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Cyclamen

Cyclamen

– Popular houseplant

– Cyclamen Persicum most widely grown

– Known as Persian Cyclamen

– Related to primrose

 

DESCRIPTION:

One of Australia’s favourite houseplants, particularly in the cooler regions down south. These plants are usually sold in 5cm up to 20cm pots but you can buy now buy the minis in punnets of up to six plants from autumn to early spring.

Their unusual upside down petals and their vivid colours are highlights.

The bulb, or round tuber, is grown half in the ground and half out. Roots, stems and leaves grow directly from it.

HOW TO GROW:

When you buy a fully grown plant as a houseplant, put a saucer underneath or use a cover pot so as to catch excess water. Do not however let excess water sit, but remove so as not to be a diseased risk. Put finger in potting mix and water only if dry. Water base of plant and keep leaves and flowers dry. Remove spent, marked or damaged flowers by twisting flower stem and at the same time pulling. This will remove stem cleanly from the bulb at the base. Snip off any damaged leaves or if leaves become too many. Feed with a balanced liquid fertilser monthly. Put plant outside occasionally, as a heated house will cause plant to open p a little and flowers to spread. A couple of cool nights undercover will help freshen it up. Don’t expect plants to last forever. Many people treat them as an annual, but you may choose to grow them longer, and the challenge will be to get them through the warmer summer weather.

To grow outdoors, plant in pots or garden beds in a protected position. They would be perfect on an undercover balcony. Expect to have to remove spent flowers more often.

Seeds need to be covered and germinated in darkness at around 15 degrees. Seed sowing to young seedling stage takes up to 15 weeks and once potted can take another 20 weeks until ready for sale. Protect young seedlings from hot summer sun, but more light is better as you get into winter. Don’t plant the tubers too deep or they will rot. They need to be half out of the potting mix. Use a balanced fertiliser and water regularly to achieve strong and compact growth.

USES:

Perfect as a table plant and used regularly as table centres in functions. Also great on a coffee table or in a work environment as they are long lived and hardy.

Plant mini’s in mixed teracotta bowls or her pots. Could also work well under trees, adding colour in a dark spot and also being a little more protected.

FASCINATING FACTS:

In southern Australia, cyclamen are a favourite for Mother’s Day when thousands of them are sold in nurseries.

There are 23 species and most of them originate from Europe.

Most cyclamen you see today are hybrids that have been bred for their intense colours and pot performance.

 

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