The cyclamen is one of those plants that is often chosen as a gift at holiday times. While it is a most attractive plant, it is a little particular about the conditions it requires if it is to thrive. Keeping your cyclamen at the correct temperature and proper watering are key to success. I found an article by Ann Whitman at the Gardener’s Supply Company website which gives you all the information you need to succeed with these plants.
GIVING and receiving flowering plants at the holidays is a time-honored tradition, but one that’s fraught with anxiety. Unlike a box of chocolates or a pair of gloves, a living plant requires care to keep it healthy. Holiday houseplants, such as cyclamen, are particularly worrisome for most folks because their flowering cycle and general care are unfamiliar, even to seasoned gardeners.
Florist’s cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) start showing up in grocery stores and garden centers between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Flowers with swept-back petals resemble shooting stars and their heart-shaped leaves are embroidered with intricate, silvery patterns. In the right conditions, the plants will bloom continuously for a couple of months.
Like many other plants in their native eastern Mediterranean climate, cyclamen naturally bloom in the fall, winter, and spring when the weather turns cool and damp. During the hot, dry summers, cyclamen become dormant; their foliage yellows and dies back and plants show no signs of growth. They store energy for the next flowering season in their round tubers.