One of the prettiest Christmas plants is a cyclamen – cyclamen persicum, also known as the florist cyclamen. Like some other holiday plants, getting a cyclamen to rebloom after the first year can a tricky task.
For this reason, many gardeners simply discard the plant after it is done flowering and purchase a new one the following year.
However, it is possible to get your cyclamen to flower again. Perhaps all that your cyclamen plant needs is a nap! Read on for tips to get your cyclamen plant to re-bloom.
Keep reading to find out how to do this.
Why won’t my cyclamen flower the second year?
Cyclamens are native to the Mediterranean area. This region has intense sunlight and no rain in the summer months.
Cyclamens, like other plants from the Mediterranean area, often drop their leaves and flowers and then go into a dormant period during the summer and early autumn.
This habitat helps the plants deal with the extremes of temperature and moisture.
When the cooler temperatures hit the region, and moisture is more prevalent, the plants come to life again and flowering happens.
For the gardener who loves the plant, this means that cyclamen plants grow best when you can keep temperatures cool during the days and nights. Between 60 and 72º F during the day and 50º to 65º F at night is ideal.
Warmer growing conditions than this mean that cyclamens will live just a short time and won’t rebloom.
There are several holiday plants which require special care after flowering so that you will be rewarded with blooms in a subsequent year.
Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, and frosty ferns are other plants that set flowers in the cool autumn days. (Frosty fern sets white tips, not flowers) Find out what steps to take to get a Christmas cactus to rebloom.
Caladium tubers also act in a similar way to cyclamens, except that they do this when the cold weather hits. Find out more about overwintering caladiums here.Cyclamen plants are so pretty for the holidays but getting them to re-bloom is a challenge. Don't throw that plant away - It just needs a rest! Head to the Gardening Cook to find out how to get your cyclamen to flower the second… Click To Tweet
Getting a cyclamen to rebloom
If you provide cyclamen with the right conditions during this dormant period, you’ll have better luck getting blooms in the fall.
To get a cyclamen to flower a second season, plants need a cool, dry rest period. Chilly night time temperatures and proper light conditions are essential to get flower buds to form.
Follow these tips for beautiful blooms every year with your cyclamen instead of buying a new plant.
When cyclamens are blooming
During the bloom time, (fall and winter months) care for cyclamen like any plant that is growing actively. It needs bright light, well draining soil and consistent watering.
Bi-monthly fertilization during the growth period is also beneficial.
I’ve written a comprehensive article on caring for a cyclamen plant. Be sure to check it out.
Take the time to deadhead the spent flowers. Cut off the whole stem when the flowers shrivel. This prevents seed formation.
Your plants will also send more energy to the tuber, which means it will be able to withstand dormancy well. It also means lots of flowers next fall.
What to do when a cyclamen stops blooming
After blooming, the leaves and flowers of cyclamens will start to go yellow. This is nature’s way of telling you that your cyclamen plant needs a nap.
After the plant has stopped flowering, gradually cut back on the watering and fertilizing. The leaves will begin to wilt and turn yellow.
Once all of the leaves are yellow, you can stop watering altogether. Like daffodils, the tubers get energy for the next year’s blooms from the yellowing leaves. Don’t cut off any leaves until they are completely dry.
Leave any leaves that are still green, they will help the tuber store up energy that it needs for re-flowering.
Keep the plant on a balcony, porch, cold frame or greenhouse without too much sunlight. If you don’t have this type of location, the coldest room in your house, or even a garage, will work.
The plant will not need sunlight during this time, so choose your location based on how cool you can keep the tubers.
Water only enough to keep barely moist and prevent the tubers from shriveling. This is essential. Too much watering during the dormant period can make the tubers rot.
Some gardeners place the tubers in pots on their sides outdoors in the shade during the spring and summer. This can also be done in a cool garden shed.
If your location is cool enough to do this, be sure to move the tubers back inside before the temperatures go below 50 °F at night. Unless the plant is a hardy cyclamen, it cannot take temperatures much lower then this.
Getting ready for new flowers on your cyclamen plant
In late summer, once the weather starts getting colder and the temperatures have descended to 50 °F, the cyclamen tubers will begin to send out fresh foliage.
Start watering the plant again, making sure that the tubers do not dry out. I water if I can insert my finger an inch and the soil feels dry.
Wait for new shoots to appear and the soil becomes somewhat dry, then start watering regularly again.
Begin fertilizing monthly, and place the plant in near a bright window in a cool room – about 65 °F (a bit colder at night – even as cool as 40 °F). The plant will start growing again and develop new blooms.
Keep up the normal care of cyclamen and the plant will continue to grow and send blooms. In a few weeks, you’ll be ready to enjoy this plant again for the second year.
Congratulations! You have managed what many people find difficult – getting flowers on your cyclamen for a second year.
Pin these tips for getting a cyclamen to rebloom
Would you like a reminder of this post for getting flowers on your cyclamen a second year? Just pin this image to one of your Pinterest indoor plant boards so that you can easily find it later.
You can also watch the video for getting a cyclamen to re-bloom on YouTube.
- Cyclamen plant
- Cool room, cold frame or greenhouse
- In late winter, when flowering has ceased on your cyclamen, hold off on watering and fertilizing.
- The leaves will wilt and turn yellow.
- Water only enough to keep the tubers from shriveling.
- Place in a cool room, a cold frame or cold greenhouse for 2-3 months.
- Leave the green leaves, they will give nourishment to the tubers.
- In late summer, when the temperatures have descended to 50 °F, bring the tubers inside to a cool room.
- Start watering normally, and fertilizing once a month.
- Keep the plant near a bright window in a cool room – about 65 °F (a bit colder at night – even as cool as 40 °F). The plant will start growing again and develop new blooms.
- Once blooms have set, continue caring for the cyclamen as normal.
- Enjoy your succulent blooms for the second year!