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The Complete Guide to Growing Cyclamen from Seed


How to propagate cyclamen from seed? Cyclamen plants are popular flowering houseplants. You can grow cyclamen indoors or outdoors. To ensure successful growing cyclamen from seed, you should know the germination process and be prepared to cater for the needs of young plants.

Understanding Cyclamen Seeds

Introduction to Cyclamen Seeds: Cyclamen seeds are relatively small. Each one measuring no more than 1 mm in diameter. The shape depends on the species. But they generally have a flattened appearance that is slightly pointed at one end. The color of the seed can also vary. Some species have dark brown seeds and others have lighter tan-colored ones.

Sourcing High-Quality Cyclamen Seeds: You should source high quality cyclamen seeds from reputable suppliers. This ensures your plants have the best chances for success. Prime sources of cyclamen seeds include specialty nurseries, garden centers and online retailers. When shopping for cyclamen seeds, you should read the packaging carefully. Make sure they are suitable for what you need.

Seed Viability: The viability of cyclamen seeds can vary greatly depending on several factors. For example, how they were stored and processed prior to sale. In general, plant cyclamen seeds as soon as possible after purchase. This maximizes their chances of germination. Store the seeds in a cool and dry place.

The viability of cyclamen seeds can decrease over time. You should check the viability of your seeds prior to planting. Simply place a few seeds in water. Wait for them to sink. Viable seeds tend to sink within a few minutes, while non-viable ones will float.

Pre-Germination Preparation

Choosing the Right Container: When growing cyclamen from seed, your container of choice is important. Because it will determine how much space your seedlings will have before transplanting. You can choose a pot twice the size of your seed packet.

When deciding between plastic nursery pots or seedling trays to sow your seeds in, opt for one that is deep enough. So you can provide sufficient soil volume and drainage. A shallow container will lead to poor root development. This may stunt the growth of your plants.

Selecting an Appropriate Seed Starting Mix: You should use well-draining and nutrient-rich soil. Your seeds will have the best chance of germination and growth. Avoid mixing with too much organic matter. Because this can cause waterlogging or anaerobic conditions which may lead to fungal diseases.

Sterilizing Containers and Planting Medium: Before planting cyclamen seeds, make sure your containers and growing medium are properly sterilized. This helps prevent any diseases from developing on the young plants. You can either bake or steam them in an oven for about 30 minutes. After cooling, you can then proceed with sowing cyclamen seeds.

Providing Consistent Moisture: You should give your cyclamen seedlings consistent moisture throughout the germination and growing process. You can use a mister or watering can with a fine nozzle. Lightly moisten the soil without causing waterlogging or overwatering. Be sure to avoid getting the seedlings wet, as this can lead to mold and fungal growth.

Cyclamen Germination Techniques

How to grow cyclamen seeds? Cyclamen is an attractive flowering plant well suited for cool climates. Successful cyclamen seed germination is key to a healthy crop. There are two preferred techniques: cold stratification and soaking. Germinating cyclamen seeds is easy if you follow the steps in this guide.

Cold Stratification: Cold stratification is the process of exposing cyclamen seeds to cold, moist conditions for a period of time. This technique can better prepare the seed for successful germination and more vigorous growth. To complete this technique:

1. Place the cyclamen seeds in a moist mixture. Either peat moss and vermiculite or perlite and vermiculite. The ratio is 2:1 respectively.

2. Put the soil mixture in a plastic bag. Seal it and store in your refrigerator for approximately three months. The temperatures between 32-41°F (0-4°C).

3. Check the mixture regularly to ensure it remains moist. Toss out any seeds that show signs of rotting or mold.

4. After three months have passed, remove the bag from your refrigerator. Sow the cyclamen seeds immediately in a fine seed starting mix in individual containers.

5. Keep the soil consistently moist until germination is complete.

Soaking: You can soak cyclamen seeds in warm water overnight. This increases their moisture absorption and speeds up the germination process. Simply soak seeds for approximately 12 hours. The temperature is between 68-86°F (20-30°C). Then, sowing them in individual containers of fine seed starting mix. Like with cold stratification, keep the soil consistently moist until germination is complete.

Creating a Mini Greenhouse: Creating a mini greenhouse environment in which cyclamen seeds can germinate and thrive. It is also key to successfully growing cyclamen from seed. You can take a clear plastic cover or dome. Place it over each container of sown cyclamen seeds. You should remove these covers after cyclamen seed pods germination. The seedlings will grow several inches tall.

You also need to protect cyclamen from the elements. For example, wind or cold temperatures. Provide adequate air circulation and water regularly. So the plants continue to grow without any issues.

growing cyclamen from seed

How to Grow Cyclamen from Seed?

When to Sow Cyclamen Seeds? The ideal time to sow your cyclamen seeds depends on the regional climate and your plant's growth cycle. You should sow them in late fall or winter when temperatures are cooler. In some regions, late spring or early summer is also possible.

Spacing Between Seeds: To ensure healthy plants, you should leave enough space between each seed for adequate airflow. If the seeds are too close together, it can lead to overcrowding and inhibited growth. We recommend the space between each seed at least two inches.

