Growing cyclamen isn’t just about adding a unique visual element to your house. It’s about responsibility and building a connection with another living being.
So, you want to do proper research before you take that step. Learn how long cyclamen live, how long they bloom, and how to prolong their lifespan.
If that seems too much, I got you covered. I’ll answer all these questions so you can offer your cyclamen a long, healthy life.
There isn’t a definitive answer to that question.
Cyclamen’s lifespan depends on how well you take care of them. As long as you provide the ideal environment, they’ll last for years to come.
On average, cyclamen bloom for 6-8 weeks. Some can grow for about three months.
That said, you should know these bloomers have specific environmental requirements. If you don’t meet them, you’ll cut the blooming period short.
Just like parents want their kids to live a long, safe life, plant parents want their children (plants) to live as long as possible.
Can you prolong the lifespan of cyclamen, though? Yes, you can.
Cyclamen are like any other type of plant. As I’ve already established, they’ll go on to live a long, healthy life if you provide a proper environment.
The more requirements you meet, the longer they’ll live. So, let’s see what you can do.
1 – Light and Temperature
I want to start with light and temperature because they’re probably the most crucial aspects in growing cyclamen.
Overall, these plants prefer a spot with plenty of light. Although direct sunlight may be fatal, bright, indirect sunlight is the way to go.
As for the temperature, cyclamen are all about cool weather. So, keep them away from heaters, fireplaces, or radiators.
You want to maintain a temperature of 40-60℉ (4.4-15.5℃). A cold porch or a north/east-facing window should be the ideal environment.
Move them away from that window in case of frost, though. They don’t like cold weather that much.
When your cyclamen go into their dormancy period, place them somewhere cool, dark, and with good ventilation. Don’t throw them away—they’re not dead. They’re just resting.
2 – Soil
Cyclamen prefer to have a balance between moisture and dryness. So, you want to go with well-draining, slightly acidic soil that retains enough moisture to keep them hydrated.
Luckily, you can find this type of soil at your local gardening store. If you want a specific recommendation, though, I think the African Violet potting mix should be your top choice.
It’s famous for its good draining properties and has an acidity range of 6-6.5. A cactus potting mix can also do the trick.
If you’re feeling energetic, you can always mix your own soil. It gives you the chance to customize it to cater to cyclamen’s needs specifically.
Ultimately, you want your soil to be as organic as possible. So, combine equal parts potting mix, perlite, and peat moss.
Perlite increases the soil’s aeration and draining abilities, while peat moss adds a bit of acidity. You’ll end up with a balanced mixture that incorporates all the elements cyclamen’s soil should include.
3 – Potting
Yes, choosing the right pot for your cyclamen isn’t as simple as walking into a store and buying the most aesthetically pleasing one.
There’s no point in using well-draining soil if your pot will just retain all the water. So, invest in a pot with several holes to help the soil in the draining process.
4 – Watering
Watering cyclamen isn’t as easy as spraying water all over the plant. That’s actually a recipe for disaster.
You see, using a spray increases the chances of wetting the leaves/flowers, which promotes wilting and mildew. You also want to avoid spraying water on the crown of the cyclamen, as it causes root rot.
So, how do you water cyclamen? The answer is bottom watering. That’s when you place the pot in a tray filled with water and let the soil absorb it through the holes in the pot.
Keep the pot in the tray for an hour or so — just until the soil gets moist. Don’t let it get soaking wet, though.
Cyclamen don’t have a specific watering schedule. Just wait until the first two inches of the soil become dry, and re-water the plant.
If the soil has fully dried out, you’ve waited too long.
You want to be even more careful when your plant goes into dormancy. You don’t want the tubers to rot, do you?
Wait until the soil has dried more than usual, and water it infrequently. At this point, you’re not trying to keep the soil moist. You just want to prevent it from fully drying out.
5 – Fertilizing
Cyclamen aren’t heavy feeders, so they don’t need much fertilizing.
If you go overboard with it, you risk making your cyclamen grow weak and prone to disease. So, you want to go about it carefully.
Opt for a diluted low-nitrogen fertilizer and apply it every month or two. You can also add worm castings in the soil to offer the cyclamen more nutrition.
If your plant is in dormancy mode, you don’t need to fertilize it.
6 – Repotting
I know what you’re thinking: “How does repotting factor into a plant’s lifespan?” Well, as your plant grows, it starts absorbing more water.
If your pot is too small, your soil won’t absorb enough water to fulfill your newly grown cyclamen’s water needs.
These plants usually require repotting once every 2-3 years during the dormancy period in the summer.
I know new plant parents might be afraid to do something wrong during the repotting process, but don’t worry. I’ll take you through it step-by-step:
- Use a pot that’s one inch bigger than the old one
- Fill half the pot with well-draining soil
- Take your cyclamen out of its old pot and brush the old soil off
- Place your plant in the new pot and fill the rest of it with your soil mixture
- Put the pot in a dry spot, and don’t water the cyclamen until September
Now you know how long cyclamen last. They don’t have a specific lifespan.
Ultimately, it all comes down to how ideal an environment can you provide for them, whether it’s through watering, repotting, fertilizing, etc.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.