Tips to Grow Cyclamen

Cyclamen like coolness and humidity, unvarying temperatures and a good light, even sunlight as winter sun is hardly powerful.

While it is flowering and growing temperatures of 10-16C (50-60F) are ideal, with humidity supplied by moist peat or the shingle-in-a-saucer method (add link), and overhead misting (avoiding the flowers) every day. Central heating is useless, as is the kind of heating in which the room gets very warm during the day but then becomes almost frosty at night. 

If the leaves begin to yellow, this is a sign of dry compost or alternatively waterlogged compost, too much heat or a dry atmosphere; review your watering, temperatures and humidity. Wilting leaves and flowers usually mean severe lack of water; buds falling off and stems rotting at the base can be too much water, or water lying on top of the corm. Complete collapse of the plant can indicate much too high temperatures. 

You can water in one of two ways. The generally recommended method is to stand the pot in a shallow saucer of warm rainwater, leave it until no more water is being absorbed, then let it drain. The other is to water from above, which is quite safe provided about a third of the corm protrudes above the compost surface. The water can cover the surface of the compost but should not reach as high as the base of the stems. If you follow either of these methods you should not have any trouble with rotting buds and leaf stalks. 

As the flowers die, remove them, complete with stems down to the corm, and when there are no more flowers to come, continue to water and feed until the leaves start their natural yellowing and dying. Then stop feeding, gradually lessen the watering, and leave the corm in its pot, quite dry, in a dark cool place until late May, when the pot can be buried to its rim in a shady border in the garden. If you have no garden, it will not matter if you leave the corm where it is until repotting time in early August. Some growers, however, like to keep the corm ticking over gently, and keep the compost just moist so that one or two leaves are retained.

Even when the corm is left to rest completely dry, it will tell you itself when to start watering again. Incredibly, leaves will begin to appear from the surface of the corm still in the bone-dry soil, sometime in late July or early August, depending on the season, and you should repot it at once. Use a very well drained open mixture, John Innes potting compost or a mix of 2 parts peat, 1 part acid loam and 1 part coarse sand. Let at least a third of the corm project above the surface, and use a larger pot if necessary – it usually is. 

Water the plant normally, shade it from the sun and keep it in a temperature of about 18C (65F) in John Innes seed compost during August or September. Space the seed out singly and cover with 1 cm (1/2 in) granulated moss peat. Prick the plants out at the two to four leaf stage and pot them on as they need it, keeping them in a temperature of about 16C (60F) through the winter; in summer continue to grow them outdoors in shade.