Heart-shaped leaves and butterfly blossoms make cyclamen a Christmas favorite. "If conditions are right, the flowers will just last forever," says Hans Gerritsen, president of the Hortus Group, specialty cyclamen growers in Castroville, California. Cyclamens flourish in chilly temperatures—ideally no warmer than 65°F—with indirect or filtered bright light, moist but well-drained soil, and foliage that is kept completely dry.
Florist's cyclamen (C. persicum) is the most widely available. Latinia hybrids, whose red, purple, or salmon "flame" flowers boast a white blush and, in some cases, a sweet scent, are also a good choice, Gerritsen says.
If your house is warm, try the new Metis miniature hybrids, which promise prolific blooms even in less-than-ideal conditions.
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