I Am a Symbol of True Love

Holiday Plant of the Week: Cyclamen

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…a Cyclamen? If you subscribe to folklore, a Cyclamen would make a perfect gift for someone you love, as this plant is considered a symbol of love and tenderness.

We agree that Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) make excellent holiday gifts, since they are at their best at this time of year and are low-maintenance, high-performance houseplants.

Cyclamen is native to the Mediterranean Basin and grows wild in southern France, Turkey, and on various Mediterranean islands. Many of the wild populations were negatively impacted by collectors, but the variety you will find in our greenhouse has been propagated without harm to any plants growing in the wild.

The long-lasting flowers feature upswept ruffled petals that may be white, pale pink, deep pink, fuchsia, red, or bi-colored. The plants can bloom for up to two months. When the flowers have finished for the year, keep your plant clean by twisting off any spent flowers all the way back to the tuber. Your plant will continue to delight with its deep green, heart-shaped leaves that are delicately frosted with white.

Keep your Cyclamen in a window that will provide bright, indirect light. Ideally, Cyclamen enjoy cool temperatures that range from 55 to 65 degrees. If the temperatures become too warm, your Cyclamen’s leaves may become yellow. Don’t despair: Move the plant to a cooler location.

Cyclamen like humidity, and will do well if you place the potted plant on a tray of pebbles that has been filled with water up to the level of the stones. Caution: Do not let the plants sit in water for any length of time.

When watering, do so thoroughly and allow your plant to dry out before watering it again. The soil should be dry to the touch roughly a quarter inch down from the surface. When using a watering can, pour the water directly onto the soil within the pot. The plant can also be watered from the bottom. Simply fill up a saucer and allow the water to be absorbed into the soil until thoroughly moist. Once the soil has become moist, usually within 30 minutes, dump any water that remains in the saucer. Remember, Cyclamen Do Not like to remain in standing water.

Encourage your Cyclamen to bloom again next year by allowing it to experience a dormant period during the late spring/early summer. Begin by watering the plant less and less, allowing the leaves to dry and wither. Place the pot in a cool spot and water ever so sparingly. Do not feed the tuber at this time. Repot your Cyclamen in the middle of the summer and begin to water it when it breaks dormancy and starts to leaf out in the fall. The plant should produce a fresh round of blossoms just before Christmas.

We have a fine selection of Cyclamen that will make perfect gifts for everyone on your list. We’ll see you soon. Happy Holiday!

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