Top 8 Cyclamen plants

What Kinds of Cyclamen Plants Are There?

Cyclamen plants represent the devoted and empathetic heart and it was planted in the Mediterranean countries around churchyards, Islamic monasteries, and ribats. These plants are native to the Mediterranean basin, commonly growing in Iran, the eastern Caucasus, and one cyclamen variety in Somalia. 

There are several types of cyclamen plants and below are a few of them.

Ivy-leaved cyclamen (Cyclamen heredifolium)

It is a kind of cyclamen that is hardy enough to withstand cold winters. It is suitable for gardens in hardiness zones 5 to 7. It blooms with pink or white flowers with a pink tinge. Cyclamen species in this type include the following. 

  • ‘Bowle’s Apollo’
  • Silver Arrow
  • Silver Cloud
  • White cloud
  • Pewter white
  • ‘Nettleton Silver’

Eastern sowbread (Cyclamen coum)

These kinds of cyclamen flaunt patterned or green leaves that can be rounded or heart-shaped. The leaves usually appear in autumn. They are hardy from USDA zones 6 and above. Below are some Cyclamen coum species.

  • ‘Maurice Dryden’
  • ‘Something magic’
  • ‘Album’
  • ‘Silver leaf’
  • ‘Rubrum’
  • ‘Blush’

Cyclamen graecum

It is not as vigorous as other kinds of cyclamen plants, which makes it quite difficult to grow. It boasts velvety green foliage with showy patterns and colors. It bears tiny, sometimes sweetly-scented flowers that rise above the lovely foliage from late summer to autumn. The following are some of its species. It is best suitable for zones 7 to 9.

  • ‘Glyfada’
  • ‘Rhodopou.’

Cyclamen mirabile

It has silver dollar-sized leaves that may have silver or green patterns. Its charming little dainty blooms appear in fall. It grows best in USDA zones 6 to 8. Cyclamen mirabile varieties include the following.

  • ‘Tilebarn Ann’
  • ‘Tilebarn Nicholas’
  • ‘Tilebarn Jan’
Top 8 types of Cyclamen plants
Different Types of Cyclamen Plants

Is There a Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor  Cyclamen?

Most cyclamen varieties do not like indoor conditions. The only difference between indoor and outdoor cyclamens is that growing these plants indoors requires more care and maintenance than outdoors. 

Cyclamen persicum is well adapted to grow indoors, but it also grows perfectly outside, especially under a shaded patio or deciduous trees. It is native to Turkey. Growing cyclamens indoors requires at least one hour of direct sunlight in the morning and a well-lit cool spot throughout the day. 

Smaller varieties, commonly known as mini cyclamens, grow perfectly outdoors. There are six outdoor cyclamen species including Cyclamen hederifolium. Please note that indoor cyclamens are likely to suffer from grey mould or botrytis. So, you need to spray fungicides and take out dead leaves to prevent the problem. 

Do Cyclamens Come Back Every Year?

Most cyclamen plants are perennial tubers, meaning they come every year. The tubers can stay as long as centuries. The plant will always come back if you place it in favorable conditions. 

The Top 8 Cyclamen Plants

1. Alpine cyclamen (Cyclamen alpinum)

Types of cyclamen plants
Alpine Cyclamen

Native to Turkey, cyclamen alpinum grows in the shade under deciduous trees and shrubs in the lower levels. Some of these species also grow in open pinewoods and at the edges of evergreen scrub. In higher regions, they grow under cedar trees in the sparse grasslands and in the damp limestone screes facing north. 

It is a perennial with heart-shaped or rounded leaves adorned with silver patterns and a shallow tooth. It has brown 5 cm tubers that become smooth and velvety as they mature. 

  • Alpine cyclamen prefers poor, well-drained soils. If grown outdoors, they appreciate a spot under a deciduous tree but indoors like a mixture of houseplant medium and peat
  • It loves a lot of moisture, especially in winter
  • Wait until the soil surface becomes dry before watering, but do not allow the plant to become limp
  • Always prune away dead flowers and leaves for better growth
  • It performs best in bright filtered light but not direct sunlight
  • It blooms in spring.

2. Cyclamen coum 

cyclamen flower varieties
Cyclamen coum

It bears tiny showy white to rosy-purple blooms that contrast with its glossy, heart-shaped leaves. The dark greens are often adorned with lovely silver patterns and the flowers are so many that they may obscure the leaves. 

  • The plant can grow about 3 to 6 inches tall and 7 to 8 inches wide
  • It grows best in hardiness zones 4 to 8 
  • It is a low-maintenance plant requiring moderate watering. It does not necessitate deadheading or weeding
  • It does best in moist, rich, and well-drained clay, chalk, loam, or sand with a neutral, acidic, or alkaline pH
  • It blooms in spring and winter in partial sun exposure
  • It requires mulching over winter
  • It is toxic to horses, cats, and dogs

3. Cyclamen cyprium 

types of cyclamen flower
Cyclamen cyprium

Commonly known as Cyprus cyclamen, it is a perennial that grows from a 4-inch tuber that becomes grey in maturity. It grows in both igneous rocks and limestone, in moist, shady regions on the slopes facing north. They grow best among trees, under shrubs, or in open pinewoods at higher altitudes. 

