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Cyclamen Plant Division: How To Divide Cyclamen Bulbs

Cyclamen Plant Division: How To Divide Cyclamen Bulbs


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By: Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Cyclamen plants are often given as Christmas presents because of their winter blooms. Once these blooms fade, unfortunately, many of these plants become trash because people are unaware of how to properly care for them. Well cared for cyclamen plants can be grown for years and divided to create more future Christmas gifts. Continue reading to learn about dividing cyclamen plants.

Cyclamen Plant Division

There are two types of cyclamen: Florist cyclamen, which are the common Christmas cyclamen grown as houseplants, and hardy cyclamen plants, which can be grown outside in zones 5-9. Both plants can be divided the same way, though the hardy variety has a better survival rate from divisions.

Florist cyclamen plants need cool temperatures between 65-70 degrees F. (18-21 C.). Yellowing leaves or lack of blooms can be a sign of temperatures not being satisfactory, or too little sunlight; but it can also be a sign the plant needs to be divided up and repotted. Cyclamens have corm-like tubers or bulbs. These bulbs can become so overgrown that they basically choke each other out.

How to Divide Cyclamen Bulbs

So when can I divide cyclamen, you ask? Division of cyclamen bulbs of florist cyclamen should be done only when the plant has gone dormant, typically after April. Hardy cyclamen plant division should be done in autumn. Both types have similar bulbs and are divided the same way.

Division of cyclamen is fairly easy. When cyclamen plants are dormant, cut back any foliage. Dig up the cyclamen bulbs and clean off any soil from them. At this point, the cyclamen bulbs will look somewhat like a seed potato and will be divided in a similar way.

With a clean, sharp knife, cut apart the cyclamen bulb, making sure each piece cut has a nub where the foliage would grow from. Basically, like an eye of a potato.

After your cyclamen bulbs are divided, plant each piece in potting mix with the nubs, or eyes, sticking slightly above the soil level. When watering your newly planted cyclamen divisions, be sure not to water the bulbs themselves, as they are very susceptible to root rot at this point. Water only the soil around the cyclamen plant divisions.

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Read more about Cyclamen Plants


The Propagation of Cyclamen

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Hardy cyclamen (Cyclamen coum) and florist cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) both produce attractive blooms with inverted petals that makes them look like hovering butterflies, but the two species differ when it comes to reblooming and propagation. Hardy cyclamen thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, and makes a delightful addition to the perennial bed. Florist cyclamens are bred as a winter-blooming houseplant and are often discarded when foliage dies back and the plant is dormant. Propagating florist cyclamen is difficult and not recommended for the average gardener. Hardy cyclamens, however, can be propagated with relative ease.


Q. cyclamen

My cyclamen has stopped flowering but has a lot of seed pods. Do I remove them all looking poorly. One has opened revealing brown seeds. Do I dry them then plant or plant as is? Would love to try to propogate the seeds.Appreciate your help thank you kindly .

This article will help you.


2 Ways to Propagate Cyclamen Plants

Did you know that there are more than 20 types of cyclamen plants? All variants originated in the Mediterranean region, which means cyclamen plants thrive best in areas with mild temperatures. When propagating cyclamens, keep in mind that one method of propagation may not work for all cyclamen.

There are two most popular species are hardy cyclamen and florist cyclamen. The hardy ones are the easiest to propagate through the seed of division tubers. Florist cyclamens are harder to propagate. You’ll need more patience and expertise to successfully propagate it.

Method 1: Seed Propagation

To propagate cyclamen using this method, you’ll need to soak the seeds and plant them at the right time. Soak them in water for about 24 hours before planting them in the soil. If you’re planting them directly into the soil, be sure to do so during the spring season where the soil temperature is between 45˚F to 55˚F. You can expect your seeds to bloom next spring.

On the other hand, you can also start planting them in containers during the winter season. If all goes well, the flowers will most likely bloom during the first year.

Method 2: Division Propagation

Unlike other plants, you shouldn’t try to get the clippings from the leaves or stems of cyclamens. Instead, it’s better to use their tubers, the swollen roots you can find underground. This propagation method is best done during the fall when they are ready for replanting.

To plant your tubers, prepare the potting mix, dig a two-inch deep hole, and place the tubers inside it. Cover them with soil and expect to see the roots form before the winter season arrives. You can top it off with another two-inch layer of mulch to retain heat and keep your plants safe from the cold. New shoots will appear during the next spring season.


Cyclamens reproduce via a swollen underground tuber and can be propagated by lifting and dividing the tubers. This is best performed in the fall when tubers are ready for replanting. Positioning the divisions in prepared soil to a depth of 2 inches and covering them with soil allows new tubers to begin forming roots before winter arrives. A 2-inch layer of organic mulch at this time protects them from harsh winter weather. New shoots appear in the spring.

Although florist cyclamens can be started from seed, germination is often erratic and results are unpredictable. Vegetative propagation is also possible, but once cut, the tubers tend to rot easily. These techniques are better left to the hands of experts who have the proper facilities to ensure successful propagation.


Watch the video: Planting out the self seeded cyclamen at Stinky Ditch Nursery Feb 21