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It is getting towards that time of year again when autumn brings its early morning chills and the houseplant department, here at Silica Lodge, starts to change over from the summery-type plants to the winter ones.  On that note, this week sees cyclamen making a grand return to the shelves.  Although we have had a few early ones in stock there will now be a whole bench dedicated to cyclamen as the range available starts to become more varied. 

The colour range of cyclamen is now quite extensive so there is sure to be one that suits all tastes.  Bi-coloured varieties are readily available as are ones with frilly flowers.     

Indoor cyclamen needs to be grown in as cool and light a spot as you can provide.  Ideally an un-heated bright porch or conservatory would suit them best and, with the correct care, will ensure that your cyclamen thrives well into the new year.  If they are in a centrally heated house try and place them in your coolest rooms, on the windowsills where they will receive the good light that they require.  Cyclamen will be short-lived if they are placed in a warm room.     

Water with care ensuring that the compost is never waterlogged.  Wait until the surface of the compost is dry then apply water directly to the surface or place the pot in a tray of water so that the plant can take the water up from the bottom.  It doesn’t really matter which method you use so long as water isn’t left standing on the leaves or in the centre of the plant.   Make sure the pot is well drained before returning it to it’s pot cover or saucer.     

Dead-head the flowers regularly, pulling the whole stem away with a twist and a tug. If it doesn’t come away cleanly, carefully remove the rest of the stem down to the base.  This will make sure that no ends are left which could rot down into the plant.     

Cyclamen can be dried off after flowering and given a rest period if you wish to keep them for another year.