It produces white or sometimes pale pink flowers with a strong sweet fragrance. The leaves are lobed and olive green with a splash of grey or pewter and they appear in autumn and early winter. 

  • It takes about 10 years to attain a height of 3 inches 
  • It thrives in poor, well-drained slightly sandy soil. Indoor plants will do well with a mixture of houseplant potting mix and peat moss
  • It prefers bright indirect light since direct sunlight might scorch the tender leaves
  • It requires cool temperatures all day for the blooms to last longer
  • Water only when the soil is dry but do not wait for the plant to become limp. Watering directly on the tuber can cause it to rot 
  • Prune dead leaves and blooms by giving the stem a sharp tug
  • It blossoms from autumn to winter

4. Cyclamen graecum  

Top 8 Cyclamen plants
Cyclamen graecum

It is commonly called the Greek cyclamen and it is a perennial that forms tiny clumps from a tuber. It grows best in rocky soils and hot and dry summers with warm but moist winters. It has ovate, green velvety leaves with grey or silver patterns. It bears showy pink, white, or purple flowers with 4 to 5 petals each. The flowers coil after pollination. 

  • It thrives best in hardiness zones 7 to 9
  • It grows best in partial shade, about 2 to 6 hours of direct sunlight daily
  • It is excellent for shady and rocky gardens as it is resistant to heavy shade and poor soil 
  • It is native to Europe and Greece 

5. Cyclamen hederifolium 

Best cyclamen flowers
Cyclamen hederifolium

It is a low-maintenance bulb perennial commonly known as ivy-leaved cyclamen. Its elegant rich magenta to white 1-inch-across flowers opens before the leaves appear. The blooms grow on 4 to 6-inch stems and they are darker towards the end. The large ivy-shaped leaves appear in shades of green, silver, pewter, or grey. 

  • It is suitable for hardiness zones 5 to 9
  • It requires low to average water
  • It appreciates moderately fertile, well-drained soil with dry to medium moisture and rich in humus. It thrives best in acidic, neutral, or alkaline pH
  • It grows 10 to 15 cm tall and 15 to 30 cm wide
  • It flourishes in partial shade
  • It blooms in summer and fall
  • It tolerates deer, dry soil, and drought
  • It is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses

6. Cyclamen persicum

Types of cyclamen plants
Cyclamen persicum

It is an average-maintenance tuberous perennial that flaunts fragrant 2-inch blooms with reflexed and twisted petals. The flowers can be in shades of pink, white, or deep carmine with purple, magenta, or dark pink mouth. 

The blooms grow on leafless stems and above the heart-shaped, dark green leaves with patterns of grey, silver, or green. Persian cyclamen goes dormant throughout summer and starts growing again once cool temperatures arrive. 

  • It is suitable for zones 9 to 11 
  • It grows 6 to 9 inches in height and width 
  • It requires low to moderate watering 
  • It flourishes in well-drained loam soil with acidic, neutral, or alkaline pH
  • It requires partial sun to bloom in spring, fall, and winter
  • It is toxic to horses, cats, and dogs

7. Cyclamen purpurascens 

Cyclamen plants
Cyclamen purpurascens

It is an evergreen tuberous perennial that can sometimes grow as deciduous. It has heart-shaped to rounded leaves that can be silver mottled or dark green and purple-pink to bright rose-pink fragrant blooms. 

  • It takes 5 to 10 years to attain a mature size of 0.1 meters in height and width
  • It tolerates a wide range of soil types as long as it is well-drained and has alkaline or neutral pH 
  • It thrives in partial shade 
  • It is suitable for USDA zones 3 to 9
  • Mulch the plant when the leaves start dying 
  • Apply water when the soil begins to dry but avoid too much moisture in summer.

8. Cyclamen repandum 

Top 8 Cyclamen plants
Cyclamen repandum

It is dwarf perennial cyclamen with heart-shaped leaves with grey speckles and fragrant red-rose blooms 2 cm long. The leaves can sometimes be angular or rounded and the blooms have five twisted, reflexed petals with dark marks at the base.

  • It takes about 2 to 5 years to attain a mature size of 10 cm in height and 0.1 meters spread
  • It appreciates well-drained, moderately fertile soil with acidic, alkaline, or neutral pH that is humus-rich
  • It thrives best in partial shade
  • It requires low maintenance and does not need pruning and its free from diseases when grown outdoor
  • It is ideal for growing under roses and shrubs and in rocky gardens.

Other resources related to Cyclamen plants:

Cyclamen Care: How To Take Care Of Cyclamen Plants

Cyclamen: Plant Care & Growing Guide – The Spruce

How to grow indoor cyclamen – Gardeners World

Cyclamen – Wisconsin Horticulture

Clarisse Walters
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