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How to Store Cyclamen Bulbs

How to Store Cyclamen Bulbs

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The small yet fragrant flowers of the cyclamen plant make it a popular choice for home gardens and indoor planting ideas.

It grows its attractive heart-shaped foliage and pink, red, white, and purple flowers in the fall, winter, and early spring when most plants are dormant. In summer, when other plants bloom, this plant dies down to its roots.

But you can use these tubers or bulbs to grow cyclamen specimens. And this article will tell you how to store cyclamen bulbs to replant them.

How to Store Cyclamen Bulbs

Cyclamen flowers fill your indoor or outdoor garden with delightful colors and a lovely fragrance when most plants are dormant. But I must warn you about this innocent-looking plant because it’s toxic to pets and people.

The cyclamen plant goes dormant in the summer when the temperature exceeds 70°F. The foliage and the flowers die and fall off the plant, and it seems like the plant has disappeared.

If you’re growing cyclamen in an indoor pot, it might not grow into full dormancy because the indoor climate is controlled. Yet, it might lose its luscious look.

The bulbs remain alive under the ground as the weather becomes dry and hot. You should wait until the plant completely disappears because this will be the right time to dig out the bulbs.

These bulbs will grow new plants in your garden or containers. Here are the proper steps to follow.

  • Leave the bulbs on newspaper sheets until they’re dry. This will help you store them successfully for a new planting season because they’ll lose the moisture that might cause rot.
  • Brush out all the soil because it might contain pathogens that harm your bulbs.
  • Examine the bulbs and remove all the sick or rotten parts because they won’t be able to grow.
  • Cut the offsets.
  • You can cut each bulb into two, ensuring each half has a little nub or growth eye where new plants will grow.
  • Wrap each bulb in a newspaper sheet, and don’t keep them all together. This will protect them if one of them rots.
  • Keep these bulbs in a cardboard box in a dry place. Ensure the bulbs don’t freeze and aren’t subject to high heat.

When to Plant Cyclamen Bulbs

There are two types of cyclamen that you can grow in your outdoor or indoor garden.

Florist’s cyclamen blooms in the fall and is typically grown indoors. Hardy cyclamen is better suited for colder climates and can be grown as a landscape plant in your backyard.

Ideally, you should plant the florist’s cyclamen bulbs in the fall. This will give them time to assimilate. As for hardy cyclamen, you can plant it in the early summer or early fall.

Some well-sized bulbs will produce foliage and flowers in their first year. But, some will show better growth in the second year.

You can replant these bulbs two to three months after storage. They stay alive for up to four or five years in optimal conditions.

But what if you replant the bulbs and they never show any growth signs? This might happen if they have frozen or rotted while they were stored.

Sometimes, the bulbs simply die, and they can’t be revived.

Which Way Is Up on Cyclamen Bulbs?

Deciding which way is up on cyclamen bulbs can confuse novice gardeners. Unfortunately, if you plant them the wrong way, they won’t grow.

You should plant the bulbs with the flat part facing up.

Make sure there’s a nub on the bulb you’re planting where the foliage will appear. Otherwise, the plant won’t grow.

Do Cyclamen Bulbs Multiply?

The bulbs or tubers don’t multiply. But, in some cases, the plant can self-sow, growing from seeds.

Most cyclamen plants are hybrid varieties, and growing them from seeds can be challenging. But you might be able to do this with some patience.

How Deep Do You Plant Cyclamen Bulbs?

When preparing to plant your cyclamen bulbs, pick a spot where these plants can receive bright yet indirect or filtered sunlight. The bulbs are sensitive, so they can easily get scorched.

Prepare a planting site where the bulbs are spaced about four to six inches apart and about one inch deep. Then, you should plant each bulb so that its top half is showing.

These plants thrive in organically rich, slightly acidic soil. So, you might have to amend the soil to boost their growth in your backyard.

You shouldn’t bury the tubers or bulbs too deep when you’re growing them in an indoor pot. The bulb should be at least two inches away from the container’s rim to allow the roots to spread.

Cover the bulbs with a well-draining potting mix and keep them in a dry, cool place.

Watering indoor and outdoor cyclamen bulbs shouldn’t be done according to a schedule, as too much watering can cause rot. So, check the soil using a moisture thermometer and only water the plant when the top inch of the soil is dry.

During the growing season, avoid watering the leaves, and water more infrequently when the plant goes dormant.

Final Thoughts

Cyclamen will fill your winter garden with fragrant and vibrant blooms when other plants are dormant. You can dig out the bulbs when the plant isn’t actively growing and store them until the temperature drops.

This will be the right time to replant them to grow new cyclamen plants.

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