Consider adding a low maintenance cyclamen plant to your indoor decor.

If you are looking for a unique holiday plant that thrives on benign neglect consider the cyclamen.  You’ll enjoy the colorful white, pink, rose or lavender flowers that look like shooting stars hovering over heart shaped leaves with silvery highlights.

Place your cyclamen in a cool bright location.  These Mediterranean plants thrive in cooler temperatures and should be kept out of drafts of hot and cold air.  Consider moving your plant to an even cooler room at night to extend the bloom time.

Use your finger to monitor soil moisture. Water thoroughly when the potting mix just below the soil surface is starting to dry. Pour off any excess water that collects in the saucer, decorative basket or foil wrap.  Allowing plants to sit in water leads to soggy soil and plant decline.

Remove yellow leaves to keep your plant looking its best.  Adjust watering frequency and growing conditions if this is a frequent problem. Overwatering and allowing the soil to dry to the point of wilting can cause leaves to yellow.  Low light and drafts of hot and cold can also cause leaves to discolor.

Remove flowers as they fade.  Gently twist and pull off or cut spent flower stems back at its base in the foliage.  Regular deadheading will increase the number of flowers and length of bloom. With proper care you will be enjoying flowers for four weeks or more.

Plants will naturally go dormant soon after flowering. If you like a challenge or know a gardener who likes a challenge you can try to re-bloom your plant.  As the leaves yellow and dry cut back on watering.  Stop watering when all the leaves have dried.  Allow your plant to rest by moving it to a cool dark place for several months.  After the rest period you can bring your plant out of dormancy and encourage it to bloom. Begin watering, fertilize and place in a sunny window.

Or repot your plant at this time.  Move potbound cyclamen into a slightly larger container. Plant so half of the tuber is above the soil surface.  Fertilize actively growing plants with a dilute solution of flowering houseplant fertilizer about once a month. ,

With proper care and a little luck you will be rewarded with a few flowers.

Cyclamen at a Glance

Name: Cyclamen (Cyclamen)

Size: 6 to 16 inches tall when in bloom

Light: Bright light from south-, east-, or west-facing window is best

Water: Thoroughly water when the potting mix begins to dry just below the surface

Soil: Well-drained potting mix

 

Written by, gardening expert, Melinda Myers.  Each month Melinda will feature a low maintenance plant perfect for beginning and experienced gardeners looking for attractive easy care plants.  Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience.  She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Low Maintenance Plant of the Month with you!