Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)
Cyclamen are very popular gift plants for Mother’s Day in Australia, which falls in May when these plants are at peak blooming. Cyclamen plants flower through autumn and into winter and thrive in containers indoors. As well as producing a succession of attractive flowers in pastel tones of red, pink and white, cyclamen have attractive green leaves often marbled with silver or white. Some cyclamen flowers are also perfumed.
They can also be grown outdoors as garden plants for shaded spots and will naturalise in cool gardens. In ideal growing conditions, the flower can form a spiral-shaped seed that may germinate and eventually form a new flowering plant.
As flowering and growth winds down during winter, cyclamen begin to go dormant, although some plants may keep flowering well into spring. Cyclamen are often treated as annuals but, if the corm is healthy and you have space for a plant that’s not in leaf or flower, the corm can be kept in its pot (keep dry) then encouraged to grow and reflower in late summer (see general care details below).
Aspect As indoor potted plants, cyclamen like a cool, brightly lit area with a couple of hours of sun, out of draughts from central heating and air conditioners. In gardens they do best in a cool, shaded spot, with dappled shade away from summer sun.
Soil Most cyclamens are sold in containers with potting mix. If your cyclamen is growing from a dormant corm it can be repotted into a slightly larger pot with a premium potting mix for indoor plants such as Seasol Indoor Potting Mix. In the garden, plant in well-drained soil enriched with organic compost and/or Seasol Super Compost.
Climate Cyclamen grow as indoor potted plants in all climates but do best outdoors in cool or Mediterranean climates (mild wet winters and warm to dry hot summers).