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Best Type of Soil and Fertilizer for Cyclamen

Best Type of Soil and Fertilizer for Cyclamen

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Cyclamen is one of the most attractive ornamental plants with beautiful, delicate blooms of various colors as well as aesthetically pleasing leaves.

If you have a cyclamen plant or are considering buying one, you might be wondering about the best fertilizer and soil conditions for the plant.

In this guide, I’ll provide you with all the information you need to know in order to provide the optimal soil and fertilizer conditions for your cyclamens. Let’s jump right in!

Do Cyclamen Like Acidic Soil?

The short answer to this question is yes. Cyclamen typically prefers acidic soils. However, it’s still important that you keep the plant within a healthy pH range to thrive.

According to a comprehensive study of Cyclamens, the plant typically thrives within a range of 5.0 to 6.5, with 5.8 to 6.0 being the sweet spot for loam mixtures.

This is because soil that’s too acidic can create a lot of problems, such as reduced absorption of essential nutrients and minerals from the soil and increased impact of toxic minerals and elements.

This results in stunted growth and reduced ability to produce enough food, which can lead to fatal consequences in the long run.

On the other hand, if the soil is too alkaline, the roots will also have a problem absorbing nutrients from the soil.

Additionally, the soil will become susceptible to more pests and bacteria, which lead to infections and diseases that can also prove fatal to Cyclamens.

How to Track and Adjust the Acidity of Cyclamen Soil

Since the pH range of the cyclamen soil is quite unique, you’ll need to continuously monitor it to make sure that your plant is doing well.

Luckily, there are plenty of methods to track your soil’s acidity. The easiest method to track it would be through a soil pH kit, which is available in garden centers and online stores.

Each pH test kit works differently, so make sure that you follow the instructions of your own kit for the most accurate results.

Alternatively, you can collect a sample of your soil, agitate it in distilled water, and drain the water. You can then use standard pH test strips and compare them to the reference sheet.

If you find your soil not acidic enough and you want to reduce its pH further, the safest way to do it would be to mix some sphagnum peat in the soil.

Another popular method to increase the soil’s acidity is by adding some elemental sulfur to the soil.

What Type of Soil Mix is Best for Cyclamens?

Choosing the ideal soil for Cyclamen is critical for the plant, as it has an impact on the plant’s health.

Ideally, you should keep Cyclamens in a fairly moist soil of clay, loam, or chalk. Sandy soil can also work but you’ll need to pay extra attention to maintain its pH.

As you can notice, the common factor between these types of soil is that they’re all well-draining.

This is essential for Cyclamens because they’re sensitive to overwatering and can easily develop root rot if they get too much water with nowhere to drain it away.

Besides natural soil, you can also grow Cyclamens in potting mixes. In that case, a good mix of equal parts perlite, peat moss, and vermiculite would be perfect for the plant.

One tip here is to avoid planting the Cyclamen tuber too deep into the soil, it puts extra strain on the plant to transport nutrients to the surface, which results in weaker and less vibrant flowers.

How Often Should You Replace the Soil for Cyclamens?

If you’re growing Cyclamens indoors, you should keep in mind that the soil will eventually become spent and depleted of nutrients.

The lack of resources will negatively affect your Cyclamens as it grows, and you’ll notice that the plant isn’t performing as well as it should.

One way to avoid this problem is by changing your plant’s soil. Ideally, you should replace the soil once every 1 to 1.5 years.

However, since Cyclamens have tuber roots that store nutrients, they can go up to 2 years without changing soil.

Keep in mind that after replacing the soil, some flowers and leaves will wilt and discolor. This is a natural plant reaction and you only need to remove the affected leaves and flowers to redirect the plant’s resources to healthier counterparts.

Do Cyclamen Need Fertilizer?

Cyclamen are heavy feeders, so they need regular fertilization during their growth period to produce their beautiful blooms and shiny leaves.

That being said, you should avoid feeding the plant during the summer because it breaks its perennial dormancy cycle, which results in weaker blooms during the fall and winter.

When Should You Fertilize Your Cyclamen Plant?

As previously mentioned, the best time to fertilize cyclamens is when they’re actively growing. This is usually during the early fall and throughout winter.

Ideally, you should start by feeding your Cyclamen plant once every two weeks until it starts blooming.

Once the plant is in full bloom, you can tune the fertilization down to around once every 3 to 4 weeks. As soon as you notice the plant withering and ready to go dormant, you should stop fertilizing it.

While cyclamens are heavy feeders, they’re still sensitive to overfertilization. Too much feeding can cause fertilizer burns, which damages the plant and prevents it from flowering properly.

What Type of Fertilizer is Best for Cyclamens?

The best type of fertilizer for cyclamen is a regular houseplant 10-10-10 fertilizer or a low-nitrogen fertilizer.

You can also use fertilizers with a higher NPK ratio, such as 20-20-20, but make sure that you dilute them to half-strength after blooming.

You can also find fertilizers that are specifically designed for Cyclamen plants at garden centers and online stores.

What Compost Is Best for Cyclamen?

Since Cyclamen thrives in organically rich soil, the best type of compost would be well-rotted, loam-based compost.

The most important aspect here is to avoid animal manure-based compost because it may contain some bacteria that could harm your plant.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your Cyclamens well-fed and grown in slightly acidic soil is the key to enjoying a healthy plant with vibrant flowers and shiny leaves.

As you can see, the best type of soil here would be an organically rich one with good drainage and aeration.

As for feeding, any houseplant fertilizer would do the trick as long as you use it during the growth phase only.

That being said, you should keep in mind that soil and fertilizers alone aren’t enough to keep your cyclamen healthy.

make sure that you also follow other growth conditions, such as light, temperature, water, and humidity.

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