November Plant of the Month | Indoor Cyclamen
Gardeners enjoy the sight of pretty jewelled cyclamen flowering in drifts outside, but cyclamen also makes a wonderful indoor plant, brightening up the home through late autumn and winter when days are at their shortest.
Indoor cyclamen, also known as florist’s cyclamen, are varieties of the wild Cyclamen persicum and are hugely popular, not least for their range of shades, from rich reds and vibrant pinks to pure white. Indoor cyclamen are frequently given as Christmas gifts.
Indoor Cyclamen Varieties
Growers have developed many indoor cyclamen hybrids for us to enjoy in a range of shades and shapes, from ruffled petals to heart-shaped leaves. These are all forms of Cyclamen persicum, a Mediterranean-origin species. Smaller versions of Cyclamen persicum do flower outdoors – frequently sold as ‘mini cyclamen’ – as do hardy Cyclamen coum varieties. But, it is the indoor cultivars that are most popular during the winter months.
Flowering time: October to February
Position Requirements: Position in a cool spot in the home, away from a lot of direct sunlight and sheltered from frosts – avoid leaving behind a curtain on a windowsill on frosty nights.
Soil: Moist, well-drained soil
Hardiness: Not hardy
Size: Grows to around 20cm height
Indoor Cyclamen Growing Guide
Indoor cyclamen are fairly easy to grow and will continue to flower reliably with just a little care.
Position in a cool spot. If positioned on a windowsill, pull into the centre of the room overnight during periods of frost.
Keep moist, but be sure not to over water. Watering from the base – i.e. by leaving them to stand in a small amount of water – will prevent any foliage rot at the top.
Deadhead regularly by twisting the stem with a tug.
Indoor Cyclamen Planting Ideas
Position indoor cyclamen in a range of shades in pots in complementary strong, block colours – like pink, white and grey. Combine different sizes and heights of pots and place plants at different levels to make an artistic display.
You could also combine a number of plants together in a larger bowl for a striking table centrepiece.
Indoor Cyclamen Fact
The name ‘cyclamen’ is derived from the Greek word kuklos, which means ‘circle’. This is most likely in reference to the round shape of its tuber.