Planting Depth: How to plant cyclamen seeds? You should plant csyclamen seeds at a depth of about one-quarter inch with soil mixed with expanded perlite or vermiculite. After sowing the seed, cover it with a thin layer of seed-starting mix. You will grow cyclamen from seed easily.

Light Requirements: During the germination period, the developing seedlings will need diffused light instead of direct sunlight. A bright windowsill or grow light is ideal for providing enough light without exposing the seeds to too much heat.

How to Care for A Cyclamen Plant?

How to take care of a cyclamen plant? Cyclamen propagation from seed is a delicate process. It requires strict maintenance of consistent moisture levels, temperature, humidity and light levels.

Maintaining Consistent Moisture Levels: When growing cyclamen from seed, you should avoid overly wet conditions at all costs. Too much moisture can promote mold and mildew growth. It can also lead to the seeds rotting in the soil. To keep moisture levels consistent, lightly mist the soil regularly. Make sure that it's not overly wet.

Monitoring Temperature and Humidity: If you want to grow cyclamen from seed, you can create a warm environment. It mimics the naturally occurring conditions associated with the plant’s habitat. You should closely monitor temperature and humidity levels to ensure ideal growing conditions for cyclamen seeds.

Importance of Ventilation: Cyclamen seeds are particularly sensitive to mold and damping-off issues. So proper ventilation is essential. To prevent these issues from occurring, the soil should be well aerated. You can regularly turn it over and provide adequate airflow.

Adjusting Lighting: Once the cyclamen seedlings have emerged, you can adjust the lighting conditions to prevent stretching. Adjusting light levels will promote a more compact growth habit and thicker stems. This also encourages more profuse flowering.

Transplanting Seedlings

Once the seedlings have developed true leaves, it's time to transplant them into their own pots. This process is critical for healthy and robust growth of the cyclamen plants.

Selecting a Suitable Container: When selecting a pot for transplantation, make sure it has drainage holes and is adequately sized. It should only be slightly larger than the seedling's root ball. Clay or ceramic pots can retain more water, while plastic pots are usually lighter and easier to move around. Remember not to use a pot that’s too large. Because this could cause overwatering and lead to root rot.

Handling the Seedlings During Transplantation: You should handle cyclamen seedlings with care when transplanting them. You can use a spoon or small trowel. Carefully lift each plant from its container. Make sure not to dislodge any of the roots. Then, place the root ball in the new container and fill around it with potting soil. Finally, gently water the seedlings. This encourages the soil to settle.

Acclimatizing Seedlings to Outdoor Conditions: Once transplanted, you should gradually acclimatize your cyclamen seedlings to outdoor conditions. A sudden change in temperature can cause transplant shock and lead to stunted or weakened growth. You can place your seedlings in a sheltered, partially shaded location for a few days. Then transfer them to the sunniest spot and provide ample water until they become established.

Nurturing Young Cyclamen Plants

Growing outdoor cyclamen from seed involves providing the right environmental conditions. For example, light, temperature, humidity levels, and soil preferences. Young plants will be nurtured with regular monitoring and watering techniques. You can use a balanced, diluted fertilizer for optimal growth.

Environmental Considerations: Cyclamen plants need bright, indirect light. A location near an east-facing window is ideal. Because it will receive morning sun but be protected from direct afternoon sunlight. The temperature should remain between 60 and 65°F. The humidity levels are hovering around 50%. Keep the air ventilated or open a window in the room to avoid stagnant air.

Soil Preferences: A well-draining potting mix is ideal for cyclamen plants. Amend the soil with organic matter. For example, compost or peat moss. This makes it more nutrient-rich and allows for even drainage of water during watering sessions. To ensure optimal nutrition levels, fertilize the soil once a month during active growth periods.

Regular Monitoring: Monitor the moisture levels in the soil regularly. Watering schedules should be tailored based on the temperature and humidity levels in the room. Too much water can cause root rot. Lack of water will lead to wilting and eventual death of young plants. For best results, water when one inch of soil is dry to the touch.

Fertilizing: Fertilization helps support healthy growth and flowering in young cyclamen plants. Use a balanced, diluted fertilizer at half-strength once a month during active growing periods. Avoid fertilizers with too much nitrogen, as this may prevent roots from forming. Steer clear of any fertilizer that contains slow-release chemicals, as these can potentially cause root burn.

Pest and Disease Management for Cyclamen Plants

Common Pests: The most common pests affecting cyclamen plants are aphids, spider mites, and thrips. Aphids feed on the leaves of your plant, causing yellowing or curling of leaves. Spider mites can cause yellow spotting, webbing on the leaves, or a speckling of yellow spots. Thrips feed on the plant's foliage and flowers.

Natural and Chemical Methods: If you detect any of these pests, you can use natural and chemical methods to control them. Neem oil is an effective and natural pesticide. You can use it to treat infestations. You should also regularly check on your cyclamen plants to look for signs of pests, as a precautionary measure.

You can use several insecticides for chemical methods of pest control. Choose a safe insecticide for use on indoor plants. Follow the instructions carefully when applying the insecticide.

