Cyclamen, also called the Persian violet, grows as a cool-season flowering plant. The attractive heart-shaped leaves have green and white variegations, while the flowers range in color from pink to red and purple. Cyclamens cannot tolerate freezing temperatures, nor do they grow well during the heat of summer. In mild climates they are often grown as potted outdoor plants in fall, winter and spring. In cooler areas they are grown as summer and fall plants, then brought indoors to overwinter.
Place the cyclamen where it receives morning sunlight and light afternoon shade. Alternately, set it in an area that receives bright, indirect light all day.
Water the cyclamen when the soil surface feels dry. Water from the top of the pot until the excess moisture drains from the bottom of the pot. Empty the drip tray under the pot after each watering.
Apply a soluble, balanced fertilizer at half the recommended strength on the label. Fertilize every four weeks when the plant is actively growing.
Deadhead the cyclamen after the flowers begin to fade. Tug sharply on each stem that has a wilted flower on it, separating it from the main plant. If the stem doesn’t tug out easily, try again the next day.
Stop watering and fertilizing the plant when the leaves yellow and die back. Store the pot in a cool, dry place that is out of direct sunlight. Resume watering and fertilization once the plant begins to produce new leaves, usually within two to three months of going dormant.
Cyclamen grow best when daytime temperatures are below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit can kill the plant.
Repot cyclamen into a larger container every two years so the roots do not become crowded.