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I bought a couple florist cyclamens for containers this spring. When the weather got hot, I replaced the pots containing the cyclamens and moved these pots to the shade garden where they survived and bloomed throughout the summer. When it got cooler I moved the pots back to the container and they are still alive and loaded with buds in December in Chicago. I first saw cyclamens in Italy in March and the temps there were in the 40s. Everyone had them in windowboxes or hotels had them in planters at the entrances. I have now moved them to the garage and want to know how to make them go dormant or what to do with them to help them make it through the winter. I would like to replant them in the containers next spring if they make it. I know I can just buy new ones next spring but I wanted to see if I could save these since they have more than doubled in size since I bought them.

  • These were not hardy cyclamens, but florist cyclamens. They sold them as spring fillers for container plantings which is how i used them. Then when the weather got hot, I pulled the pots out of the container and replaced them with a pot of summer flowers. the cyclamen pots were moved to a shady spot in my garden where they stayed until Fall when I put them back in the planters. Now it's 0 degrees outside and I've brought them in the house. They are still blooming....can I force them to go dormant to store until Spring? – Kat in the garden Dec 21 '16 at 15:18
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Wild cyclamen likes cold temperatures. On my winter walks I look for them, so see at minimum one with flowers (if there is not too much snow).

So: as far I know, they will not be dormant, but as many forest flowers, they try to get some sun, when tree leaves are missing. I think 20-25 degree Fahrenheit (-6 Centigrades) should be still comfortable for them.

So I would put them in the garage, but near some window (hoping that garage will be in any case be colder than 40s). Or external to the garage, near a wall, with some plastic to protect them from the infamous Chicago wind (but I not an expert of Chicago, so I'm not sure that his would work).

EDIT:

Looking at Wikipedia, I found much more Cyclamen species in southern part of Europe. I was thinking about the alpine and Pyrenean species, very resistent to frost. Cultivated species are usually less resistant.

Check also the good section about hardiness of Cyclamen in wikipedia.

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  • For real Giacomo? Even my peas are now frozen in my greenhouse at 20 degrees F. That is cold! Here they are house plants, period. No one could grow them out of doors or I've never seen cyclamen out of doors. Home environments are a bit too dry and obviously too warm but I've seen healthy ones in the bathroom and by the kitchen sink... – stormy Dec 7 '16 at 21:31
  • Hey you are correct, Giacomo! But she's got a florist cyclamen not a wild cyclamen, correct? I don't think they are the same hardiness at all. Interesting...I had no idea! – stormy Dec 7 '16 at 21:40
  • @stormy: the dark leaves could indicate resistance to cold winter (see also Ilex aquilifolium (Holly). Peas are not perennial, so not resistant leaves. To be complete: Dark leaves could also indicate dry climate, but than usually theses are smaller (see olive leaves), – Giacomo Catenazzi Dec 8 '16 at 8:54
  • And how about Mahonia repens, Bearberry or Arctostaphylos uva ursi? They all can handle extreme cold yet still be evergreen. I didn't know about Cyclamen, though. I am familiar with more of the bluish or glauca colors with desert plants but aren't plants just incredible creatures?! @Giacomo where is it that you live? Oh, I'll go take a peek at your profile. I keep forgetting that is available! – stormy Dec 8 '16 at 19:19
  • Well Mr. Mysterious, you'll have to give me a hint...Spain? Portugal? USA? – stormy Dec 8 '16 at 19:20
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After the leaves turn yellow and die, don't water the potted plant for a few months, 2 or 3 maybe. When you start watering again, you'll notice it will grow a lot of flower buds.

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I love learning new stuff...Cyclamens like the cooler side. There is a difference between your florist cyclamen and wild cyclamens however. Florist cyclamens do well with 60 degrees not 20 degrees Fahrenheit. And then there is problem with acclimating any plant from one environment they are used to to another they are not. Here is a decent article. I wouldn't put them in the garage. I'd find a coolish sunny spot in your home for the winter. They are tropical plants, going dormant means everything dies back and the corm that is the plant had better not freeze (pots will cause the corm to freeze as it isn't in the protective garden soil). Hope this helps. florist cyclamen care

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  • Thanks.....I have them currently in an unheated bedroom and they seem to be doing OK. It's just that I've never had luck saving cyclamens that were given to me as house plants. They bloom for a while and then die back. I have never had luck reviving them as dormancy. – Kat in the garden Dec 21 '16 at 15:22
  • Kat, I have to tell you I've NEVER seen Cyclamens that lasted more than 3 months. They are sort of a florist's plant that lasts longer than cut flowers. Most of the plants sold in the floral departments are like that so they get repeat business. I was much more in the mind set that success buys more plants. Did you remove the lovely tin foil wrap? I hope so! Send a picture. Have just the flowers died back or the entire plant? – stormy Dec 21 '16 at 23:59

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