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2017-02-15 / Columns

Garden Scene with Peggy Bolton

Tending Your Cyclamen

This year, many supermarkets and box stores offered beautiful cyclamen plants in full bloom for the holidays. With only minimal care, they will continue to live and flower for several years. Cherished as a long-lasting indoor plant, cyclamens will brighten up the winter months.

The plant leaves will reach only about a foot high, with blooms slightly higher. Flower colors vary from shades of white and pink, to deeper reds and lavenders. Blossoming time is from October until early spring.

Cyclamens need lots of sun, good air circulation, and consistent moisture. This is not to be confused with soggy, as over watering will rot the plant quickly. Feed plants during blooming, about every two weeks, with a liquid fertilizer. Place the plant in part shade during summer months. That is also a good time to transplant the bulb in a slightly bigger pot with new, light soil. Transplant the bulb at the same depth it was previously growing. Keep the soil just moist until the old leaves begin to fall and new leaves take over. In early fall the plant will begin to bud again.

Dwarf varieties of the cyclamen plant are available. They require the same care as a standard plant. The outdoor variety is not winter-hardy in Delaware County. Keep in mind that all parts of the cyclamen plants are poisonous.

Plants may be started from seed. It will take about a year and a half from germination to flowering. Soak seed for twenty-four hours before planting. Hot water is most effective for this process. Room temperatures that are above 60 degrees may inhibit germination. It takes about a month of darkness for germination.

Send specific questions to: Country Grown Perennials LLC, Peggy Bolton, 4801 Pines Brook Road, Walton, NY 13856. Enclose a stamped, self addressed envelope if you wish to receive a personal reply. Visit us on the web at countrygrownperennials.com.

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