15 Cyclamen Varieties For Your Indoor Garden
Interested in growing cyclamen indoors but aren't sure which varieties will perform best as houseplants? In this article, gardening expert and houseplant enthusiast Madison Moulton looks at the best types of cyclamen to grow indoors as houseplants!
When you look at popular houseplants in your local nursery, foliage is typically what stands out. Besides traditional favorites like Anthuriums or Orchids, blooms are not as common indoors as they are in backyards.
However, this trend is slowly changing, with more indoor gardeners looking to grow blooming plants in their indoor gardens. Flowering houseplants are tough to come by as many flowering plants aren’t suitable for indoor conditions.
Luckily, with a love of shady conditions and the ability to grow well in containers, the cyclamen genus is packed with plants great for indoor growth.
These cyclamen varieties are compact enough to grow in containers and keep inside. Their temperature requirements differ – some prefer warmth while others need the cold to flower – so check which type you’ve chosen and follow their needs to get the best possible blooms.
Cyclamen persicum, or Persian cyclamen, is one of the most popular species to grow indoors. You’ll probably recognize the adorable heart-shaped leaves and upright blooms, great for gifting and adding a pop of color to your home in fall and winter.
Persian cyclamen is not tolerant of cold temperatures, only able to grow outdoors in USDA Zones 9 and above. That and their lower lighting requirements compared to other flowering plants make them great houseplant candidates. They look wonderful in pots and are suitable for planting in larger terrariums.
Remember that Cyclamen persicum is toxic to pets and should be kept out of reach of all animals when growing indoors.
Cyclamen coum has many interesting nicknames, including Persian violet, Eastern cyclamen, and Sowbread. One of the first signs of spring, the blooms of this species appear in late winter and into early spring, embracing the frosty cold.
Cyclamen coum flowers are mostly pink, pinkish-red, or white; the entire plant only grows around 5 inches tall. Of all the cyclamen varieties, this one is best for handling cold, suitable for planting in USDA Zones as low as 4.
When growing indoors, it’s important to keep them cool and in indirect sun as high temperatures can lead to stress and a lack of flowers.
Cyclamen coum ‘Maurice Dryden’
One of the most popular Cyclamen coum cultivars on the marker is Cyclamen coum ‘Maurice Dryden.’ It is even more compact than the original species, with a maximum height of around 3 inches. The blooms emerge abundantly and low above the silver leaves, making it a wonderful compact plant for small areas in your home.
The flowers are the real standout of this cultivar. Twisted white petals with a purplish-pink at the base bloom in impressive numbers, so much so that the foliage at the base can become almost completely covered.
If you want to get this many blooms from your plant, protect them from high temperatures in spring and summer indoors, and they will reward you in late winter.
Ivy-leaved cyclamen is also a hardy cyclamen, although typically considered less hardy than Cyclamen coum. You may recognize the specific epithet hederifolium from the Hedera genus, commonly known as ivy. In Latin, this translates to ‘ivy’ and ‘leaf,’ giving them their common name, ivy-leaved cyclamen.
This name refers to the shape of the foliage, similar to ivy plants. These leaves sport interesting patterns in a range of green and silver shades that add ornamental interest. The flowers appear upright in the typical cyclamen colors of white, pink, and purple.
The flowering time of this species is slightly shorter than some others, beginning around the end of spring and continuing into fall. Like the previous species, cooler temperatures are preferred to encourage strong flowering indoors.
Cyclamen hederifolium ‘Album’
Often shortened to Cyclamen hederifolium ‘Album’, the full scientific name of this variety is actually Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum ‘Album’ – quite a mouthful. What makes this cultivar so special and sought-after is the pure white blooms that appear in early fall.
This delicate look is ideal for muted interiors and looks great when contrasted with more colorful pots. Even if you choose a neutral container, you will still have plenty of visual interest in the foliage too. The ivy-shaped leaves have a marbled variegation pattern that looks (to me) like masses of tiny turtles.
If you want to grow more than one cyclamen in your indoor garden, Cyclamen hederifolium ‘Album’ is a great option to pair with more colorful blooms for something a little different.
While the other cyclamens are favored for their flowers, this unique cultivar also has lovely foliage. Cyclamen pseudibericum leaves feature a dark green triangular center with pale green, silver green, or gray-green in the middle before turning dark green again at the edges.
The flowers of this cultivar are pink-purple to dark magenta, pairing well with other pink cyclamen varieties when planted together. Reaching only about 3 inches tall, these are perfect for indoor spaces.
Cyclamen mirabile is not as well known as the previous cyclamen species, but certainly deserves a spot in your indoor garden. The leaves have a unique mottled pattern in shades of green and silver that contrast with each other to catch the eye. The blooms also start out a captivating pink and slowly fade over time.
