Cyclamen’s Cycle of Life: Cyclamen is a houseplant popular for its sweet smell and beautiful flower. Because of its beauty as indoor plants, many aspiring gardeners are looking for information related to the care of cyclamen indoors.
Understanding cyclamen’s cycle of life is necessary before planting it in your house.
This plant is considered an indoor plant due to its temperature sensitivity. It cannot experience a temperature that is too hot or too cold.
The tubers are planted at the beginning of the fall season. It will grow throughout the winter and spring seasons. In the summer, the plant will enter its dormancy period.
If you are taking care of the cyclamen well, the lifespan of this flower can be very long. Some cyclamens in the wild can even last for decades.
This is why indoor gardening is recommended, especially to emulate the Mediterranean climate, in which cyclamen is a native.
Planting the Cyclamen Indoors
The first stage of the care of cyclamen indoors is the planting stage. It is a suitable plant to grow inside the pot. The pot must have drainage holes so that excess moisture can escape through to avoid root rotting.
The pot should be placed in a spot that does not receive direct sunlight because it can inhibit its growth.
You should push tubers about an inch deep into the ground when planting them. Each tuber should also be planted about 2 to 3 inches apart to have enough room to grow.
When you want to move the blooming cyclamen from the pot, you should never damage its root system.
Taking Care of Growing Cyclamen
How to take care of cyclamen indoors? There are several facets that you need to pay attention to so that your crop would be successful:
- Light exposure
Cyclamen will thrive in a bright environment. However, a bright environment does not equal direct sunlight. You must keep the cyclamen pot in a partially shaded area.
This is especially important when the summer in your area is very sunny and hot.
- Temperature and humidity
Temperature and humidity are also important in ensuring the optimum growth of your cyclamen. The plant cannot handle extreme heat and dry air.
Thus, you should keep the temperature around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit at noon.
- Water supply
Despite requiring moisture, you should not water the plant excessively. The plant must only be watered if you see that the soil is dry about an inch to the surface.
Nourishing the Cyclamen
The nourishing soil for cyclamen is the slightly acidic one. You can easily lower the pH level of your soil by adding sphagnum peat into your soil. The soil must not be too wet and should be nutrient-dense as well.
The recommended fertilizer for cyclamen indoors is the 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. Some argue that low-nitrogen fertilizer is better, but the standard one is always good.
Before applying, the fertilizer must be diluted with water. You only need to apply fertilizer once every 3 to 4 weeks. In the dormant period, cyclamen does not need to be fertilized.
When you see that your cyclamen starts to sprout yellow leaves, you do not need to change your usual fertilizer. You need to add iron to the fertilizer to treat that deficiency.
Common Pests and Disease for Cyclamen
What are the common pests that disrupt cyclamen’s life cycle? Cyclamen is prone to pests like aphids and mites. Aphids commonly attack cyclamen when it starts to bloom and will affect the stem.
Mites are also affecting the stem of cyclamen and its leaves. Cyclamen affected by mites tend to have curled leaves.
Botrytis is a type of fungus that also attacks cyclamen. You will notice that the cyclamen is infected by botrytis when the leaves turn yellow and have brown patches.
This fungal infection is caused by excessive water in the soil. If only a few leaves are infected, you must cut them down immediately. However, it is unsalvageable if most leaves have turned into bad shape.
The Toxic Quality of Cyclamen
Many people who want to take care of cyclamen indoors are very concerned about the toxic quality of this plant. Cyclamen flowers contain saponin, a toxic substance to humans and animals.
Severe exposure can lead to diarrhea and dehydration. However, you should not be overly worried about this.
Severe toxicity caused by cyclamen in humans is not common. You need to eat a significant amount of flowers for the saponin to take effect.
That said, you must consider wisely where to put the cyclamen pot. It should not be within reach of small children or pets to avoid unwanted mishaps.