Florists' Cyclamen

Robin Hansen
Sun, 13 Dec 2009 20:21:13 PST
How long does it take to raise these commercial forms from seed to bloom? 

 8 - 12 months if you push them a bit, i.e. pot them up as quickly as possible to the next size, lots of light, 55 degrees or so, liquid fertilizer at half-strength on a regular basis, versus 2-5 years for species

How much difference in size is there between the florist's cyclamen and the
wild form of Cyclamen persicum? These wild forms sound intriguing. 

 Quite a lot, as a very mature persicum sp. takes much longer to size up, tuber-wise than the hybrids.  I can keep a sp. in a 4" pot for 4-6 years where the hybrids would have to be moved into a 6" round by their second or third year.  The minis can be treated like the species and they don't seem to get any bigger than them or at least not much.  Plus there is some wild seed available from mountains in Israel that get snow cover, as I've always noticed the wild persicum is hardier than any of the books say.

In your signature were you indicating that it got down to 12 degrees F in
your area? 

Yes, Wednesday morning, the thermometer said 12, and the previous morning it was 14.  The interesting bit is that I didn't cover anything in the poly house (unheated) until nights were going down to 20, but when I uncovered yesterday, graecum, balearicum, africanum, persicum and some other supposedly iffy bulbs were fine.  My guess is that as in the past, the poly house was itself 2-3 degrees warmer than the outside temps, add the Reemay, and the fact that plants (mostly bulbs) were on the dry side and, while the bottom line hasn't yet been reached, these factors all contributed to their good condition.

I've noticed this lack of damage due to the above factors going back close to 25 years now, especially the fact that bulbs do best when dryish during extremely cold temps.  The nursery was started in the northern Willamette Valley, Zone 7, and the survival rates were just as good then as now.  The only cyclamen I've had problems with is rolfsianum, but then, for me, this one has always been problematic no matter what the conditions.  Always before I've had snow cover, and I know that makes a difference.

It's early times yet, so we'll see if I'm still singing a happy song in March...

Robin Hansen
Zone 9 Southwestern Oregon USA
still cold, but bearable 

Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

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