Tuberose of the family of Primulaceaethe Cyclamen is a beautiful plantas much for its flowers which come in a wide range of colors only for his graphic foliage. It poses no particular cultural difficulty. There are about twenty species of cyclamen which flower at different times, so that by selecting them wisely, you can take advantage of their abundant flowering throughout the year, both indoors and outdoors. Let’s take stock of the planting of Cyclamen, the most famous species, and see how to maintain it.
Plant a Cyclamen
It is during their vegetative rest (from August to October) that the tubers of cyclamen are planted. But if you choose to buy them in pots, the planting period doesn’t really matter as long as it doesn’t freeze. The procedure for plant a cyclamen in the ground is the following.
- Prepare your site by weeding carefully,
- loosen the earth,
- Incorporate coarse sand if the garden soil is too compact and also leaf mold,
- Place the tuber in the place reserved for it, making sure that the curved face that is directed towards the sky and the rounded part below since it is at this level that the roots will develop,
- Do not insert the tuber too much, the ideal being that the hollow part is flush with the level of the ground.
The Cyclamen that we buy in bloom and that we intend for a potted culture must be replanted in a larger container but without excess because it flowers much more abundantly if it is a little cramped. Grown in a pot that is too big, the Cyclamen will develop a lot of leaves at the expense of flowers. We use a container with a bottom pierced with several holes to allow good drainage, and start by covering the bottom with a thick layer of clay pebbles for about 30% of the height of the pot. It then remains to be filled with a planting soil very good quality mixed with perlite or sand.
The Cyclamen loves light, humus-rich, cool, well-drained soilsand the shaded to semi-shaded exposures. Those grown in the ground should not be moved as this is detrimental to them. On the other hand, when properly installed, they form sumptuous carpet after some years. Depending on the species or variety, they are used in the undergrowth, in rockery, in clumps, in pots or planters.
The botanical cyclamen are planted outdoors. All frost-living species are intended for indoor growing except in regions where temperatures rarely drop below 0°C. Here are some of the known cyclamens.
Persian Cyclamen (Peach cyclamen)
It’s about Large flowered florist’s cyclamen. With a height reaching 35 cm, it is magnificent with its flowers with a discreet fragrance, with fringed petals of variable color, purple, white, red or pink, and its decorative leaves, green variegated with white and in the shape of a heart. It blooms minimally September to March even throughout the year in mild climates because it is chilly and does not tolerate frosts even of very short duration. It is mainly grown as indoor flowering plant but it adorns window sills nicely if they are well sheltered from cold winds. Today there are dozens of varieties and cultivars, such as:
- Latinia: it is adorned with large flowers and forms a very compact tuft,
- Miracle: a mini cyclamen of Persia pink, salmon, white, scarlet red, for indoors and outdoors,
- Halios: its flowers are very large and come in more than 20 colors. This Cyclamen tolerates heat very well.
The European Cyclamen (Cyclamen purpurascens)
About fifteen centimeters high, it is distinguished by its dark green leaves with purple reverse, very round. It produces a large number of very fragrant small flowersof a deep pink, which open out from the month ofaugust and until the month ofoctober or November.
Le Cyclamen de Naples (Cyclamen hederifolium or Cyclamen neapolitanum)
This large bulbous plant, which does not exceed 15 to 18 cm in height, does wonders in the garden. We are seduced by his very decorative foliage dark green with white to cream mottling or variegation as well as its multiple subtly scented flowers of red, white or pink color which appear in the early springbefore the leaves, and continue until the heart of summer.
A gel-susceptible Cyclamen such as the Persian Cyclamen should be grown indoors, ideally in a bright room provided they are protected from direct sunlight and away from any source of heat such as a wood stove or radiator. In addition, it is recommended to place it for the night in a room where the temperature is between 13 and 17°C because freshness is necessary for it.
Note that the varieties of cyclamen to grow indoors are generally used as annual plants which is therefore renewed every year. However, one can keep them year after year as long as they benefit from regular watering after flowering until the leaves turn yellow. Thereafter, they are to be stored in the dry, that is to say that we eliminate watering until August which marks the period of the resumption of vegetation. All you have to do is repot the tubers in new soil and gradually resume watering.
Caring for your Cyclamen
Undemanding in care, the Cyclamen is suitable for all gardeners, even beginners.
Watering is not essential except in the event of great drought, because the rains are sufficient to cover the water needs of cyclamen grown in the ground. Those in pots must benefit from regular watering because the soil dries out quite quickly. So we just make sure keep the soil cool enoughespecially for the Persian Cyclamen.
Every two weeks, potted cyclamen should be fertilized. A organic fertilizer for flowering plants to dilute in irrigation water is recommended, but only during the flowering period. This helps to boost the formation of flowers but also to intensify the brilliance of their color.
Cyclamen can be protégés by a mulch in order to pass the winter well in the garden. If you have opted for outdoor cultivation of frost-prone species because you benefit from a mild climate, you still have to be careful, as frost is possible. In this case, the use of a winter sail is highly recommended.
Pests and diseases
Those are carefree plants. Indeed, cyclamen are not the target of parasites and are not susceptible to any particular disease. Of course, stagnant water is to be avoided because it promotes cryptogamic diseases.
It is always with pleasure that one discovers these flowering cyclamen one morning. The show is delightful, but for it to remain so, it is essential to remove faded flowers as you go. Ditto for the leaves that dry. In this way, the beauty of these tuberous plants is preserved for many months.
After flowering, if care is not taken to remove faded flowers, the plant produces fruit. It is capsules. Each contains about fifty seeds. It is better to prevent the plant from going to seed because this exhausts it, unless of course you intend to collect them for sowing. In this case, after having harvested them, they must be dried and then stored in a hermetically sealed bag, in a blind room because darkness is essential for them.
The cyclamen seeds can be sown between January and February in boxes, in white peat. Each seedling is to be transplanted when it has two or three leaves. With a bit of luck, we can get the first flowering in the fall, but in many cases, we will have to wait at least two years and in terms of preserving the Persian Cyclamen, nothing is won. It is fortunately easier to obtain a multitude of feet without efforts with the small wild cyclamen since they spontaneously reseed and show great resistance to climatic hazards. Thanks to them you can, in a few seasons, see your natural space covered with a carpet of delicate and long-lasting flowers.