Iain Brodie of Falsyde
Sat, 26 Jan 2008 13:46:55 PST
In response to the post on species cyclamen a point of interest, not one which concerns us here rather the reverse its a source of big unexpected surprises. 

Once the flowers of all species go over and the seed pod develops, that's the wee round ball on the end of the 'spring' it will mature and eventually split. At this point watch an unfamiliar dispersal strategy take hold because the ants of most species in Old World North Temperate or Boreal forest climate types, probably all climate types, they gather or harvest the seeds but seem either to loose interest or forget where they leave them, I am not sure which, but you will find next and subsequent years new cyclamen plants popping up all over the place sometimes not quite where you would want them too but no harm is done just as Jane has explained. We have managed to keep most species going here despite the cautionary sucking of teeth from the "experts" but one we cannot keep through our winters - very roughly analogous to your USDA Zone 6 I suppose is C persicum, pity! I am not sure if it just down to minimum temperatures per se, it could be their duration and the fact that at 58 degrees north our winters drag on too long for a species native to 35 to 45 degrees North, similar-ish to Portland and Vancouver. The winters there certainly can be cold but do not last for so long and because of the short growing season, relatively, perhaps they are unable to produce enough reserves.

It is hard to say what Jane's best course might be on watering but for what little it might be worth the potted plants of all genera's within the monocots, or otherwise, are left 'light' on moisture here at ABG in northern Scotland. During late autumn watering is slowly wound down and by mid November the irrigation lines are bled to ensure the sprinklers or pipes don't 'pop' when frozen, by law all water pipes must be laid 1.2 metres = 4ft mimimum below ground. Young bulbs of lilies, frits and irises are pricked out in the autumn into 9 cms square posts and our losses are negligible, those which don't make it through probably were not going to anyway. It comes back to the sun shining directly on the plant tissue being my experience. If they are dormant they have no need for irrigation anyway, in nature they would not get too much and such as there is would drain off, it is more of a serious problem for the plants to be sitting in puddles, anyway the soil in the posts absorbs moisture from the atmospheric humidity which is invariably sufficient during this period, good luck anyway......... your infants will be there when you need them in the spring!

Regards,  Iain

More information about the pbs mailing list