Cyclamen

Cyclamen is the Houseplants for October

Cyclamen is the Houseplant for November. Heart-shaped leaves, flamboyant flowers, perfect for combating the start of the darker days. Make things as mad as you like - #AnythingGoes. 

Silvery markings on heart-shaped leaves, and available in all colours from near-transparent white to bright purple. And the flowers? Unbeatable!  

Colours and shapes

What catches the eye immediately are Cyclamen's colours.  They can be modest and restrained, but also bright red, shocking pink and deep purple. That makes it a cheerful, eye-catching houseplant that’s available in sizes from XL to XS, so that any space however small can be home to a Cyclamen. The flowers of this plant can be smooth, but can also have cheerful frills. They grow with their heart pointing downwards and the petals upwards. Below is a full rosette of green leaves. These are heart-shaped, and sometimes have attractive silvery grey markings. Some varieties of Cyclamen have a beautiful light fragrance.

Cyclamen4

Origin

Cyclamen is a member of the Primrose family, and grows around the Mediterranean. The species that has achieved houseplant status - Cyclamen persicum - originates from Persia, present-day Iran. The philosopher Plato described the plant as far back as the 4th century BC. The name is derived from the Greek word ‘kuklos’, which means ‘circle’. Both the flattened tuber and the plant’s habit are circular. Such a tuber can last for decades. There are even examples known that lasted a century and still flowered.

Symbolism

Cyclamen symbolises the empathetic, devoted heart, and was therefore planted beside old monasteries, ribats (Islamic monasteries, a sort of fortress) and churchyards in the countries around the Mediterranean. In Japan the Cyclamen is the holy flower of love. 

 

Care

Cyclamen likes a cool and light spot, and does not like full sun or sources of heat nearby. 

The plant drinks a lot. Keep the soil slightly damp. Ideally, Cyclamens like to take up their own water at room temperature from a saucer which can then be removed. 

The plant will indicate when it needs watering again by drooping a bit. 

Regularly remove wilted flowers and leaves in order to encourage new buds to open. 

Plant food once every three weeks helps your Cyclamen to continue flowering lavishly.