Cyclamen Plant Division: How To Divide Cyclamen Bulbs

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

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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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