Reminding a flock of bright butterflies, Persian cyclamen is considered one of the most special flowering plants. Even with the appearance of dozens of new types of cyclamen, it is still not afraid of competition. Special in everything – from tuber to fragile cuttings and petals bent upwards – cyclamen requires unusual care, conditions and techniques in growing. And at the same time, he remains one of the easy-to-care species. It just doesn’t look like other houseplants. But even a beginner, having carefully familiarized himself with the cyclamen better, will be able to achieve success.
Persian cyclamen is special in everything. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Keishi Etoh
Description of the plant
Persian cyclamen, Dryakva, or Alpine violet (Cyclamen persicum) – a representative of corms, or rather tuberous plants. Cyclamens are characterized by a long, pronounced full dormant period, beginning with flowering and lasting from spring to late summer, when the first shoots appear. Repeated blooms are often disappointing, so cyclamens are increasingly thrown away after one season. But they only need the right care and conditions in order to please from year to year.
Large and heavy, up to 15 cm in diameter, round, flattened, weighty tubers in cyclamen are special. Numerous leaves and single flowers grow from the growing point at the top, which is sensitive to wetting and deepening. Only large varieties reach a height of 30 cm (and even then during flowering), there are also many mini-varieties up to 15 cm high.
The basal leaves of Persian cyclamen are reniform or broadly cordate, dense, with a special texture and luster, decorated with outlandish silvery patterns of light veins. There are varieties with dark, purple and light leaves. By the green back, it is easy to distinguish Persian cyclamen from other types of cyclamen with a purple bloom. In the largest varieties, the leaves reach 14 cm in diameter, in the small ones – only 6 cm. The long, fleshy, reddish petioles of the cyclamen hold tight until the leaves wilt, and then they are separated with amazing ease.
The pointed petals turned upward, up to 5-8 cm long, give the bisexual five-petal flowers of Persian cyclamen originality. The fragile beauty evokes associations with a flock of tropical butterflies crouching down to rest. The plant produces flowers tirelessly, on thick, fleshy pedicels with a height of 15 cm. After flowering, large boxes of fruits are tied in cyclamens.
Persian cyclamens are the stars of the coldest season, bloom in autumn and winter.
Special pink-purple shades of flower colors are called cyclamen for a reason. Dazzling or delicate, cold pink, white or red cyclamens always look bright. The plant has more and more wavy, watercolor, with a dark eye, ruffled and terry varieties.
Growing conditions for indoor Persian cyclamen
Stable lighting, strict temperature control and protection from heat are the keys to success in growing cyclamen.
Read also our article Cyclamen. Purchase, home care, reproduction.
Lighting and placement
During the dormant period, cyclamens are placed in the shade, but during the period of active growth and flowering, cyclamens remain exemplary photophilous. They can bloom luxuriantly only in bright light, but not under direct sun. The ideal option is the windows to the east and west, partly to the south. In winter, especially on cloudy days, rearrangement or additional lighting is only welcome.
Temperature control and ventilation
The usual temperatures of living rooms and offices are too hot an environment for Persian cyclamen. They not only fade very quickly, but also grow poorly and get sick more often. Their favorite temperature is 12 to 15 degrees. The plant tolerates lowering up to 10 degrees easily. But an increase to 20 degrees is already a big stress for them, triggering an accelerated transition to a rest period.
The problem of keeping the temperature below 15 degrees is sometimes solved by moving the pots closer to the glass and window sashes, but it is still better to find a permanent place for the Persian cyclamen in cool conditions – on the balcony, loggia, veranda, in the lobby, hallway, corridor, on the staircase …
Protection from drafts, any sudden changes, refusal of permutations for vegetative and flowering cyclamen are required. They love fresh air, but you need to ventilate the rooms carefully. Persian cyclamens do not tolerate polluted air, including cigarette smoke.
Special, not always difficult. And the Persian cyclamen proves that, despite the dissimilarity to other plant species, beginners can grow it.
