Rather than do the right thing at the right time I like to test the limits of my plants, so if you’re looking for good advice you might want to move on to your next search result 😉 but if you’re like me and can barely get around to half the stuff you want to (even at the wrong times), well then I say “Tally Ho!”
Cyclamen should be transplanted when dormant if possible. It’s easier and probably less stressful for the plant. I’ve found they don’t really care all that much and do it whenever the mood strikes, so when the mood struck last week (about two months too late) my little guys got roomier quarters. Winter blooming cyclamen coum was my target and this replanting is to get them ready to come indoors and brighten up my winter garden.C. coum is perfectly hardy outdoors around here (zone 5/6ish) and I only keep them potted because they’re so easy to grow and bloom in the back corner of our semi-heated garage. They’ll bloom throughout the darkest days of winter, unless for some reason one decided to start now.
For repotting, a gritty good draining mix is perfect, but mine do well enough in a blend of 3 parts purchased potting soil mixed with about 2 parts sand robbed from the kid’s sandbox. Sometimes the kids complain, and the mix gets less sand. Replant the round bulbs with the top of the corm just at the soil surface and then cover it up with about an inch or so of gravel or grit. I prefer chicken grit since it’s easy to find around here and was the topping first recommended to me by Carol, my cyclamen mentor and enabler.
Finished product.A few of the plain green ‘Meadens Crimson’ went into garden beds since winter garden space is limited, but this was a good start, and not as many plants as I thought, so it inspired me to take a leftover c. coum pot and bring them in too.
How could I resist? I love the one with the ring of pewter patches, and the silver leaf with the small Christmas tree center….. also a favorite. It’s been a few days and the plants have settled in well outside. I feel like the cooler temps and good air circulation help avoid any rot or fungus, and I think the fact they are actively growing helps too, but untangling the leaf and bloom shoots is like separating Velcro.
They might be too close together. I think I’d prefer to be able to enjoy each different leaf pattern separately and some of the smaller plants don’t compete well with the bigger guys. I’ll just have to put that on the to-do list.
Also on the to-do list is finding homes for all the cyclamen hederifolium still in pots. Last year my brilliant idea was to pot them up individually so I could get the full effect of each separate plant and maybe take them all in under lights. Not enough room, so I tried to find a sheltered spot, dug in the pots and gave them a little winter cover and crossed my fingers. Most died either over the winter or during the summer, so I will not test that method again. These surviving treasures will either enjoy a winter garden spot or find a permanent planting bed. The plants near the center are from (like nearly all the other cyclamen) Green Ice seed, these were from the ‘fairy rings’ strain.
I do like my cyclamen…. addiction might be a word you could throw around here…. Just wait until the c. coum start to flower this winter, you’ll be avoiding this blog for sure as the entries fill with the same blooms over and over again. I will try to show a little bit of restraint, but I don’t think I’m the only cyclamen fan out there 😉
If you’re craving more examples of great foliage, check out the garden blogger’s foliage day (GBFD) hosted over at Christina’s Hesperidesgarden. It’s a great chance to check out each month’s best foliage plants from all over the world (and a great blog every other day of the month too!)