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Growing and Caring for Miniature Cyclamen

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A miniature cyclamen, six inches tall, grows on a windowsill.

This miniature cyclamen is only six inches tall.

Photo ©2007 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

Miniature Cyclamen Three to Six Inches Tall:

Cyclamen is said to stand for sincerityin the meaning of flowers. The houseplant or florist's cyclamens are all varieties of Cyclamen persicum.

The smaller types of cyclamen come in two versions; miniatures, which range in size from five to six inches tall (13 -15 cm), and micros, which range from three to four inches (8 - 10 cm). If you buy them online be careful you are not confusing pot size with height. All of these cyclamen like lots of light and cool growing conditions.

Care:

To keep your cyclamen at its best, grow it in a cool light environment, out of drafts and not in direct sunlight, (except in northern areas.) A day time temperature of 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (18 -20 degrees Celsius) is preferred with a cooler temperature at night.

Remove dead yellow leaves and flowers by twisting them off the tuber (which is just below the soil surface). Cyclamen like humidity so grow them in groups or on a tray of moist gravel.

Watering:

Small pots of cyclamen are best grown on trays of moist gravel to keep humidity levels high. Cyclamen grow from a tuber which is very prone to rotting if the soil is kept too moist.

To keep your miniature from rotting, water it by soaking it from the base, only when the soil is feeling dry. Let the water drain thoroughly from the pot and keep the pot on some moist gravel in a tray to increase the humidity around the plant. Do not overwater! This is the cause of most cyclamen problems. If your plant turns yellow and droops, check that the soil is not too wet. Try moving the plant to a brighter, more humid location.

Encouraging Your Cyclamen To Rebloom:

Miniature cyclamen may be brought back into flowering for a second year if conditions are right.

Allow the soil in your cyclamen pot to dry out when the cyclamen finishes blooming and the leaves all begin to turn yellow as it enters its rest period. Store the cyclamen in its pot in a cool dark area over the summer (in a basement or garage). Do not allow the tuber to completely dry out, but do not water it. In late August, bring the cyclamen back into a cool, well lit area and water the pot slightly. Increase the watering as the leaves develop and try to keep the cyclamen where the night temperature is cooler.

Types of Miniature Cyclamen:

Several groups of miniature and micro cyclamen are available. In the Miniatures, the main series available are: Metis, Miracle (scented) Libretto, Super Series Compact (long lasting), and Miniwella (fringed petals) In the micro group the main available series are Super Series Micro and Midori. Seeds are available, but you will need to have the right cultural conditions (temperature and hours of light) to get the plants to flower for the winter season.

Looking for More Information?:

If you are looking for more information on caring for miniature cyclamens, remember that they are standard florist cyclamens, but raised in smaller, more difficult to keep watered, pots.

The About.com guide to gardens has articles on cyclamen, and the Montreal Botanic Garden Green Pages have good information on caring for the plants and getting them to rebloom the folowing year.
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