Just because winter is fast approaching doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy color in your garden throughout the cold season. Cyclamen is a hearty plant that comes in shades of red, pink, purple or white and the time of year to plant it is now.

First of all, for outdoor planting, you want to choose the variety called “Hearty Cyclamen” or “Cyclamen Coum,” also known as Persian Violet. Select plants that appear small, full, have healthy-looking green leaves and contain several buds. Thoroughly sprinkle them with water from a watering can while they are still in their pots or trays. Cyclamen grow best in sunny areas that are shielded from the wind.
If the cyclamen is planted too deep, it may suffer from root rot. If it is not planted deep enough, the roots will be exposed and the plant will die. So, make sure the level of the soil immediately surrounding the plant matches the level of the rest of the garden. If you’re planting more than one, position them about half of a trowel-length apart.

The soil should be kept moist, but avoid over-watering. Only water again when the soil feels dry – about once a week depending on the level of rain. The cyclamen plant will flower throughout winter and into spring and then will go dormant in the summer heat.

“Florists’ Cyclamen” is the most common variety found at greenhouses. This generally produces flowers that are the same color during the same season, but cannot tolerate temperatures that are very cold. Florists’ Cyclamen is meant to be kept indoors as a houseplant and makes a great gift around this time of year. An indoor plant should be kept away from heat in a cool part of the house and out of direct sunlight for best flowering results. The watering of an indoor cyclamen follows the same principles as those of the outdoor variety. Only water when the soil feels dry and do not waterlog the plant.