More formally known as Cyclamen Persicum, these little flowers may be small, but they can add a much-needed burst of color to any room or garden. Cyclamen are native to the Mediterranean but have become increasingly popular all over the world, so can now be found on the shelves of pretty much any garden center or grocery store.
These flowers are most popular in the winter because that is when they primarily bloom into delicate but intensely colored flowers.
Their beauty takes time to show, though, and if you want to plant your own cyclamen, you will have to plant its seeds in the summer of the year preceding its winter bloom – that means eighteen months of patience!
If you can hack the wait, though, we can assure you that it is worth it; these little blooms pack a punch of color and bring with them a gorgeously sweet scent that will treat your nose each time you pass them.
Cyclamen can only grow up to 9 inches tall and wide, which makes them an ideal low-maintenance house plant. All you need to do to ensure your cyclamen is healthy is to keep its soil acidic and moist, but make sure it is well-drained.
Something really interesting about this flower is that it turns dormant in summer. This means that the whole flower dies, all the way down to its roots. Don’t worry, though, because these sturdy plants will revitalize and grow back into a blooming plant every fall.
If you really do not want the plant to enter its dormant period, there are some things you can do to stop it. For example, if you keep your home extremely cool in summer, it might be able to sidestep going dormant. However, even when dormancy is avoided, the plant will not bloom for at least a couple of months, and the plant might lose a few leaves here and there.
Keeping cyclamen alive from plant to bloom time can be a tricky task, so we would advise buying an established plant to have in your home; all you need to do for an established plant is water it and maintain its health. We definitely could not wait eighteen months for these babies to bloom!
Before we get into the juicy details and explore all the different types of cyclamen, here is a little more information on how to care for the flower. In terms of light, the plant’s needs change throughout the year.
In winter, they need a lot of bright but indirect sunlight while they grow into bloom. When they are dormant in summer, they prefer to be out of the sunlight and in a cool spot instead.
As we now know, cyclamen needs slightly acidic soil. You can either buy soil with an acidic pH or use regular potting soil and add some sphagnum peat to it. Much like its need for sunlight, the watering requirements for the cyclamen vary from season to season.
When it is growing in fall and winter, the soil needs to be watered whenever it becomes dry an inch below the surface. In summer, the plant only needs to be watered enough to make sure that the soil does not completely dry out.
Now that we know how to take care of these pretty plants, let’s take a look at the different types of cyclamen available to buy!
The first group within the cyclamen species is the most popular, especially when it comes to growing cyclamen inside. This type of cyclamen gives off a strong sweet scent, and is really easy to care for.
There are a few different types of cyclamen within this category, with colors ranging from white, to pale pink, to deep red and purple. Here’s a list of some of our favorite Cyclamen Persicum cultivars:
Laser Rose Cyclamen
This flower blooms from mid fall to early spring, and can grow up to 5 inches tall and wide. The color of this flower is intense and eye-catching. The five petals of each flower head are a deep shade of magenta pink, and they contrast dramatically with the deep green leaves that sit below them.
Miracle Deep Rose Cyclamen
This miniature cyclamen can only grow up to just below six inches tall, and can take up to five years to reach that. In winter, beautiful pink rose-colored flowers bloom, displaying petals that look almost as pretty as they smell.
Concerto Apollo Cyclamen
Just like most cyclamen, this plant flowers from early winter to spring. The leaves are deep green with silvery veins, and the flowers that bloom are a bright showy shade of white. These flowers are elegant and classy, and would complement any indoor setting.
Sierra White With Eye Cyclamen
This cyclamen is a little bigger than its persicum brothers and sisters, and can grow up to 10 inches tall. The green leaves are marbled with silver, and the name of the flower comes from the pure white petals that have a bright spot of purple and pink at the base. We love the color contrast on this flower.
This next species of cyclamen blossoms primarily in fall, and are known for their ivy-like leaves. This plant is most commonly grown outdoors, but can also be a house plant with the right care. Below are some of our top picks from this species.
Nettleton Silver Cyclamen
Bred in the UK, these plants have been made to bloom in fall and winter, and can only grow up to 3 inches tall. Above silvery-green ivy leaves bloom bright purply pink flowers, whose color is similar to that of lilac.
Silver Cloud Cyclamen
The name of this plant stems not from the color of the flowers, but from the silvery tinge of the leaves. The flowers that blossom from August to October are a delicate light shade of pink, with hints of light purple. The maximum height this little plant can grow is only 4 inches tall.
White Cloud Cyclamen
Just like the Silver Cloud, the leaves on this plant are a greyish silver, which is particularly striking during winter. Between August and October, refreshing white flowers bloom upon the brownish stems. The shade of white of the petals is so bright that these flowers are eye-catching despite their small height of 4 inches.
Silver Arrow Cyclamen
Next up is our personal favorite of the Hederifolium bunch. This plant can only grow up to 4 inches tall, but each time it blooms in summer and fall, it reveals the most stunning colors.
Each petal on this plant has an array of pink shades; the majority of each petal is a light shade of pink, but towards the base of each petal the color darkens to a solid magenta color – almost as if the petals have been dip-dyed!
