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Encouraging your cyclamen to rebloom

Cyclamen persicum 'Striata'
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Gilles Murray)
Cyclamen persicum 'Striata'

People usually discard their cyclamen plants when they are done flowering, because they require a rest period and special temperature conditions. However, you can try coaxing your plant to rebloom by following these recommendations.

Rest period

In late spring, after the plant has finished flowering, the leaves will start to turn yellow. Stop fertilizing and gradually space waterings farther apart, stopping completely once all the leaves are yellow. Do not remove any leaves that are still green; wait until they are thoroughly dry, because this is the time when the tuber stores up the energy it needs to rebloom. Then place the pot in a cool location, preferably one with not much light (for instance, a basement with a temperature of about 15°C). During this time, keep the tuber dry, but without allowing it to become desiccated and shrivelled.

New vegetative growth from the tuber

At the end of the rest period, toward late August, repot the tuber in a slightly larger pot. The potting soil must have good drainage. A good mixture is two parts tropical plant potting soil, one part peat moss and one part perlite. When placing the tuber in the new pot, leave the top one third to one half exposed to the air. Resume watering and fertilizing, increasing the frequency of waterings gradually as new leaves form. Place the pot in a moderately cool room (about 20°C during the day and a bit cooler at night) with plenty of light but no direct noonday sun. Cool nighttime temperatures and proper lighting are essential to flower bud formation. Once the foliage is fully developed and the plant is in bloom, cooler daytime and nighttime temperatures will extend the blooming period.

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