Fungal Disease Prevention and Treatment: Cyclamen plants are also prone to fungal infections, such as powdery mildew and root rot. To prevent these diseases, your plant should be in an area with ample air circulation. Water it at its base instead of from above where the leaves can get wet.

You should take quick action if you notice fungal infections on your plant. For example, a white powdery residue or wilting leaves. Prevent it from spreading further, which can cause more damage to your plant. Fungicides are effective in treating these diseases. But make sure to pick one that is safe to use on indoor plants.

When growing cyclamen from seed, prevention is key! You should cut back any wilted or damaged leaves from your cyclamen plant. Remove the source of infection and encourage healthy growth.

cyclamen plants

Pruning and Deadheading

Why Deadheading Matters? Deadheading spent flowers is essential to prolong blooming in cyclamen. When the flowers of your cyclamen have wilted and turned brown, it’s time to deadhead them. This prevents the plant from expending energy on setting seed. The plants will focus towards producing new buds and growth. You can remove faded or discolored flowers to keep your plant looking best.

How to Deadhead Cyclamen? You can start by gently pinching off the wilted flower stem at its base with your fingers or a pair of scissors. Take care not to damage any new growth emerging beneath it. Once you’ve removed all the spent flowers, check for any signs of disease and dispose of any affected plant material.

Pruning for Shape and Branching: Occasional pruning is beneficial for maintaining the shape of your cyclamen plants and encouraging branching. Start by removing any yellowing or discolored leaves. Then, cut back the stems to the desired length with a pair of clean scissors. If you’d like to propagate your cyclamen, you can also use the pruned cuttings.

Propagation from Pruned Cuttings: To propagate from a pruned cutting, start by taking a cutting of about 6 inches in length and snipping off any flowers or buds. Then remove the leaves growing at the base of the cutting, leaving just a few at the top.

Dip the base of the cutting in rooting hormone and insert it into potting soil. Keep your cutting in a warm, bright location and water regularly until new growth emerges.

Long-Term Care and Sustainability

Transitioning Cyclamen Plants to Outdoor Garden Beds or Containers: When the cyclamen plants indoors have grown from their seeds, you can begin the process of transitioning them outdoors. You should do it over several weeks if the place has cold winter temperatures.

You can place the plants in the direct sun for several hours at one time. Slowly increasing the duration of direct sunlight each day. If you plan to grow your cyclamen in garden beds, prepare the soil by mixing compost and fertilizer into it. For container plants, use a well-draining potting mix. Either way, the soil should be consistently moist but not soggy.

Winter Care: In temperate climates, cyclamen are hardy enough to withstand cold temperatures. You should take extra care to protect them from frost damage in areas with severe winters. For example, northern Europe or North America.

To ensure their survival, cover the plants during heavy frosts with a frost cloth or other material. Don't forget to remove the covering after temperatures rise again so that the plants have access to sunlight and air.

Harvesting cyclamen Seeds from Mature Plants: Mature cyclamen plants will produce seed pods that contain small, round seeds. Collecting cyclamen seeds when the pods are dry (usually late winter or early spring). Store the seeds in a cool and dry place until it's time to sow them. They will remain viable for five years.

Sustainability Practices: When growing cyclamen from seed, keep sustainability in mind. Harvesting, storing and replanting your own seeds is more eco-friendly than buying new ones each year. You can repot cyclamen plants into larger containers. This preserves resources by eliminating the need to purchase additional pots. You should use drip irrigation or hand-watering with a watering can instead of using a hose or sprinkler.

FAQs about Growing Cyclamen From Seed

How big do cyclamen grow?

Cyclamen is a relatively small plant. It typically grows to about 4–6 high. Their leaves are 1–5 inches long and as wide.

How long do cyclamen bloom?

The bloom time of Cyclamen depends on the variety. Some bloom from September to December while others may bloom from December to March. The flowers are usually pink or white with a darker center and 5 petals.

Cyclamen flowers have a surprisingly long blooming period, lasting for 3 months. Once they have gone through their blooming cycle, your cyclamen will go dormant until the next fall.

How to plant cyclamen bulbs?

You should prepare your cyclamen bulbs before planting them. Soaking your bulbs in room-temperature water for one or two hours before planting. This will rehydrate the bulb and revive any dormant parts of the plant. It will give cyclamen bulbs a better chance at taking root successfully.

How to plant cyclamen corms? When planting cyclamen from bulbs, dig a hole in the soil. It should be deep enough to accommodate the bulb. Place the cyclamen in the hole and fill it back with soil. Press lightly for an even surface. Water your newly planted bulbs generously, ensuring there is good drainage.

How deep to plant cyclamen bulbs?

When planting cyclamen bulbs, the ideal depth is between 1 and 2 inches. The top of the bulb should be 1 inch below soil level. Don't plant them too deep. The spacing between each bulb should be approximately 6-10 inches apart.


How to grow cyclamen indoors? Growing cyclamen from seed is a rewarding experience. You can follow these simple steps to reduce the environmental impact when growing cyclamen from seed. You will enjoy the beautiful blooms year after year.

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