The devious calculus of plant acquisition

Thu, 16 Feb 2012 12:51:27 PST

The Cyclamen species are more persistent in my experience; the hybrids I
tend to "lose" in summer also. I think this is largely because breeding has
converted the original germplasm into a greenhouse crop that is much less
well suited to other environments. Same with poinsettias and many others
that are throw aways and not even good pot subjects.

Agreed that cooler summers are important in dormancy, but the key really is
cooler nights. Here the summer are warm to hot (always some days in the
100sF) but nights generally 60-65F. Lower humidity here helps, too. I keep
C. rohlfsianum and eastern forms of C. persicum completely dry and well
shaded over summer. When these variables are in order the root systems will
not desiccate during dormancy.

Glad to hear others enjoy the fragrance of Cyclamen, too! They are the most
wonderful plants-- beautiful and endlessly varying foliage patterns,
compact habit, a caudex or tuber, great flowers, etc. It is a great
disappointment they are scarcely grown in this highly suitable area as
garden or pot plants.

Dylan Hannon
Los Angeles, CA

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