Florist Cyclamen, the popular holiday plant for indoor growing is bred from Persian Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum). It is native to rocky hillsides from south-central Turkey to Israel. With that background information, you can guess that this plant likes soil with excellent drainage. They prefer a room kept on the cool side and strong, indirect sunlight.
Florist Cyclamen have dark-green foliage often with splotches of white or silver veining. The flowers come in a wide range of colors from pearly white to pale lavender to Santa red. They bloom nonstop from December through to early spring and just require fertilizer every 6 weeks. Check the product label for correct application rates, sprinkle on and lightly incorporate in the soil surface and water in.
When the plants go dormant in the summer, hold off on fertilizing them and let them stay on the dry side. As the outside temperatures start to drop in autumn, the plants will revive and start to put out new growth. That is the time to start watering and feeding them again.
If you live in USDA Zones 9-11, Florist Cyclamen will be hardy for you outside. For the rest of the country, if you want to grow Cyclamen in your garden, then look for any of the many hardy Species Cyclamen. These are generally diminutive plants with tiny flowers that can get lost in the leaf litter.
Plant Species Cyclamen (C. hederifolium and C. cuom) in deciduous shade, in a spot near the front of your beds and near a walkway, so that you can enjoy them during the colder months. They do not like months of snow or leaf cover, so keep them cleared off as much as you can. Mulch them well around their root-zones with chopped up leaves.
Like their indoor cousins, Cyclamen outdoor prefer excellent drainage. They are great additions to a rock garden or along a slope. Mice, slugs, and squirrels will chew on the leaves and corms so check on your plants occasionally to look for pest damage.
If Cyclamen are happy in your garden, they will slowly naturalize and form a nice colony. You can encourage this by collecting the seeds when the firm pods feel soft and spread them around as desired.