Growing Cyclamen From Seed: Learn About Cyclamen Seed Propagation

Cyclamen seed pods growing on twisting stalks
(Image credit: Michel VIARD)

Cyclamen is a beautiful plant, but not necessarily a cheap one. Planting one or two in the garden or home is one thing, but if you want to grow a whole swath of them, you’ll notice the price tag adding up quickly. A perfect way to get around this (and also just to get more hands-on in your garden) is growing cyclamen from seed. Planting cyclamen seeds is relatively easy, although it does take quite a while and doesn’t follow all the rules you may be used to with seed germination. Keep reading to learn more about cyclamen seed propagation and how to grow cyclamen from seed.

Can You Grow Cyclamen from Seed?

Can you grow cyclamen from seed? Yes, you can, but it takes some special treatment. For one thing, cyclamen seeds have a period of “ripeness,” basically the month of July, when it’s best to plant them.

You can harvest them yourself or buy ripe seeds from the store. You can also buy dried seeds, but their germination rate won’t be as good. You can get around this somewhat by soaking your dried seeds in water with a tiny splash of dish soap for 24 hours before planting.

How to Grow Cyclamen from Seed

Planting cyclamen seeds requires 3 to 4 inch (8-10 cm.) pots of well-draining compost mixed with grit. Plant about 20 seeds in each pot and cover them with a fine layer of more compost or grit.

In nature, cyclamen seeds germinate in the fall and winter, which means they like it cold and dark. Put your pots in a cool place, ideally around 60 degrees F. (15 C.), and cover them with something to completely block the light.

Also, when planting cyclamen seeds, it may take as long as a couple of months for germination to take place.

Once the seeds sprout, remove the cover and place the pots under grow lights. Keep the plants cool – cyclamen does all of its growing in the winter. As they get bigger, thin and transplant them to bigger pots as needed.

When summer comes, they will go dormant, but if you can manage to keep them cool the whole time, they will grow through the summer and get big faster. That said, you probably won’t see any flowers in the first year.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.