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The florist cyclamen is a cool season bloomer, and is usually available from September through March. The beautiful flowers resemble some orchids, and come in reds, pinks, salmons, lavenders, and white, as well as fancy frilled or bi-color flowers. These hybrids of Cyclamen persicum, a native of western Asia and North Africa, also have attractive heart-shaped variegated leaves, and come in both large-flowered and “mini” varieties.
Very bright indirect light or some direct sun. An east or west window works best. Can also be grown under cool fluorescent lights placed no more than 18” above the plant.
Allow soil to surface-dry between waterings. Prefers to be moist with good drainage. Avoid watering the center of the plant, as water may stand on the tuber.
Cooler temperatures of 50°F to 70°F. High heat and dry soil will encourage mite infestations, while high heat and wet soil can produce fungal problems.
Average house humidity is fine.
Use a flowering plant formula every three weeks from October into March.
The florist cyclamen requires a rest period after flowering. Allow the plant to die back in March or April, and store the tuber in a dry, dark location for two or three months. Some people plant the tuber in a lightly shaded, well-drained bed in the garden for the summer, with the top of the tuber just showing. Repot in fresh medium in fall, and resume normal care. A larger pot is only required when the tuber grows too big for its current size container (it can fill the pot), and transplanting should be done during the dormant or rest period.
NOTE: The Cyclamen tuber is toxic if ingested.