Experience of growing wild cyclamen in pot?

hankeatMay 31, 2010

Last summer I bought bulbs of Cyclamen cilicium, coum and hederifolium in Ireland and planted them in pots. I put the pots on the windowsill in my sleeping room. When they were having leaves I watered them regularly, but now all of them had lost their leaves. What should I do? Should I continue watering them? I've tried to get some culture information, but couldn't find any, especially the method of growing them in pot. I appreciate it a lot, if someone can share his/her experience with me. Thanks in advance.


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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I can only tell you about C hederifolium from experience. In Germany this plant should be outdoors. It is a hardy plant unlike the large flowered cyclamen you buy for indoors. It will tolerate quite dry shade. I have them growing under a birch tree. It flowers before the leaves appear in late summer /autumn. The flowers die down and the leaves then grow and remain green throughout the winter. In the late spring they will die down and there will be nothing to see until the flowers start again in late summer. So I would suggest that if you have a garden you plant out the corms now. If you don't have a garden let the corms dry off in their pots and do not water again until late summer. Hoffentlich ist dies dir behilflich. Viel Spass. Flora.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 7:36AM
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Thanks for the reply Flora. :) I don't have garden, thus it's quite tricky for me.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 1:03PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Too much summer moisture is certain death. I agree with Flora. Let them go dormant (which you have), and water them extremely little if any until about mid September to early October. (maybe even a little later). If you can get them to do, they'll be worth the trouble. Cyclamen are some of the most beautiful bulbs around, for my money.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 4:19PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

With hederifolium you might want to use a wider but more shallow container such as you'd use for azaleas (10-15cm deep). This allows for seedlings and the spread of the tuber while ensuring that there isn't a lot of unused mix to hold water or go a bit iffy. Glazed terracotta with an unglazed bottom could be a good choice over the long term, so long as it is frost-proof.

You didn't say whether or not they flowered for you. If they did, and they set seed (round balls at the end of a very coiled flower stem) then you may have seedlings waiting to continue. Repot with care so you don't lose them. The new tuberlets(!) often have only a single leaf to start with and it can be easily broken off.

I'd refresh the potting mix in August(?) - late summer, because you'll find that the flowers come before the leaves whether you've watered or not, and they start in late summer/early autumn. As the tuber gets bigger year by year you get more flowers. The tubers can live for many years, and the plants flower for weeks. If you can get some leaf mould to add to the mix it would be appreciated. (From fruit trees or maples but not walnut or oak, for preference. Perhaps the keepers at the local park could help you to some well-rotted leaf mould.)

Over summer keep them in dappled light as they'd get under a deciduous tree. Outdoors if you can, and let them have rain whenever it comes. They are quite drought tolerant when they're dormant, however.

Coum is similar. Cilicium is more tender and will appreciate some frost protection over winter when it is flowering.

Hederifolium is fine with direct morning or afternoon sun - but probably not through glass if you know you still have a lot of heat in the late summer sun.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 6:09AM
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Thanks everyone for the replies. The bulbs are about 5cm diameter. I planted them in 13cm diameter x 9cm pots. I put them on my sleeping room windowsill for the whole winter, because last winter we'd temperature -20C for a month. All my camelias and azalea in containers were gone, thus I don't think cyclamen in small pots would survive.

The C.Coum had a flower and a leaf, but both of them withered before the flower had opened. I believe it's too sunny. I realized it too late, well I've over 130 housepalnts, thus it's quite difficult for me to pay attention to all of them. After that I moved them to a windowsill in shade. Yesterday I put all of them outdoors in shade. My C.Cilicium have a flower stalk now.

What potting mix should I use? I planted all the bulbs half in normal soil and cover the top half with granule. Is it alright? Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 7:25AM
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