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Cyclamen - landscaping-gardening


Think of cyclamen and the probability are that Mothers Day as soon as comes to mind, which is amazing of a pity. Now don't misinterpret me, there's nonentity wrong with mothers or with having a day for them, but it does seem a hardly fateful when such beautiful, malleable and convenient plants befit so commercialised that there's complicatedness escaping that association.

But no plant as attractive as the wild cyclamen can keep on so neatly packaged and accessible as its civilized forms may have it. Gardeners are continually enthusiastic to experiment, to use in the open what might be measured house plants and to seek out less far and wide grown but hardier species for their gardens.

Once brain wave to consist of many species, the genus Cyclamen is now measured to add in just 19 species, some of which include subspecies and forms earlier measured distinct. Correlated to the primroses, they form a few large tubers or many small ones, soon dispersal to cover a great area, if happy. They occur as expected in southern Europe, neighbouring western Asia and the moister parts of North Africa with one species from Somalia, and as with many of the western Asian bulbs, corms and tubers, some species are now rare in the wild as they have been over-collected by advertisement bulb gatherers and enthusiasts.

Cyclamen are commonly most at home in equitably dry, partially shaded, well-drained environment such as might be found in a rockery. While power of endurance varies with the species, if planted in well-chosen sites, all can be grown in coastal New Zealand gardens and many can be educated interior too. While the exact blossoming time varies with the species, none bloom to any great boundary in summer, the cooler months from March to October being the main season.

Common species

The best-known cyclamen is Cyclamen persicum, which is so far and wide refined as an interior or gift plant that it customarily known as the florist's cyclamen. This species, or considerably the countless cultivars or maybe hybrids derivative from it, is a native of the eastern Mediterranean, Libya and the islands of Rhodes and Crete. The true species, every now and then seen but often hard to differentiate from the refined forms, has dark green grass a lot veined with silver-grey and its scented flowers, which have reflexed petals up to 3 cm long, may be white, mauve or any shade of pink from pale to cerise. This biological unevenness and the ease with which it adapts to pot background has made the plant what it is today - a complete favourite.

Cyclamen persicum is so well known that it's fashionable to dismiss it as being too communal and to look as a replacement for for less far and wide grown species. However, no matter which that is accepted becomes so for a analyze and you don't have to explore for the secrets to the hit of the florist's cyclamen. It has lush foliage, a load of charming plant life in a huge range of colours and styles, it blooms from autumn to bound and can be grown inside or al fresco in mild climates. What else could you probably want?

Well, perchance you might want better frost hardiness, more flora with less foliage, bigger sun tolerance and the kind of minute build that makes the finest rockery and alpine plants so appealing. And that's where the three species that come next in the list of the most broadly grown cyclamen actually shine, skin texture not lost on the gardeners to which we often look for guidance, the British.

Cyclamen have constantly been common in Britain but Cyclamen persicum infrequently succeeds al fresco in the British climate. As a result other species have been sought after out and industrial as backyard plants. The first of these was the local Cyclamen purpurascens, from chief and eastern Europe, which in its collective form was formerly known as Cyclamen europaeum. This small species has marbled, rounded to ivy-like foliage and deep pink vegetation that open from late summer. While still common in British and European gardens, Cyclamen purpurascens is not frequently met with here, although its style of cyst paved the way into development for three species that are: Cyclamen coum, Cyclamen hederifolium and Cyclamen repandum.

Cyclamen coum

Undoubtedly my favourite, this tough a small amount plant is found from Bulgaria and the Caucasus to the northern parts of Syria and Iran and may broaden southwards into Israel. It dark plants are small, customarily 25 to 50mm wide, and are a great deal marbled, with healthy-looking undersides. The flora are tiny too and may be white, pale pink or tending towards magenta. They open from early frost and carry on unabated into spring. The flora are remarkably anti to frost and even though they can look very dejected when frozen, they as soon as perk-up on thawing out. This is a excessive plant for rockeries or alpine troughs and is at home in sun or biased shade.

Cyclamen hederifolium

Formerly known as Cyclamen neapolitanum and still far and wide sold under that name, the delightfully marbled, ivy-like flora of this native of southern Europe and Fiasco dies away in bounce and does not come back until well after the plant has in progress to flower in late summer. The small plants occur in a wide range of shades and when spent, their stems start to coil like springs and turn downwards to the broken up as the seed capsules develop.

Cyclamen repandum

This species is found from southern France to Greece and has large, lobed trees that are dark green with conspicuous silver-grey mottling and marbling. In view of its lush foliage, bound budding habit and Mediterranean homeland, it is surprisingly frost hardy. Its vegetation are pleasantly scented, have petals up to 20mm long and occur in white and all shades of pink to light red.

