Man, oh man! We're not even having a typically cold-as-a-witch's-butt Midwestern winter here (knock on wood) and all the gray skies and gloom have still got me down.
So when I went to Trader Joe's the other day, I picked up a vivid pink Cyclamen to brighten up my world.
BTW, have you tried their frozen chocolate covered banana slices??? To. Die. For.
I actually went back yesterday to pick up another
case few boxes of them just because I liked them so much. And grabbed a couple more Cyclamen while I was at it.
Cyclamen are on of my favorite winter flowering indoor plants. They're cheerful and happy and perky (which are pretty much all basically the same thing). And they will bloom for a good 6-8 weeks as long as you take care of them.
Cyclamen are readily available in grocery stores and garden centers this time of year and they are cheap (always a good thing in my book) - $2.99 at Trader Joe's (they buy their Cyclamens from Canada. Not quite grown in the good old USA, but close, Eh?).
And look at these leaves!!! You gotta love the variegated leaves.
Now there are two types of Cyclamens out there - the hardy version which can be planted outside and the indoor/grocery store version.
I am talking about the indoor version here, Cyclamen persicum or more commonly called florist's cyclamen.
- Prefer bright, indirect sunlight and a cooler location. Ideally, they love a place that is 50-60 degrees F, but since you probably don't live in that cold of a house, either a windowsill or a chillier location in the house will do.
- Water when dry to the touch, but be careful not to over-water. Once a week, I place them in a shallow dish and let the plants "suck up" water through the roots. Watering from above can cause rot.
- To keep plants re-blooming, cut spent flowers close to the base.
- When the plants are done blooming you can just toss them and buy new next year. Or even better, help them to return and bloom again next year.
How To Over-Summer Your Cyclamen
- Cyclamen are actually a type of bulb. In the spring, after the plant is done flowering and the foliage has turned yellow and has died off, stop watering. You have my permission to just let the plant dry out.
- Place pot in a cool dry place and pretty much forget about it until Labor Day.
- In early fall, soak the pot thoroughly for it's first watering. After that, water as normal.
- You should see new growth and before you know it you will be knee deep in snow with a blooming Cyclamen to keep you company.
Warning: Cyclamen can be toxic to pets if ingested.
You know your pet better than I do, so if they are prone to eating plants either keep the plants away from them or just skip growing this one.
Have you grown Cyclamen before? What is your favorite color?