How to sow cyclamen seeds

Do it:

Jul, Aug

Takes just:

15 minutes

At its best:

Jan, Feb, Mar

Sowing cyclamen from seed is surprisingly easy, but it's not a job for the impatient gardener: grown this way it can take a year or more before you are rewarded with beautiful blooms. To produce indoor plants you need to use seeds of tender large-flowered varieties, which are available in a wonderful range of colours.

You will need

  • Cyclamen seed
  • 10cm pot
  • Seeds & cuttings compost
  • Vermiculite
  • Sheet of glass
  • Black polythene

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Before sowing, soak the cyclamen seeds in warm water for at least 12 hours, to soften the seed coat, then rinse. Sow seeds into pots of compost, spacing them evenly.

Sprinkle a layer of fine vermiculite or compost over the seeds until the surface is covered completely.

Water, then cover with a sheet of glass and a layer of black polythene to shut out the light and encourage germination. Keep temperature no higher than 16° - 21°.

Check pot regularly. Germination can take 30 - 60 days, and once the seedlings appear, remove the covering and pop your pot into a bright position.

Leaves develop from a tiny tuber, and once two or three leaves have formed the plants can be potted up separately.

Plant individually into 7.5cm pots of multi-purpose compost, keeping the tiny tuber level with the surface of the compost.

Pot on into larger containers as your plants grow, watering them regularly and feeding them once a week. Most varieties should begin flowering about nine months after sowing. Keep them in a cool spot.

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Remove faded flowers or yellowing leaves by twisting stems and giving them a firm tug.

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