Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

A Cyclamen for Christmas

novembre 30We rarely think of the florist’s cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) as a Christmas plant, but yet it really only flourishes under the cool indoor temperatures of late fall and winter. It’s a pretty tolerant houseplant when it comes to light conditions and will do well in full sun or bright light. It’s weak point, though, is watering: with its large leaves and many flowers, the cyclamen loses a lot of water to transpiration and dries out very quickly. You may find it necessary to water it more than once per week. But still, always stick a finger in the potting mix before watering: if it is still moist to the touch, it is not yet ready for watering.

Well cared for, your cyclamen will bloom right through the Christmas season until spring. It can even carry on through much of the summer… as long as you can keep it cool!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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