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How to Grow and care for Cyclamen indoors

Cyclamen mini mixed

Cyclamen are part of the Primrose family. They are tuberous plants and have no obvious visual links to the Primroses, although they are similar to Dodecatheon in having reflexed petals. The Cyclamen family is wide ranging, with many garden hardy types. It is possible to have various hardy cyclamen in flower for every month of the year. 

For indoor strains, we look to the group of cultivars based upon Cyclamenus persicum - generally winter and spring flowering plants which are available as indoor plants in a wide range of colours. As well as the vivid flower colour, there are many foliage variations, ranging from pewter through to bronze.

Flowering Period  Cyclamen are normally sold during the Christmas season and beyond into the winter. Most will bloom from mid-November until mid February, provided conditions are right

Light Cyclamen prefer bright indirect light. An east window is ideal 

The range of colours available in indoor cyclamen

Temperature Cool temperatures are preferred with an ideal daytime temperature of 60 to 65F and night temperatures around 50 deg F. Do not place them near radiators or other heat sources within the home. 

Watering & Humidity  Plants prefer to be kept moist. Water very carefully at soil level but keep moisture away from the area on the tuber where the leaf and flower stems grow. If that gets wet, the plant may rot. It is safer to water from the bottom, but do not keep the plant stood in a saucer of water Most are planted in a peat moss soil that dries quickly.


  • One signal to watch for is the leaves, which are normally firm and erect, with almost crunchy feeling if you brush through them with your hand. When the plant needs water, the leaves feel softer.
  • Dormancy Stage  In late winter the cyclamens stop blooming and the leaves turn yellow as the plants go dormant. They can be set outdoors in part sun for the summer, fed and watered regularly, then brought back inside in September when they will start to form new foliage and flower buds.
  • Alternatively, after flowers start fading, gradually withhold water. When the foliage is withered, remove the "bulb" - tuber -  from the soil, clean off all soil from it and store it in un-moistened peat moss or vermiculite in a plastic bag at 50 degrees F. Replant in good potting soil in May or June, keeping the upper half of the tuber above the surface. Pot in a mixture of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part packaged potting soil and 1 part sharp sand or perlite, with ground limestone added at a rate of 3 to 5 ounces per bushel
  • Fertilizer  Feed about twice a month with a suitable general liquid feed.
  • General Snap off all faded flowers - from the stem base .

Problems with Cyclamen Indoors

Red Spider mite can be a problem which affects the leaves but weakens the whole plant. Mealy bugs can also find a place in the corms just as they start to be bought back to life. Vine Weevil Maggots can attack the root system with plants that are kept in the same pot for a number of years.



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