Cyclamen are pretty garden friends, bringing joyful dots of jewel like colour to the garden throughout winter.

Easy to grow, there are varieties to suit a range of situations, from baskets and containers to beds and banks for a more naturalised woodland look. These hardy perennials reveal their heart shaped petals in shades of pink, purple and white from late summer to early spring. They thrive during the colder months, which is why they’re a favourite among gardeners.

Top Varieties

Cyclamen persicum ‘Persian cyclamen’

Cyclamen persicum, which flowers from winter into spring, is the most popular variety. Perhaps most commonly known for the larger flowering indoor variety, often referred to as the ‘florists flower.’ There is also a small version commonly sold as mini Cyclamen that can be grown outdoors. Growing to around 20cm in height the delightfully fragrant white or pink flowers sit boldly upright above its heart shaped leaves. Despite its popularity, this is not frost tolerant so beware of planting in frost susceptible spots.

Sun Requirements: Full sun to partial shade
Soil: Moist, well drained soil
Hardiness: Not hardy
Size: Grows to 20cm height x 20cm spread

Cyclamen coum ‘Eastern cyclamen’

Cyclamen coum is a hardy form with white to pink and crimson flowers from winter into early spring. This received the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Sun Requirements: Partial shade
Soil: Moist but well drained soil
Hardiness: Hardy to -15°C
Size: Grows to 10cm height x 15cm width

Cyclamen hederifolium ‘ivy-leaved cyclamen’

Cyclamen hederifolium is another hardy variety with white to pink flowers with purple throats. It comes into flower in early autumn. The patterned leaves, which resemble ivy (Hedera which is where the name ‘hederifolium’ comes from) follow.

Sun Requirements: Partial shade

Soil: Moist, well-drained soil

Hardiness: Hardy to -15°C

SizeGrows to 15cm height x 15cm width

Cyclamen Growing Guide


When planting outdoors, they need to be placed in a spot where they are protected from hot sun and severe weather. Ideal locations in the garden are under trees or high branched shrubs. As they are short in height they are better towards the edge of borders or are ideal in rock gardens. They are also often frequently grown in baskets.

Soil should be well drained and a good mix of potting grit dug into the existing soil when planting will help. When planting allow some corm to remain above the surface of the soil and space four to six inches apart. Applying a layer of mulch around the plants helps regulate soil temperature and moisture levels. You could also cover the soil with leaves or straw during the harshest winter months to help avoid frost damage.


If you plant in containers, be sure to water from the bottom as watering from the top can cause mildew, you can do this by standing them in water.


Deadhead by folding the stem down, taking it right to the base of the flower stalk and giving a little pull to remove it.

Planting Ideas

Create a striking winter planted container by mixing bright pink cyclamen with other pink/purple and darker plants, such as erica (heathers) and hedera (ivy).

For a beautiful display in your borders that will take you from winter into spring, plant soft pink Cyclamen coum together with pure white Galanthus nivalis (snowdrops) and inky-black Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’.

Another brilliant winter planting combination is Cyclamen coum together with Christmas roses, such as Helleborus ‘Wintergold’.


It’s name ‘Cyclamen’ is derived from the Greek word ‘kuklos’ which means ‘circle.’ This attributes to the round tube from which the plant grows. The Cyclamens unique growth pattern, with its leaves emerging in a circular formation, inspired its botanical name!

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