Cyclamen for Winter Color


These plants prefer growing conditions of bright sunlight and cool temperatures (55 to 70 degrees). They also take several months to bring into bloom. That used to mean that we wouldn’t see much of them here in Texas – it was still too warm when growers should have been starting them.

Enough things have changed now, however, that cyclamen (same spelling for both singular and plural) have become mainstream mid-winter plants. They’re great as hostess gifts, or you can use them to grace bright and cool spots in your home. Many of us even use them outside our front doors or on the patio, bringing them in when temperatures are forecast to drop into the 20s.

You’ll even see plants labeled as “hardy cyclamen” offered in nurseries. While they may survive a couple of extra degrees below freezing, they’re probably only good into the 26- or 28-degree range. You can gain a few degrees’ extra protection by covering them with frost cloth.

Finally, you may be tempted to try to nurse your plants through the summer, but that’s usually not going to work. It’s better to discard them when their flowering season has concluded, then move on to hot-weather bloomers. Nurseries will always have new cyclamen come fall.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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