Adding cyclamens to your landscape is a wonderful way to add some splash of color and unique texture, but do cyclamen plants come back every year? The vibrant flowers emerge right in time for the holiday season, and some of them last until March. If you’re looking into gifting someone a cyclamen plant, you might wonder how long will they last. Dive in to find out if cyclamens are perennials.
The cyclamen plant belongs to the Primrose family and originated in Persia. It grows around the Mediterranean, and it’s often been mentioned throughout history. It’s known as the flower of love and empathy.
The name comes from the Greek word for circle due to the tuber of the cyclamen being round.
The eye-catching flowers are what make cyclamens unique. They’re placed atop the tall, upward-pointing stems. After years of development, they can now be found in several vibrant colors. The original, however, is the deep pink, almost lilac cyclamen. The leaves can be single-colored dark green or marbled with a lighter shade of green.
How, When, And Where To Plant
Cyclamen are mainly house plants that can be planted outdoors, as long as you bring them inside during winter. During summer, the flowers go dormant.
Cyclamens are grown from tubers. Tubers, like bulbs, are round-shaped modified stems that store the seed and energy for growing the plant. They’re best planted in early fall. Cyclamens like neutral or alkaline, loose, and well-draining soil. Plant the tubers right below the surface of the ground. Space out tubers at least 6 inches from one another.
Cyclamen is more likely to tolerate chilly winters than hot and dry summers when planted outdoors. During the prolific flowering period, the cyclamen needs bright but indirect sunlight. When the plant is dormant during summer, keep it in a cool and dark place with good airflow.
Caring For A Flowering Cyclamen
Cyclamens can bloom continuously anytime from fall to spring. So if you’re gifted blooming cyclamen, you can keep it blossoming for months forward. Since cyclamen are native to the Mediterranean, they require the same conditions to be prolific.
Start by keeping the plant at the optimal temperature, from 40 to 60 but nothing higher. If the temperature goes up, the plant assumes it’s summertime and will dry out and dormant. Place the pot near a window to receive indirect bright sunlight. A south-facing window is best, but east and west will work too.
Water the plant by soaking it in a saucer with water. Wait until the soil on the surface is completely dry and the pot feels light before watering. Avoid pouring water from above, or let it drain out well. If moisture gets trapped inside the soil for a longer time, the tuber will rot.
A soon as a flower dies, the petals will fall off, revealing a seed capsule. Remove the capsule and cut the stem at the base to make space for new flowers. Use diluted fertilizer while the cyclamen is blooming. A regular strength fertilizer will lead to more foliage developing instead of flowers. Fertilize every two weeks.
Are Cyclamen Plants Outdoor Or Indoor Flowers?
Some varieties of cyclamen are hardy and can survive outdoors. However, regular potted cyclamen sold by flower shops during the holiday season should not be placed outside.
If you want to plant cyclamen plants directly in the ground, look for a plant with smaller flowers. Cyclamen will grand, lavish flowers is less probable to survive outdoors.
Cyclamen Hederifolium and Cyclamen Coum are great hardy varieties that flourish in garden beds.
How Long Does A Cyclamen Flower Last?
The cyclamen will bloom for at least 5 weeks when fitted with optimal conditions. Each flower lasts for up to a week. If you take good care and remove dead flowers regularly, the plant will produce new flowers. Cyclamen flowers can survive 6 days to 2 weeks in a vase with nothing but water.
Can You Get Seeds From Cyclamen?
When flowers mature and petals fall out, you can spot how the bulb transforms into a seeds pod. The seeds are covered with a sticky coating that attracts insects. As the stem evolves, it dries and bends to the ground. This is the plant’s natural method of self-reproducing.
The seeds inside the pod are tiny, so the best way to gather them is to wrap a cloth or paper bag around the pod. Then, when the pods ripen, squeeze out the seeds and let them dry out.
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Are Cyclamen Plants Perennials?
Many people throw away the cyclamen after it’s finished blooming. Unfortunately, like with all popular holiday plants, it’s not clear that cyclamen go dormant. After the blooming period is over, the plant will dry out. But it’s not dead! Let the leaves dry out – don’t cut them.
After the last flowers fade, the plant stores energy in the tuber. It needs the leaves and sunlight to feed. When the leaves dry out, you can dig out the tuber and place it in a cool, dark spot. A garage or shed will work well. As soon as early fall comes, and the tuber is healthy and plum, you can plant it again.
Some cyclamen tubers can live for decades. There are claims that cyclamen can live up to a century!
Other Tuberous Perennial Plants
Peonies, dahlias, begonias, and caladium are popular tuberous perennials that can grow from the same tuber for years. Just like bulbs, tubers store energy inside a fleshy root.
However, bulbs and tubers are different. The easiest way to tell them apart is by their cover. Bulbs have onion-like covers, while tubers have thin skin like a potato.
Bottom Line: Do Cyclamen Plants Come Back Every Year
Cyclamens are the perfect gift that keeps on giving. They’re tuberous perennials that come back every year for decades. If you take good care of it, the plant will bloom for months, providing your home with vibrant flowers. Then, as spring comes, the plant goes dormant, and you should store the tuber until next fall.
Looking for the perfect gift? Get a loved one a cyclamen plant this season and send them this article!