Autumn flowering cyclamen

flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)September 1, 2010

Not excatly a bulb but near enough. These are looking very pretty in my garden at the moment. They will be followed by attractive leaves which will last throughout the winter. Plus they grow in gloomy dry shade. What a wonderful little plant.

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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Corms are close enough, they are adorable. I keep meaning to buy some and then never do.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 6:19PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Love your hairy fern! What is it?

My autumn Cyclamen live under a plum tree and they'll be into flower despite any drought running. One of my garden 'treats' to watch for (and you sound as if you're just the same.)

Hope you have a kinder winter this year, BTW.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 6:28AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Hi vetivert8 - I believe the 'hairy fern' is Polystichum setiferum 'proliferum'. It is evergreen, very tough and produces babies along its branches. BTW I didn't give the Cyclamen their proper name: C hederifolium. One of my pink ones has entirely silver leaves. The others are all green with pretty markings. They self seed, even in paving. I have never had much success planting the dry corms. Most of mine started as growing plants.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 12:50PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

When I finally saw these being offered locally (potted) I bought immediately. So charming. And they have reseeded like crazy!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 4:23PM
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These are so lovely, but I'm afraid that, like crocus, they're not for me. I bought and planted three corms and today found them dug up, the flower & leaf stems & buds eaten off (one flower was left lying in the dirt), one of the corms chewed, and one missing entirely.

I've replanted the two, and will try to devise some way of protecting them, but I'm not very hopeful.

Squirrels were the cause of my giving up on crocuses; they'd wait until the flowers were just about to open then nip the buds off and scatter the petals. Although I didn't catch them red-pawed, until I see evidence to the contrary, I'm going to assume it's those little gray tree rats again.

Snowdrops have been an excellent replacement for the crocus (better - they bloom earlier and longer!), but I don't know of any replacement for these lovely and interesting little fall beauties.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 5:11PM
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Cyclamen are tubers. The Cyclamen Society has the information.
Think of corms like Gladiolus that produce offsets. Cyclamen tubers produce no offsets but do grow larger over time.

You can protect the tubers by using coated wire baskets. I've purchased them at the Dollar Stores in PA. I remove the handle, then place the basket over the plants. Once they get well established and have seeded in, you probably won't need them. It's when the soil is disturbed that squirrels or chipmunks are attracted to them.

I try to purchase the green, brown, or black coated baskets as the color is less noticeable.

Another tip when planting bulbs ( tubers, corms. etc) is to sprinkle a bit of talcum or baby powder in the hole. This confuses the rodents. I've tried it and it worked. Do not inhale the powder as it is harmful!

The Clematis shown here was completed severed by a rabbit. I then covered the area with a basket and the vine has re-emerged.
Many gardeners love these baskets and the protection they afford. You can remove the handle, bend it for a stake.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 7:16PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Thanks, flora. They seem to do well in the company of hardy ferns. Lovely foils for the flowers. Button fern works well for me (Pellaea rotundifolia).

Also have the memory of a swathe of pink Cyclamen coming through a carpet of golden maple leaves outside Victoria, BC, Canada. For a moment there it was hard to see through the green haze of envy! Simply gorgeous.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 11:07PM
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Regarding tuber vs. corm, there seems to be some conflicting information. While the Cyclamen Society does refer to them as tubers, several State University Extensions, as well as several other credible sites, refer to them as corms.

Regardless, I am very disappointed in having lost one of the three, and, of course, seeing no signs yet of the remaining two giving it another go. I had thought about wire baskets, but since the young flower stalks were all eaten, I was afraid they'd meet the same fate as my crocus flowers unless I were to encase the whole plant in a cage ... not very attractive.

I replanted them in pots and they are now protected in my greenhouse, along with my Greek cyclamen, which are reportedly only marginally hardy here. I would much rather see them naturalize in my garden, and will try your advice regarding the baskets and powder. (I just read a tip somewhere about using medicated powder, as it not only puts off the critters, but contains an antifungal.)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 8:08PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Note to self: when I see them in pots this fall, buy them regardless of whether they are tubers or corms. LOL I see them offered in pots every year and just haven't ponied up for them....

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 2:18PM
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