Monday, February 21st, 2011...12:00 am

Cyclamen

Cyclamen coum by Paul Gulliver

One of the first charming mid-winter or spring flowers that will be popping their heads up from under the snow as soon as it melts is a little hardy perennial Cyclamen.  See here. Lucky the people who have these planted in their yards to welcome spring. (There are other hardy cyclamen that bloom in the summer or in the fall.)

Most people know of the large indoor plant that one sees in florists. This is the cyclamen persicum which is not hardy in most areas that have snowy winters. But how many readers know that there is a hardy Cyclamen that will grow in the gardens from Hardiness Temp Zones 4-8 and perhaps even 9 and return year after year? When buying, be sure to check to see if the variety is for your temp zone.

The hardy cyclamen is dainty and small, an alpine flower, that brings joy not only with the pink or white flowers but with the pretty mottled leaves that will form a ground cover. It would look lovely planted under the rhododendrons.

Cyclamen enjoy cool weather and moisture but with loose soil that drains well.  Read this. Use humus or your compost mixed in with the soil. They like lots of light but prefer shade in the summer.

One of the hardiest of the cyclamen is Cyclamen coum. See here. These have magenta pink, pink or white flowers that grow on stems that are 2- 5 inches.  See here.

One can start your cyclamen as seeds,tubers or plants. See here.

Many of TheGardenLady’s favorite nurseries sell hardy cyclamen such as Carolyn’s Shade Garden or here or Plant Delights Nursery so that it should not be difficult to find this darling plant for your garden.

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