Cyclamen : Greenhouse Plants
W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)
Europe, Mediterranean to Iran
The greenhouseis with elegant flowers of light or dark pink, sometimes white, which also have a delicate almost peppery scent. However, most of the plants we see today are the result of years of breeding and selection. For a while the popular varieties seemed to get larger and larger with huge blooms and no perfume. Recently the trend seems to be including smaller daintier flowers and I am glad to see that perfume has returned as well. Plants are usually raised in batches from seed. Open pollinated varieties are sown during summer and will flower the winter after next. However, F1 hybrids sown in March will flower the following winter. Seed needs to be dark to germinate at 15°C (60°F). Cover seed by 6 mm (1/4 in) after having soaked them for 24 hours. Prick out when the second leaf has appeared. Watering must be done carefully as they will quickly collapse if over-or under-watered. Keep an eye open for vine weevil larvae which hatch in the and eat the roots. Although often described as a cool house plant I think they should have a minimum of 10°C (50°F) to do well. In cold conditions they are more prone to overwatering and botrytis which can cause discoloration of the petals. I never used to think that it was worth keeping the corms from one year to the next. This is probably true if a batch is being raised for display work every year. However, I have recently seen magnificent specimens of some age. After flowering allow growth to continue for a while but slow up watering so that all foliage has died down by about June. Keep the dormant corm dry until the end of summer when it can be gradually watered back into growth. Repot occasionally and feed well whilst the plant is building itself up to flower.