The scent, described as coconut-like, makes this species even more unique. This is great for growing indoors in enclosed areas, producing a wonderful scent in fall when the flowers emerge. The petals of these blooms are also upright but have a gentle ruffle to the edges that gives them a much more delicate look overall.
Cyclamen cyprium is native to the mountainous areas of Cyprus, hence the specific epithet. This unique species is endemic to this region, making it quite rare when compared to other cyclamens native to the same area. This species is also the national flower of Cyprus, indicating its importance in the country.
Like other cyclamens, Cyclamen cyprium sports patterned leaves, this one with irregular patches of green and silver. The edges of the leaves are also slightly pointed, giving them a subtle geometric look. The flowers of this species are mostly white, with small touches of pink to add a cute pop of color.
If you like having unique foliage along with elegant, delicate flowers, Cyclamen graecum is a good choice. For avid cyclamen lovers, this is a great collector’s item with the benefits of beautifully marbled foliage and adorable light pink to dark purple-pink flowers that bloom in late fall.
This cyclamen grows naturally in hot, dry climates but can thrive in low-light conditions. Because of this, Cyclamen graecum does well when grown indoors. They only reach heights of 4-5 inches, so a pot or container makes an ideal home.
Another fall-flowering variety, Cyclamen cilicium, is also known as Cilician cyclamen or Turkish hardy cyclamen after their native habitat. The blooms are a whitish pink, with classic heart-shaped and patterned foliage.
This cyclamen is tolerant of cold temperatures and can be grown indoors or out in many climates. They prefer growing in colder regions and aren’t suitable for rooms with high temperatures in your home. Thanks to the rocky areas they are native to, this species is best planted in sandy or gritty soil that retains some moisture.
As a bonus, Cyclamen cilicium blooms are sweetly scented, with a smell reminiscent of honey. If you prefer muted tones over pink, look for varieties with pure white blooms.
The adorable Cyclamen repandum is a personal favorite, native to Italy and surrounding Mediterranean areas. It produces blooms in early spring and throughout the rest of the season, great for pairing with classic spring bulbs in containers indoors.
The petals are slightly narrower than other cyclamens with a deep pink color, standing strong and upright. The foliage is heart-shaped with scalloped edges, providing a beautiful base for the tall flowers.
The dark pink blooms are the standout feature of this plant. But like other cyclamen species, there are also varieties available with white flowers to choose from.
The specific epithet of this species indicates what it is most beloved for – the pinkish-purple flowers. It is commonly known as the purple cyclamen or European cyclamen, largely native to central Europe. In these native areas, they are found along woodland floors, popping up and flowering from midsummer into fall.
When growing indoors, Cyclamen purpurascens grows best in bright spots protected from direct sun to match these native habitats. They will keep their cute smooth-edged leaves throughout the year, with flowers to enjoy toward the end of summer.
If you’re growing the white-flowering version of this species, it will need a little more attention and care to thrive. However, the standard Cyclamen purpurascens, with its famous purple blooms, is not considered hard to care for.
Cyclamen alpinum is one of the most compact of all the cyclamen varieties, easy to pop in any spot in your indoor garden that receives enough light and moderate temperatures.
The pinkish-purple blooms hang low above the foliage and become a carpet of color in the right conditions. Like other cyclamens, these flowers appear in early spring and last a couple of months before dying back.
The shape of the blooms is quite unique, often described as windmill or propeller shaped. This makes this species stand out, especially when placed next to others with more upright petals.
Cyclamen africanum is also native to the Mediterranean, concentrated around North Africa, and commonly known as African cyclamen. Like Cyclamen persicum, this species isn’t frost-hardy, but grows well when protected in indoor gardens.
African cyclamen is slightly larger than other cyclamens, including the closely related Cyclamen hederifolium. The petals on the blooms are also quite large, in colors ranging from white to pastel pink. The blooms also have a subtle scent that works well in smaller rooms.
This species is accustomed to dry summers and rainy winters. Adjust your watering schedule accordingly to match their native conditions, ensuring the plant will have everything it needs to flower.
Native to Lebanon, this cyclamen species loves shade and moist soil, making them great for growing indoors. Although they can handle temperature dips well, they are better suited to container growing in protected and moderate areas.
Lebanon cyclamen produces blooms from late winter into spring. The flowers have a unique spicy scent, starting out white and fading to a subtle pink over time.
Cyclamen libanoticum has been used to create several cyclamen hybrids, including Cyclamen ×wellensiekii and Cyclamen ×schwarzii. You can choose one of these crosses or enjoy the original species for its reliable blooms.
Whether you are looking for a houseplant with flashy foliage or pretty, dainty flowers, cyclamen tends to fit these needs. These popular holiday plants have a sweet aroma that floats around the room. Thankfully, there are several cyclamen varieties you can choose from to suit your desires. Though these plants may be a tad high maintenance, they are worth it for their beauty!