Cyclamen in the midwest

Tony Avent
Mon, 30 Jul 2012 05:52:03 PDT

I also failed with my first attempts to grow hardy cyclamen, but am stubborn enough to keep trying.  After seeing them in the wild in several countries, I don't believe the heat and drought are really a problem.  Cyclamen cover many areas of Crete, and I doubt your mere 61 day drought can compare to 11 months with no rain and brutally hot temperatures.  In my home garden, it was more about locating the plants in the right place along with good soil preparation.  Cyclamen are the proverbial canary in the coal the wrong place, they turn up their toes quickly.  We have now made 278 plantings of different cyclamen, covering virtually all of the winter hardy species....140 died, and 138 remain alive.  Those which are really happy are seeding around the garden now.  Here's what I've learned.  Different species like to be planted at different depths...C. hederifolium likes to be shallow with the tuber showing, while C. graecum and C. coum like to have the tuber covered se
 veral inches deep.  Most cyclamen prefer light open shade with even an hour or two of sun, preferably in the morning.  We have found that good soil preparation with lots of compost makes a HUGE difference in the performance of cyclamen in the garden. If you just throw them into poorly prepared ground, your results will not be good. Cyclamen need to be dry in the summer during dormancy.  We found that this can be best accomplished by putting them near a large tree or shrub.  Cyclamen actually don't mind summer irrigation as long as the soil dries quickly.  I would encourage folks not to give up after a few failures.

Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, North Carolina  27603  USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it least three times" - Avent

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of James Waddick
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2012 5:57 PM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: [pbs] Cyclamen in the midwest

Dear PBS,
        I have to agree with Jim Sheilds here.

        I've planted established plants of coum, purpureum, hederifolium, graecum and maybe another.  I've grown a ton of seedlings and set them out.

        They either dwindle in a year or two or mostly disappear in a year - cold? critters? Dry?

        My longest lasting was a box store C. hederifolium which has persisted a few years, never produced a viable seedling and let's see if it is still there after this drought. Today is day 61 of the drought and the temp is 105 F

        I would NEVER recommend or suggest Cyclamen for this area except possibly for the experienced grower who wants to try.

                AS they say 'Forgetaboutit'             Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
        Summer 100F +

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