These three species are so collective that if you see a plot cyclamen that is apparently not Cyclamen persicum then the likelihood are that it's Cyclamen coum, Cyclamen hederifolium, Cyclamen repandum or one of the subspecies or forms of those species. However, collectors and enthusiasts, being what they are, have imported other species that you may rarely have the pleasure of seeing.


With so few species in the genus I'm hesitant to say that any of them aren't cultivated. Indeed, it's very possible that they're all in gardens - everyplace - in one form or another. But while I've learnt to never say never when it comes to stating what's to be found in our gardens, I'm yet to see the Somalian species, Cyclamen somalense.

Another exclusively African species, Cyclamen africanum, from Algeria is also very rare. It has considerably glossy, ragged edged foliage up to 10 cm wide and its 25mm flowers, which are deep pink and open in autumn, have the scent of violets. It is a bit akin to Cyclamen hederifolium and along with the white- to deep pink-flowered Cyclamen ciliatum from Fiasco is customarily the first cyclamen to start budding in late summer or early autumn.

Also from Africa, the Libyan Cyclamen rohlfsianum has shiny veined clear green plants with a cover of fine rose-tinted hairs when young. Its brilliant pink vegetation open in autumn and are often scented. It dislikes chill wet and is best grown in pots with the add-on of some mineral chips.

The eastern Mediterranean species: Cyclamen creticum, from Crete; Cyclamen cyprium, from Cyprus; Cyclamen graecum, from Greece, the Aegean islands and southern Turkey; and Cyclamen libanoticum, from Syria and Lebanon, are all to be seen locally, all the same none are common. However, for the reason that these species are attractive increasingly rare in the wild and live in areas that are threatened by that most destructive of predators, the tourist, we must be doing our bit to guarantee their survival by construction them more broadly available.

They are, in the main, deft plants with small grass and pink flowers. Cyclamen graecum has some of the most exquisite shrubbery in the genus. In accumulation to the usual silver-grey mottling, its foliage have pale to vivid green veins, burgundy undersides and flushed teeth.


As mentioned earlier, cyclamen in general favor half-done shade, very well drained, to some extent dry soil and cool conditions. They boom in lightly out of the sun rockeries, increasing favorably in the crevices connecting rocks and also adapt well to container cultivation, above all in alpine troughs. Most species have a favorite for neutral to a little alkaline conditions. Adding together a few granite chips to the soil aids the drainage and keeps the pH about right.

That said, tough species like Cyclamen hederifolium customarily adapt well to being educated with acid soil plants such as ericas and dwarf rhododendrons, so don't be anxious to experiment.

While a few species, such as Cyclamen libanoticum, fancy their tubers to be below the surface, in most cases the top of the tuber ought to be at or above the soil surface. This helps keep the tubers dry in iciness and ensures that the crown of flower and shrubbery stems does not rot off at argument level. The tubers of interior preserved cyclamen must be kept dry - water the soil surface, not the tuber - and even then only when it has dried.

Cyclamen are not heavy feeders. Accepted feeding with mild liquid fertilisers will keep house-grown cyclamen acme well, while a light concentration of broad backyard fertiliser all through the summer latent spell is adequate to make sure that outside plants go on to thrive.

Pests and diseases are rare on good for you plants and when at hand are as a rule a sign of poor budding conditions. While slugs and snails can act of violence out-of-doors cyclamen, they ought to if not be pest-free. If enclosed cyclamen show signs of botrytis, mold of other soft rots, the soil environment are doubtless too damp. If mealy bugs and scale insects occur they may be a sign of low damp or may have allotment from other plants that have been infested.


Most cyclamen are bought in nurseries as ready-grown container plants intended, in the case of Cyclamen persicum, for budding indoors, or if not for planting out. As they grow and their tubers multiply, they can be lifted and dived when dormant.

This slow and steady approach of broadcast ensures a continuity of growth, but if you need to speed up your cyclamen reproduction bear in mind propagating the plants from seed. While some of the fancy-foliaged forms must be propagated vegetatively to assert their characteristics, most cyclamen cultivars copy convincingly true to type from seed and the species absolutely do.

Growing from seed is quite straightforward, all the same you may have to wait quite some time already the first plants appear, typically 18 months to two years. Sow the seed when ripe, as a rule late bound to early summer, in a equitably light, determined soil. The hotness must be cool, about 18°C, and the seed must be lightly roofed with soil. If viable, most of the seed ought to have germinated surrounded by 28 to 42 days. The seedlings may be pricked out into character pots as soon as they are large an adequate amount to by a long shot code name devoid of destructive their ample stems.

I am a backyard book creator and horticultural photographer based in Christchurch, New Zealand. I run a stock photo annals called Country, Farm and Patch (http://www. cfgphoto. com). This critique may be re-published provided this in rank is in print with it and is obviously visible.


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