The cyclamen that we cherish for its long-blooming winter color is derived from Cyclamen persicum, which is native to the Mediterranean and parts of Europe. In the wild, cyclamen go dormant during the summer months and begin growing when the weather becomes cooler and damper. They flower in autumn, winter or spring and go dormant again as the temperatures begin to rise. Cyclamen grow from round, flat tubers. If you lift the plant leaves up, you can often see the tubers peeking out of the potting soil.
Cyclamen are incredibly long blooming and are available in white, red, purple and various shades of pink. Their heart-shaped foliage is quite attractive. A blooming cyclamen is a welcome addition to any room.
There are two important elements in keeping a cyclamen plant happy: cool temperatures and watering correctly. While cyclamen need good sunlight, they prefer cooler temperatures and thrive in houses where the temperature doesn't rise much more than 70 degrees.
Second, keep the potting soil moist, but not wet. You can allow the soil to dry slightly, being careful not to allow the plant to droop. How you water is the key. Remember the plant is grown from a tuber, which can rot if it becomes saturated with water. Therefore, do not water the plant in the center, rather water around the edges so you avoid wetting the tuber. Another option is to set the plant in a shallow bowl of water for 30 minutes. Allow the plant to drink up water and then return it to its container. Do not allow the plant to sit in water for an extended period of time.
When the plant stops blooming, the leaves will begin to yellow and it will enter a dormant state. Most people discard the plant at this point, having enjoyed months of beautiful flowers.