Another holiday houseplant alternative to poinsettias are cyclamen. A versatile plant, cyclamen can be grown indoors during the cold winter months then moved outside when the temperatures warm up before returning back inside. With proper care, your cyclamen can provide unique beauty for a very long time!
The most important criteria for success with growing cyclamen are temperature, fresh air, and moisture. cyclamen will rarely succeed if the temperature goes above sixty-five degrees during the day and fifty degrees at night. Cyclamen should also be watered daily to keep the soil moist. Never pour the water over the crown of the plant, as this will cause the corm (an underground stem) to rot. Because they prefer a humid atmosphere, misting is also beneficial.
Cyclamen will continue to bloom from December up until April if they are kept cool and happy. As the flower stalks and leaves die off, they should be removed by giving them a sharp tug. New foliage and flowers will soon replace the old.
When the corm of the cyclamen goes dormant (usually after April), gradually reduce the water and keep the plant in a cool, darker place. Once the corm is completely dried out, replant it in a shaded area of the garden in the spring. Cyclamen should be planted in the garden with half of the corm just below the soil surface.
When the tiny new leaves begin to develop in July and August, transplant it into a pot using a rich sandy potting soil, but leave it outdoors. Keep the bed on which the pot stands moist. In early fall the potted corm can be again moved into the house, where it should be kept in a window where it will receive a few hours of morning sun each day. Potted cyclamen should be fed monthly with a diluted half-strength liquid houseplant fertilizer.