The leaves of this species can either be soft and rounded, or cute little heart shapes. The leaves appear in fall, while the flowers bloom in the middle of winter. Take a look at some of the Coum cultivars below.
Something Magic Cyclamen
The leaves of this plant are magical in themselves; they have a dark green center which is surrounded by a bright silver coloring, and then the border of each leaf is outlined with a clear dark green. The flowers that bloom from this plant are a gorgeous pink shade, which provides a dramatic contrast to the leaf colors.
The name of this plant comes from the dainty pale pink shade of its flowers, which are rouged with a magenta splodge at each petal’s base. The rounded leaves complement the shades of pink, and consist of both light and dark green shades.
Maurice Dryden Cyclamen
These flowers are also known as Persian Violet Cyclamen. The plant can only grow up to 3 inches high, but the pretty colors of the flowers make up for it. The petals of these flowers are such a light pink that they appear almost white, aside from the splash of deep pink color that graces the bottom of each one. These pretty flowers tend to bloom between late winter and early spring.
The Graecum species of Cyclamen is not quite as sturdy as the others; it can be quite hard to grow, and does not fare as well in winter. However, the leaves and flowers of this plant are too pretty to ignore.
This plant cultivar was native to a little town in Greece called Glyfada, hence its name. The bright colors of the flowers are a mix of pink and purple, and these flowers sit beautifully above a bed of deep green velvety leaves.
Silvery leaves show in fall, and provide a backdrop for beautiful flowers. The petals are all pale pink, and each one has a darker pink base. This flower originates from Crete.
This plant is native to alpine areas, primarily southwestern Turkey. They come in a range of colors, and we have included our favorite cultivars below.
Pink Swirl Cyclamen
The name of this plant stems from its bright pink flowers, which are slightly larger than most other cyclamen blossoms. It was bred in 1984, but is very rare and hard to find these days.
Red Devil Cyclamen
Also sometimes referred to as Devil’s Ivy, this plant boasts bright but dark red flowers which bloom between fall and winter, and which sit atop leaves that are incredibly similar to ivy leaves. The leaves are slightly pointed, and are dark green with pale green marbling.
The name of this plant comes from the color and pattern of the petals. Each petal is a light, pale pink, which is dotted with speckles of dark red. This is our favorite of the Alpinum family; we love the drama of the color contrast!
This plant species is slightly rarer than the Cyclamen Coum or Cyclamen Hederifolium families, and the main difference with this plant is that its flowers bloom in spring, as opposed to fall or winter. Below are our top picks of Pseudibericum flowers.
White Hope Cyclamen
This flower has been cultivated from the palest types of cyclamens to achieve a bright and pure white color for its petals. The flowers grow up and out from their pot, and sit above large light green leaves.
As you may have guessed from the name, this Pseudibericum cultivar has light pink, rosy-colored petals. Some of this species have petals of one block color, while others can be seen to have a darker spot of magenta at the base of each petal.
The leaves on this plant are equally as eye-catching, as they are two-toned and combine a very pale green with a deep green border and center.
The best thing about this Cyclamen species is that it has a fragrance just like that of a sweet lily. The flowers on this plant bloom from February to May, just after its leaves appear in winter.
This cyclamen cultivar has extremely pale pink petals that are so light that they can often be confused with the white version of the same species. Its leaves are large, dark green and heart-shaped, and provide a dramatic contrast to the pale petals.
Silvery Hope Cyclamen
This plant was cultivated in the Netherlands. The name ‘Silvery Hope’ has been derived from the color of the plant’s leaves, which can occasionally be a silvery green. Interestingly, the undersides of the leaves are red. The flowers that bloom in spring are bright white and have a strong fragrance.
Tilebarn Spoa Cyclamen
The flowers on this plant are quite similar to those on the Silvery Hope plant, except instead of a dull white color, these flowers have a sort of glowing blue tinge to them. This plant looks very similar to many of the cyclamen native to Crete.
Last, but not least, on our list is the Repandum strain of cyclamen. These plants are dwarfed and very rarely reach one inch tall. They often have sweet heart-shaped leaves and pink flowers. Below are our favorite cultivars from the Repandum family.
The leaves on this plant are undeniably heart-shaped, and have a two-tone pattern of light pale green and dark green. Similarly to the Silver Arrow cyclamen, the flowers on this plant look as if they have been dip-dyed.
Each petal is a light pink which gradually darkens as it gets to the base, where it reaches a deep purple-pink color. These flowers have a faintly sweet scent.
The leaves on this plant are enormous and sport a bright green shade. In contrast, the flowers that bloom on this plant are tiny, delicate, and a very pale shade of white. The size of the leaves really emphasizes how small the flowers are!
All species of cyclamen share the characteristics of a great houseplant: they are small, easily maintained, they smell nice, and they look even nicer! There is such a wide variety of cyclamen plants available that it can be difficult to decide which is your favorite.
From the variation in leaf color and shape, to the differences in height, to the multiple color options, there are so many things that change from cultivar to cultivar.
Our personal favorites are always the ones that have heart-shaped leaves – we think they are just so cute! With all the many types of cyclamen out there, we are certain that there is one for everybody.