Cyclamen hederifolium planting depth

Roy Herold
Thu, 20 Sep 2007 11:28:11 PDT

In my own Zone 5B/6A garden , I plant them with the tops of the tubers a couple of inches deep. More is okay, less is bad. Hederifolium puts out roots from the top and sides of the tuber, unlike coum and the like which have roots on the bottom surface only. Don't worry, the foliage and flowers will make it up through most anything. I've rescued tubers from seeds that germinated six inches deep in a pot, and tiny filament-like leaves somehow make it to the surface.

I have planted Cyclamen hederifolum all over my garden, and they appear to be happy in some spots, and a disaster in others. The best locations seem to be on a north facing slope under a japanese maple, and on top of the septic tank (a little extra warmth?). The ants seem to find good locations, too, and volunteers are thriving in some very unlikely spots. In addition to hed, coum, cilicium, and purparascens seem to be the best for naturalizing in this way, and love coarse gravel as a seed bed. It always pains me to run the lawnmower over the coums in the lawn, but the ants drag them out there, too.

One final tip is to try to find a spot that doesn't get any direct sun in the winter. Sunlight makes the normal freeze/thaw cycles in NE even worse.

Good luck with your planting. My own goal is to get pseudibericum going outside one of these days. It was happy in an unheated cold frame last winter, so should be worth a try.


NW of Boston
Snow cover? Hah! Unreliable at best...
C. rohlfsianum just coming into bloom...

----- Original Message ----
From: Jonathan Knisely <>
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2007 1:50:08 PM
Subject: [pbs] Cyclamen hederifolium planting depth

I have tubers I grew from seed of C. hederifolium and I'm wondering 
about the appropriate depth to plant them outside in where I hope they 
will naturalize and thrive.  I have had tubers of C. hederifolium and C. 
Coum that froze to mush during the past winter's cold snaps in my USDA 
6a climate.  These sadly departed geophytes were planted with the top of 
the tuber barely covered, and were located in a bed of Meehania cordata, 
with evergreen branches strewn atop the bed to improve their chances of 
surviving winter cold. 

The tubers range in size from about 7-15 mm in diameter.  I fear that if 
I plant them too deeply, there will be problems with emergence of 
foliage (and flowers) that will result in the demise of the tuber.  Can 
anyone provide practical recommendations that will help me as I'm 
crouching in my border?

Jonathan Knisely
New Haven, CT
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