How to Care for Outdoor Cyclamen After Flowering: A Full Guide

by Jennifer

Cyclamen, known for their vibrant blooms and unique foliage, are a beloved choice for gardeners looking to add color and texture to their outdoor spaces. These charming plants, which often flower during the cooler months, can bring a splash of color when many other plants have finished their blooming season. However, once the flowers have faded, many gardeners are left wondering how to care for their cyclamen to ensure they thrive year after year. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential steps to take care of outdoor cyclamen after flowering, ensuring they remain healthy and ready to bloom again.


Understanding Cyclamen’s Growth Cycle

Before diving into the post-flowering care, it is crucial to understand the growth cycle of cyclamen. Cyclamen are tuberous perennials, meaning they grow from tubers and have a natural dormancy period. Typically, cyclamen bloom from autumn to early spring. After the flowering period, they enter a phase where their foliage dies back, and the plant goes dormant during the warmer months. Recognizing this cycle is key to providing the appropriate care at each stage.

Step-by-Step Guide to Post-Flowering Care

1. Deadheading Spent Blooms

Once the flowers begin to fade, it is important to remove the spent blooms. This process, known as deadheading, prevents the plant from wasting energy on seed production and encourages it to store more energy in its tuber for the next flowering season.

How to Deadhead: Use a pair of sharp, clean scissors or garden shears to cut the flower stalk close to the base of the plant. Be careful not to damage the leaves or the crown of the plant.

2. Foliage Care

As the flowering season ends, the foliage will start to yellow and wither. This is a normal part of the cyclamen’s lifecycle.

When to Remove Foliage: Allow the foliage to die back naturally. It is essential not to remove the leaves too early as they continue to photosynthesize and provide energy to the tuber.

How to Remove Foliage: Once the leaves are completely yellow and dry, gently pull them away from the tuber. If they do not come away easily, wait a bit longer to avoid damaging the tuber.

3. Adjusting Watering Practices

Cyclamen have different watering needs during their dormant period compared to their active growing and flowering phases.

Watering During Dormancy: Reduce watering significantly once the foliage starts to die back. Overwatering during dormancy can lead to tuber rot. The soil should be kept barely moist, not completely dry or overly wet.

Resuming Regular Watering: As the cooler months approach and you notice new growth emerging, gradually increase watering to support the new growth and the upcoming flowering period.

4. Soil and Fertilization

Healthy soil and proper fertilization are crucial for the well-being of your cyclamen.

Soil Requirements: Cyclamen prefer well-drained soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. If your garden soil is heavy or clay-like, consider amending it with organic matter or using a well-draining potting mix.

Fertilization: During the active growing season (autumn to spring), use a balanced liquid fertilizer every four to six weeks. Once the plant starts to go dormant, cease fertilization until new growth resumes.

Preparing Cyclamen for Dormancy

5. Mulching and Protecting Tubers

Protecting the tubers during their dormant period is essential, especially in regions with extreme weather conditions.

Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch, such as straw or shredded leaves, around the base of the plant to protect the tubers from temperature fluctuations and to retain soil moisture.

Temperature Considerations: In areas with very hot summers, provide shade or move potted cyclamen to a cooler, shaded location to prevent the tubers from overheating.

6. Inspecting and Dividing Tubers

Over time, cyclamen tubers can become overcrowded, leading to reduced flowering. Inspecting and dividing the tubers during the dormant period can rejuvenate the plant.

When to Divide: The best time to divide cyclamen tubers is during their dormant period in late spring or early summer.

How to Divide Tubers: Carefully dig up the tubers and inspect them for signs of overcrowding or disease. Use a sharp, sterilized knife to divide large tubers into smaller sections, ensuring each section has at least one growing point. Replant the divided tubers at the same depth they were previously growing.

Post-Dormancy Care and Encouraging Rebloom

7. Replanting and Potting Tips

If you have potted cyclamen or need to replant divided tubers, proper planting techniques are crucial.

Depth and Spacing: Plant cyclamen tubers just below the soil surface, with the top of the tuber barely covered. Space them adequately to allow for air circulation and growth.

Potting Cyclamen: Use pots with drainage holes and a well-draining potting mix. Ensure the pots are large enough to accommodate the growing tubers and provide enough space for root development.

8. Encouraging Flowering

To encourage your cyclamen to bloom again in the next season, follow these tips:

Light Conditions: Cyclamen prefer bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.

Temperature Control: Ideal temperatures for cyclamen growth and flowering range from 50°F to 65°F (10°C to 18°C). Ensure they are not exposed to extreme heat or cold.

Consistent Care: Maintain regular watering and fertilization schedules as new growth appears, and monitor for pests or diseases.

Common Problems and Solutions

9. Pests and Diseases

Cyclamen can be susceptible to various pests and diseases, particularly during the active growing season.

Common Pests: Aphids, spider mites, and cyclamen mites are common pests. Regularly inspect your plants and treat infestations promptly with appropriate insecticides or natural remedies.

Diseases: Fungal diseases such as botrytis blight and cyclamen gray mold can occur in humid conditions. Ensure proper air circulation and avoid overwatering to prevent these issues.

10. Troubleshooting Non-Flowering Plants

If your cyclamen are not flowering, consider these possible causes and solutions:

Insufficient Light: Ensure your cyclamen are receiving enough bright, indirect light.

Incorrect Temperature: Check that the temperature conditions are within the ideal range for cyclamen.

Overcrowding: If tubers are overcrowded, they may need dividing to encourage better growth and flowering.

Nutrient Deficiency: Ensure your plants are receiving balanced fertilization during their active growth period.


Caring for outdoor cyclamen after flowering involves a series of steps that align with their natural growth cycle. By understanding and respecting this cycle, you can provide the necessary care to ensure your cyclamen remain healthy and vibrant, ready to bloom again in the next season. From deadheading spent blooms and adjusting watering practices to protecting tubers during dormancy and encouraging reblooming, each step plays a crucial role in the overall health and longevity of your cyclamen plants. With proper care and attention, your cyclamen will continue to grace your garden with their stunning blooms year after year.


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