Cyclamen dormancy is a natural part of their lifecycle. In this post, I’ll tell you all you need to know about the timing, what to do in order to keep it alive, and how to revive it.
Understanding the cyclamen dormancy process is essential to keep a healthy plant that blooms year after year.
What many don’t understand is the difference between a dead and dormant cyclamen. This confusion often leads to overwatering or other issues, or even a perfectly good plant being tossed out.
In this cyclamen dormancy guide I’ve shared all you need to know in order to successfully get them through their natural annual rest period.
Do Cyclamen Go Dormant?
While most types of cyclamen do go dormant every year, it’s not uncommon for some to skip it. Environment is a big factor in the process.
In perfect indoor conditions, with cool temps and even watering, they may continue to happily stay awake, and even keep flowering, year-round.
But in their natural habitat, they bloom in winter and go dormant during summer months. This cycle is important so they can conserve water and survive intense heat.
Should I Let My Cyclamen Go Dormant?
If your cyclamen is showing signs of going dormant, then you need to let it happen.
Trying to prevent it by adding more heat, light, or water won’t stop the process, and can actually end up killing it instead.
When Do Cyclamen Go Dormant?
The time of year when cyclamen go dormant is what surprises most people. Understanding when to expect it and how long it lasts can help you respond to its natural cues.
Cyclamen Dormancy Period
Unlike many other plants, they love the cold and hate the heat. So a cyclamen will thrive and flower during winter, and go dormant in the summer.
When warmer temperatures approach in the spring, and it has finished flowering, it will enter its rest period and remain that way to wait out hot, dry summer weather.
How Long Does A Cyclamen Stay Dormant?
Exactly how long a cyclamen will stay dormant depends on a few factors, mainly the climate and temperature.
They will start to enter their rest period when it reaches 70°F or hotter, and will stay that way for 2-3 months.
So the timing depends on your local climate. But you can expect to see the first signs sometime in early to mid-spring.
They will usually begin to wake up and emerge with new leaves popping in sometime mid-fall, once it begins to cool down outside.
My Cyclamen Is Not Going Dormant
If your cyclamen is not going dormant, then it’s probably in an ideal indoor setting. Don’t worry, this is not uncommon, and it’s nothing to worry about.
Cool temperatures and consistent watering can keep them content. They may even continue to bloom, with only a few dropped leaves during summer.
If this is the case for you, don’t try to force it into dormancy, just keep doing what you’re doing.
How Can You Tell If A Cyclamen Is Dormant?
Understanding the signs of a dormant cyclamen is key to knowing how to handle it. Use the tips and info below to help you keep it alive through its resting period.
What Does Cyclamen Look Like When Dormant?
When a cyclamen is dormant, it looks like it’s dead, which unfortunately means that many people will toss it into the trash.
As the cycle begins, the leaves will turn yellow and then brown as they droop and slowly die back.
Eventually most, if not all, the foliage will die, drop off, and leave you with nothing but the bulb in the soil.
Is My Cyclamen Dead Or Dormant?
So how can you tell if your cyclamen is dead or dormant? There are a few easy ways to check.
First is the time of year. If it starts dying back in early spring after a healthy blooming period, it is likely entering its rest period.
Second is to check the tuber to make sure it is plump and firm. If it’s withered or mushy and soft, it’s likely suffering from rot, and may not survive.
How To Store Dormant Cyclamen
Properly storing your dormant cyclamen is a key part of their survival. They need to be kept somewhere cool, dry, and dark.
As soon as you see the leaves beginning to yellow, move them out of the heat to a location that’s away from all light.
Once all of the foliage has died back, cut it off at the base. You can leave them right in their pot, or lift the tuber and store it bare-root.
How To Care For Dormant Cyclamen
Caring for a dormant cyclamen could not be easier – get it prepped for storage, then ignore it!
After cutting back the leaves, brush away the top layers of soil to expose the tuber. This allows it to breathe a little. Then put it somewhere cool, dry and dark, and leave it alone for 2-3 months.
Should Cyclamen Be Watered When Dormant?
You should not water your cyclamen when it’s dormant because they’re susceptible to root rot during this period.
This is very important, and also easy to do, as long as you store it in a dry location.
So don’t water them at all, and keep them away from humidity until they’re ready to emerge from their rest.
How To Bring Cyclamen Out Of Dormancy
Once you’ve successfully helped your cyclamen through dormancy, it’s important to know how to bring them back to life. My tips below will help them wake up, and get a healthy fresh start.
When To Bring Cyclamen Out Of Dormancy
Most cyclamen will only need 8-10 weeks of dormancy, or up to 3 months at most.
Begin checking on yours after 2 months. If you see signs of new leaves, they’re ready to come out of storage.
If you don’t see any signs of life by 3 months, or mid-fall, check the tuber to ensure it’s firm. If it is, you can jumpstart the process yourself.
How To Revive A Dormant Cyclamen
The process of reviving dormant cyclamen begins with a good soak. After months of no moisture, the tuber is often very dry, and requires a little extra effort to rehydrate.
If the water just runs through the pot, submerge it for 10 minutes in a bucket. Then take it out and let all of the excess drain away completely.
Move it to a cool area with bright light. If yours already has leaves, resume normal care. If not, wait until you see new foliage before watering again.
How Long Does It Take For A Cyclamen To Come Out Of Dormancy?
It usually takes a few weeks for a cyclamen to come out of dormancy, depending on the conditions.
After rehydrating it and moving it into bright light, you should see tiny new leaves begin to appear within 2-3 weeks. New flowers should emerge another 2-3 weeks after that.
Here I’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about cyclamen dormancy. If yours isn’t on the list, please add it to the comments section below.
What month do cyclamen go dormant?
The exact month that cyclamen go dormant depends on where you live. It usually begins sometime in early spring when the temperatures are consistently above 70°F during the day.
Does cyclamen go dormant in winter?
No, a cyclamen does not go dormant in the winter. That’s the time of year they should be in full bloom and thriving. Their normal dormancy period is during the summer.
Do indoor cyclamens go dormant?
Yes, indoor cyclamens can go dormant, but some may not. It depends on the temperature they’re exposed to, along with other environmental factors.
Now that you understand the time of year to expect it, and the signs of cyclamen dormancy, you’ll never mistakenly throw away a live plant. Use my tips to navigate the resting period so you can enjoy yours year after year.
If you want to learn how to grow healthy houseplants year-round, then my Winter Houseplant Care eBook is exactly what you need. It will show you how to keep your indoor plants thriving. Download your copy today.
More About Plant Dormancy
- Overwintering & Storing Canna Lily Bulbs – The Complete Guide
- How To Overwinter Plumeria (Frangipani) Plants Indoors
Share your tips about cyclamen dormancy in the comments section below.