Watering and air humidity
This plant is so afraid of getting wet that even a drop of water can cause death. Neither leaves, nor petioles, nor tubers can be soaked. The plant is watered very carefully, through a pan, draining excess water after 15 minutes, or using auto-irrigation, wick irrigation. Waterlogging is destructive, and the complete drying out of the soil leads to the loss of leaves and flowers.
Persian cyclamen should be watered, allowing the top layer of the substrate to dry. With the end of flowering, watering is gradually reduced, up to almost complete dryness for the tuber that has lost its leaves, and with the onset of active growth, watering is slowly resumed.
Persian cyclamens prefer not just soft, but acidified water. To protect against overheating, you can use water with a temperature of 12 to 15 degrees.
Persian cyclamens cannot stand spraying, but they prefer at least average humidity. When buying flowering bushes without increasing air humidity to “greenhouse” varieties quickly fade. The leaves must be kept clean.
Read also our article Why indoor cyclamen dries up?
Top dressing and composition of fertilizers
Persian cyclamens themselves signal the need to start feeding. They are gradually “introduced into care” as soon as the leaves open completely and the buds appear. And they continue it until the end of flowering, gradually stopping for the entire dormant period. The optimal frequency of feeding is every 2 weeks.
Persian cyclamens do not tolerate excess nitrogen, preferring fertilizers with a high phosphorus content. You can find special fertilizers for cyclamens or use fertilizers for succulents, in extreme cases – for ornamental flowering plants, strawberries, tomatoes and other fruit-bearing species.
Pruning cyclamen persian
This plant does not tolerate pruning at all. Even fading leaves and flower stalks need to be manually broken out, grasping at the base and scrolling. Both flowers and leaves are harvested as they naturally wilt, when they themselves begin to easily separate from the tuber.
Transplant, containers and substrate
Persian cyclamens are transplanted annually, after flowering, before a dormant period or immediately after it, when new leaves begin to grow. The standard transfer time is September. If the plant produces daughter tubers, they are separated during transplantation.
The sizes of pots for Persian cyclamen are selected according to the diameter of the tuber, adding 2-3 cm to it. In large, too spacious pots, the cyclamen cannot be preserved (and not made to bloom), but the tuber should not touch the walls either.
The substrate can be used special, for bulbous and tuberous plants or universal loose, light, nutritious with additional additions of sand and perlite (or other loosening components). Persian cyclamens grow well in a mixture of sand, humus, peat and leafy earth (1: 1: 1: 3).
A very high drainage and a thin layer of substrate are laid at the bottom of the containers. The tuber must be handled with care. Having taken out the cyclamen from the pot, it is only necessary to gently shake off the soil, without resorting to manual cleaning and without contacting the roots.
The tubers are set so that about a third of them remain above the soil line, carefully adding the substrate to the sides. Even a slightly recessed landing can be disastrous, so it is best to over-caution. It is easy to navigate when planting purchased “naked” tubers: their upper side is convex.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
Withering, loss of leaves and buds is a sad sight. And it is not always easy to recognize the cause, because the Persian cyclamen can react in this way not only to dampness, overflow, but also to heat, too dry air, drying out of the soil, hypothermia, untimely transplantation during the growing season. It is worth starting the “diagnosis” with inspection, careful “probing” of the tuber for turgor and signs of rot. Assessment of soil moisture is also important.
Yellow foliage often indicates insufficient lighting, and chopped leaves often indicate improper feeding.
Cyclamens are often affected by the cyclamen mite, less often by spider mites, thrips, and aphids. You can only cope with insecticides. But the main enemy of the plant is rot during overflow and inaccurate watering.
Reproduction of Persian cyclamen
It is possible to grow cyclamens from seeds, but this process is long, complicated, requires complete protection from light and a special temperature regime, and does not retain varietal characteristics. Cyclamen tubers are marketed along with bulbs, and buying tubers rather than flowering bushes is a great economical option to grow from scratch. As well as the separation of daughter tubers when transplanting with growing to flowering.