The Cyclamen is a small plant that has sweet scented, small (1/2 to ¾ inch) flowers on long stems. The flowers can be pink, red or white. It is a tuberous perennial with heart shaped leaves. When in flower, the entire plant is only about 8 inches high.
Plant the Cyclamen in a good soil-based potting mix with the top of the tuber just above the soil line. Put the pot in bright light but not in direct sunlight. Cyclamen do not like heat but should not be exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees F. Keep the plant out of drafts and hot, dry air.
While leaves are present keep the soil moist at all times. During this stage the plant can be fertilized with a high phosphorus fertilizer.
Cyclamen go dormant for the summer. By April the plant begins losing leaves and flowers. Stop watering when the leaves turn yellow and wither. Allow the soil to dry out. Remove dead flowers and leaves. Water sparingly during the dormant stage Excess water will cause the tuber to rot and may trigger new growth prematurely. During this stage it can be repotted using fresh potting soil and a pot one inch larger in diameter than the existing pot.
Begin watering again around September. With proper care your Cyclamen should last year after year.
Follow these steps to make your cut flowers last as long as possible.
1. Be sure that the vase for your cut flowers, as well as the scissors or sharp knife used to cut the stems, are clean. Wash them in warm water with dish soap and bleach. Use a solution of 9 parts water to one part bleach. Be sure to rinse thoroughly.
2. Re-cut the stems of the flowers on a slant approximately 1” from the bottom of the stem or any length that is appropriate for the vase that will hold your flowers. This will allow the stem to take in more water. Make this cut while the stem is under water. Use a bowl or your kitchen sink to do this.
3. Remove any leaves that will be under water in the vase.
4. Keep flowers as cool as possible, away from direct sunlight, drafts, air-conditioning vents and heaters.
5. It is a good idea to change the water in the vase every two days and make fresh slanted cuts on the stem of your flowers. When you change the water be sure to clean the vase and scissors or sharp knife as indicated in step #1.