyclamen is growing in the flowerpot. If it is a variety that blooms all year round, it will be the same all year round; for the rest, watering should be more intense during the flowering period. Cyclamen loves settled water prepared in advance. You need to water evenly, not allowing water to get on the plant, so as not to destroy it (you can use a watering can).
Another suitable moisturizing method is immersion. It is necessary to take water into the container, wait until it settles. The pot should be immersed almost to the level of the sides and kept in this position until a shine of moisture appears on the ground. The pot is taken out of the water, the excess water is allowed to drain through the holes.
Fertilizers and feeding
An important part of caring for cyclamen is feeding the plant with the addition of fertilizers, although some growers refuse chemical fertilizers in favor of proper care. Nevertheless, in order for the cyclamen to develop correctly, once a month it can be fed with a liquid preparation “Floretta”, which contains many macro- and microelements that qualitatively saturate the soil. At the same time, it helps to avoid the possibility of the appearance of many diseases that affect flowers. It contains phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, magnesium and other useful additives.
If the culture was planted from seeds, with the first appearance of shoots, it is fed with a growth activator. Also, calcium nitrate is used as a fertilizer, which is applied to the soil every ten days while the plant is growing..
Plant pests and diseases
Cyclamen has some predisposition to various kinds of diseases. Improper care can lead to the formation of fungi and rot, which can destroy it. The most dangerous are the following factors:
– The appearance of gray rot as a result of fungus. It can be airborne or present in poor quality substrate. A sign of damage is a gray bloom, turning into brown with softening of tissues. It is better to transplant the plant into new soil and reduce the amount of moisture;
– Defeat with rhizoctonic rot, due to which the cyclamen can die very quickly. On the leaves, tubers, peduncles, depressed spots appear, on which the fungus multiplies. This can happen as a result of improper care – waterlogging, high temperature maintenance. It is necessary to immediately stop watering, transplant the plant into a well-ventilated substrate, you can treat it with a fungicide, using, for example, “Provikur”;
– Disease of the tuber, which is affected by a fungal infection and is covered with dead tissue. Gradually, the lower leaves begin to dry out, and then the whole plant dies. Improper care is the reason. Cyclamen must be treated with ridomil and create an optimal microclimate.
In addition to diseases, cyclamen can be attacked by pests. The plant must be carefully inspected, if small insects or sticky secrets are found, urgently take action. The pests include the cyclamen mite, scale insects, thrips, etc. The most dangerous is the mite that settles in a colony on the back of the leaves, which eventually twist and fold. The plant must be treated with insecticides.
How to transplant cyclamen
In the second half of summer, the growth of leaves begins. This is the best time for a transplant. The pot must be chosen according to the rule of the golden mean – not too large and not too small, a diameter of 12-14 cm is quite suitable. Since cyclamen is easily affected by pests, before planting, the soil should be thoroughly steamed and treated with a slightly pink solution of potassium permanganate. Drainage is also needed. The tuber does not sink completely into the ground – about half or 1/3 should remain on the surface. Often, the plant is transplanted together with a clod of earth to keep the roots intact..
A transplanted cyclamen requires coolness and light. At first, watering should be moderate, and only when the leaves begin to grow actively, they increase it, add top dressing.
Reproduction at home
You can carry out the reproduction procedure for cyclamen at home, but given that the plant is quite whimsical, especially in the first stages of life, you need to competently approach the preparation of the soil and care. Reproduction is carried out in one of three ways: by seeds, children and dividing the bulb.
Reproduction of cyclamen by seeds
Seeds can be purchased or harvested to obtain new, beautiful representatives of this plant. When buying in a store, be sure to pay attention to the expiration date – usually it is limited to two years. At home, after flowering ends, seed pods are formed. They will mature for four months, after which the material can be collected. The extracted seeds are well dried. Planting should begin in early spring. Before that, you need to calcine the soil of sand and peat in the oven, and soak the seeds in a biostimulator, for example, “Epin Extra”.
They are planted in a low container with moistened holes to a depth of 1 cm and sprinkled with earth. It is better to cover the box with seeds with a black film, since seeds germinate in the dark at a temperature of 18C. When the first shoots appear, the cyclamen is transferred to bright light and fertilized. The first flowering is observed after a year or more..
Reproduction of cyclamen by children
When replanting a plant after it has bloomed, it is necessary to separate the baby bulbs that have appeared at the mother’s tuber. They are planted in a separate container, after steaming the soil before this. They are immersed in the soil halfway and watered. After a week, the first leaves will appear, and the plant will need the first feeding. In this case, you need to monitor the level of moisture in the soil in order to avoid waterlogging and the formation of fungus..
Reproduction of cyclamen by dividing the bulb
During the dormant period of the cyclamen, when it has bloomed, the corm must be removed from the ground and dried well. The onion is cut in such a way that each part contains a kidney and treated with charcoal. The re-dried material is planted in pots with prepared loose soil, watered and monitored.
Cyclamen – photo
In order to find out what a cyclamen might look like, we suggest looking at our photo selection. Here you will find the best pictures with colorful plants, among which you can navigate and pick up the kind of cyclamen that you want to see in your home. Happy viewing!