Indoor plants

Outdoor cyclamen

The genus Cyclamen

Cyclamen belong to the genus Cyclamen, a large genus widespread in the Mediterranean basin, a large part of Asia and North Africa. They belong to the Primulaceae or Myrsinaceae family (there are discrepancies regarding the classification) and appear as low herbaceous. All cyclamen are characterized by a round tuber root from which numerous and dense roots branch, which often come out of the ground. The leaves are heart-shaped, fleshy and dark green with white streaks; they protrude from the ground (they are called basal leaves) and have a long, semi-buried petiole. The stem is long, without leaves, and at the apex it has the particular flower with the five petals facing upwards. Depending on the species and variety, the color can change from pinkish white to deep purple.

The most common species


The genus Cyclamen includes about thirty species, but few are those cultivated in Italy for ornamental purposes. Some species grow spontaneously in woods and uncultivated areas, and there are also numerous varieties and hybrids specially selected to adapt to gardening. Among the most common we find the Cyclamen hederifolium which grows spontaneously in Central and Southern Italy: the leaves are serrated and the flowers vary from pink to purple, depending on the altitude in which it grows. It adapts very well to cultivation in the garden and in pots. Cyclamen africanum is, as its name suggests, a native of Africa. Its flowers are of three colors; starting from the center they are purple and, reaching the apex, they become pink and then white. Another widespread and particularly popular species is Cyclamen persicum,

Grow outdoor cyclamen


In regions with too cold winters and too hot summers, cyclamen is grown indoors, so that the temperature-humidity parameters can be controlled more easily. However, it is possible to grow it outdoors by following some practical advice. First of all, the position: the cyclamen does not like direct sun and too high temperatures (in nature it grows in the undergrowth and in sheltered areas), so it must be planted in a cool area, preferably exposed to the north, and with a soil rich in nutrients and with drainage material on the bottom (vermiculite or perlite). We will take care to bury the bulbs in summer, when the plant is dormant and has no flowers. If possible, plant cyclamen under trees or other plants that provide shelter and coolness.

Outdoor cyclamen: Treat the cyclamen in bloom


The flowering period of cyclamen generally begins in September and lasts until late winter. During this period it is good to always keep the soil well moist, but avoiding water stagnation: a nebulizer is ideal for watering the cyclamen, being careful to avoid stagnation on the leaves. In winter the cyclamen tolerates low temperatures, but fears sudden frosts and too long exposures to the persistent cold, therefore at night and in particularly cold periods it is necessary to cover it with transparent PVC tarpaulins or small removable greenhouses. As the flowers dry up, they must be removed to prevent them from rotting causing harmful bacteria to the plant. It is not necessary to fertilize cyclamen if the growing medium is highly nutritious,

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