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Cyclamen bulb's decline--suggestions?

Posted by rredbbeard SE CT USA/zone 6 (rredbbeard@yahoo.com) on
Sat, Oct 22, 11 at 16:39

I had a large ivy-leaf cyclamen, 6-7" wide and very flat, that I had been growing successfully for the past several years. Last year it went into its normal leafless dormancy, and by Spring it had completely rotted out. Is it normal for these corms to have a limited 'lifespan'? If I had divided the corm a couple of years ago, would it have made a difference?

Luckily, I have 3 little selfed seedlings from that plant that are doing well after one year, and any insights would be appreciated.

(I tend to keep cyclamens shallow-potted with the top of the corm exposed from the soil. During late winter dormancy I keep them in a cool room with no water or direct light for several months.)

Thanks!

--Rick


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cyclamen bulb's decline--suggestions?

Found this at the link below:
Do not water the center of the plant or the tuber may rot."

snip

". Once all the leaves have dried, a process that could take up to two months, the tuber may be repotted into a container that is 1 inch larger in diameter than the old pot. This is usually necessary only every 2 years."

Lucky you to have some little seedling left though.

Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: Getting the Most Out of Your Blooming Plant


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RE: Cyclamen bulb's decline--suggestions?

I've heard of cyclamen that are 40-50 years old and going strong. Dividing the corm probably would not have helped and I think it's kind of a risky move with healthy cyclamen.


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RE: Cyclamen bulb's decline--suggestions?

I've heard of cyclamen that are 40-50 years old and going strong.
Kato, are you talking about cyclamen as house plants, or about hardy cyclamen planted in the ground?

Sue...off to plant daffs....


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RE: Cyclamen bulb's decline--suggestions?

I am a bit puzzled. For me, C hederifolia is in active leaf over the winter and goes dormant over summer before ignoring drought and popping up in flower in later summer. It gets all the winter rain, and the rotting leaves under a plum tree. Impervious.

Sometimes the hybrids with the very decorative leaves simply collapse just as you've described. Doesn't matter whether you have given those wretched little tubers perfect drainage and gentle cossetting - they turn to inner mush. Meanwhile, others continue serenely toward a floriferous old age.

I think I'd leave C persicaria and offspring with their snoots above the ground. C hederifolia I'd snuggle up a bit more - and have excellent drainage.

Perhaps not the prolonged dry. Not in potting media - which might have introduced a pathogen as it dried/broke down over the winter. It can happen as you describe with begonia tubers as well. Could be a soil-borne fungus, though I've not been bothered enough by it to check.

Given that you've succeeded so well for so long it's unlikely to be something like excessive late watering or feeding.

Hope your two littlies do well for you.


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RE: Cyclamen bulb's decline--suggestions?

My rule of thumb for dormant bulbs, tubers, etc. is to start increasing water and light only when some new growth is seen. When they insist on going dormant, I let them, and with hippis, I sometimes have to force them into dormancy.

In the case of dahlias, I have had great success storing them deep in dry peat moss, and pouring about 1 cup of water over the peat moss in mid-winter. By April, the tubers are just about as fat as when they were stored.

Thanks,

--Rr


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RE: Cyclamen bulb's decline--suggestions?

I've heard of both hybrids and hardies that have led long lives. I guess they are by nature long lived, but newer types are probably more 'bloom themselves to death' kind of plants.

rredbeard- is it hederifolium you have or more of a florist cyclamen? Like vetivert mentioned, the florist types seem to enjoy just rotting out for spite. But either way I've always thought of cyclamen as cool weather loving plants....(not usually dormant in the winter).


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RE: Cyclamen bulb's decline--suggestions?

vetivert - I was wondering about the name 'ivy leaved cyclamen' too. If it is C hederifolium, then I agree it would be evergreen in the winter, as it is in my garden. But I was thrown by the dimensions. I took 6 - 7 ins to be the diameter of the corm in which case I doubted it was C hederifolium. Mine don't get that big. Is that the diameter of the foliage rather than the corm?


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RE: Cyclamen bulb's decline--suggestions?

I don't know the proper name for this cyclamen, but the leaves were very small, maybe 1" long, zonal with the 'spiked' ivy pattern, and the little pink flowers were about the same size on short stems, very charming. I kept it as a cool grower and was careful not to get water in the middle of the corm. I'll see how the seedlings do.

Thanks,

--Rick


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RE: Cyclamen bulb's decline--suggestions?

Rick, I have the feeling you are done with this post and we are kinda beating it to death LOL but one last thing.... do the blooms come before the leaves show or are the leaves already out when the flowers start coming? Hederifolium would likely bloom before the leaves are out.

Anyway the fact that you've kept it growing a couple seasons and even got some seedlings coming along makes me think you're having better success than I ever do!

You should try a couple of the hardy cyclamen outside, they should do well for you and are as easy as hostas... almost :)


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RE: Cyclamen bulb's decline--suggestions?

Flora--in answer to your question, the corm itself is/was 6-7" wide and would be completely leafless in dormancy. Flowers would often appear before leaves. I suspect that a fungus may have been to blame.

I always like to hear what people have to say on these forums...

Thanks!

--Rick


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RE: Cyclamen bulb's decline--suggestions?

Wow - that is a monster. From your description it does sound like C hederifolium which is hardy, at least in my climate. They have finished blooming for me for this year and are now showing the attractive foliage which will last all winter. Here are some white ones blooming outdoors in September. Notice that there is no foliage yet.

Photobucket

Rick, I am wondering whether the fact that you had yours indoors and were keeping them dormant in the winter might have something to do with the problem. They naturally bloom in late summer, leaf out in the winter and go dormant to avoid the summer heat.

kato_b - for me these are far easier than hostas. The snails don't eat them!


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