House plant question

We have a cyclamen in the house which gets indirect light at a SW window. We have no success thus far...... modest watering results in leaves and blooms to droop. More watering results in leaves turning yellow, and none of the blooms or leaves look healthy and still hang down. We occasionally fertilize with drops added to the water. What do we do wrong ? 1. Wrong light ? What is best light condition ? 2. Too much water, or too little ? Watering techniques ? 3. More or less fertilizing ? What is recommended ? 4. Repotting ? Special soil needed ? Thanks for your views !
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Ben Tuinman wrote:

Cyclamen in the garden go dormant after flowering. Check Paghat's web page. www.paghat.com
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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There are more than one kind of cyclamen. Is yours the type that was sold as a house plant, perhaps in the winter? Or, bulbs you bought for the garden?
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Yes Doug, it's a houseplant obtained during the winter months. I don't know its name, but it is of the variety one most often buys in supermarkets.

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OK. I bought one back in January. It did beautifully until mid-May, but now it looks like hell. I've been too busy with the outside garden to deal with the cyclamen, but you've given me a reason to get out the book, "Crockett's Indoor Garden". Here's a summary:
- Blooms October through late March or April.
- Needs sunlight or bright indirect light, and constant moisture when in bloom.
- Needs cool temperatures and "this is where most gardeners have problems". Prefers nights in the 40s or low 50s. Tolerates up to 65, but won't do as well.
- Direct quote: C. persicum are very easy to keep from year to year, as long as they're given some attention during summer. When they stop flowering, reduce the amount of moisture they receive to the point where the soil is allowed to dry out moderately before watering again. Keep in partial shade, out of the sun.
Next, he's referring to the season after April, but when there's still the possibility of late spring frosts:
- When the weather is warm enough, with night temps predicatably above 55 degrees, unpot them, shake off the old soil, and repot the corm, the beetlike root from which the plant grows, in a 1-inch-larger pot of commercial potting soil. *** Make sure that the corm is not set more deply than it had been before repotting. As the corm ages, more and more of it will grow above the soil line; ideally, it will be a third to halfway out of the soil. Set the plant outside for the summer in a shady spot and keep the soil barely moist. Old leaves will stay on the plant while the news ones grow in. During the summer, the previous season's leaves will drop off. If the corm's allowed to dry out completely, it'll lose all its foliage. But even a bare corm will usually produce new growth again if given moisture.
I already see 3 mistakes I've made with mine. :-) By the way, the book is worth owning, especially since you can get used copies from www.powells.com, for less than ten dollars. http://www.powells.com/s?kw=crockett%27s+indoor+garden&x=0&y=0

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Thanks for the good info, Doug. We now know more about this nice plant than ever before, and we are going to try to obtain a copy of the recommended book. Thanks again ! Ben.

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That online bookstore's great for books like the one I mentioned. Very dependable, and when they post descriptions of the condition of a used book, they're accurate.

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