Heart-Shaped Leaves for the Home

Winter colour to brighten up any room of the home

Heart-shaped leaves have become a popular choice for houseplants in recent years with the list of plants growing each year. One of the most stunning choices are cyclamens. The silver-grey markings on the forest-green background have a beautiful contrast and there are different markings on different plants that are simply stunning in their own right. What is best about cyclamens is that they flower in winter when other houseplants are resting, in colours that range from pink, white, red, orange and purple with unique turned-out petals.

Cyclamen fun fact

Cyclamen species come from Europe around the Mediterranean where they were known since medieval times as panis porcinus, later translated to sow-bread or swine-bread. It was believed for a long time that the reason for this name was that the tubers were dug up and eaten by pigs, despite the tubers carrying toxic alkaloids. It is surmised that although pigs did dig them up, they did not in fact eat them but rather played around with them before going off to find something tastier. The weird common name for this pretty plant has stuck though.

Cyclamen care

Cyclamens prefer the cooler temperatures 10 – 18°C and bright but indirect light. Direct sunlight will scorch the leaves. They also require careful watering. Lots of water, but not waterlogged and at least 3 months of very little water in the summer when they go dormant. Watering from the bottom will help with reducing water accumulating on the leaves, which may cause them to rot. Overwatering may also cause the tubers to rot. Feed with a liquid fertiliser every 2 weeks only during the growing season. If just these few care tips are adhered to, they will provide pleasure for many years to come.

Cyclamens are grown by LVG Plants and are available from retail outlets and nurseries.

The Gardener