Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Good gardening friend Paul Parent of the Paul Parent Garden Club sends out a great newsletter every week with pertinent gardening topics. I encourage you to go to his website to sign up for his newsletter. Paul can also be heard every Sunday morning from 6 AM to 10 AM at his website or at WBACH (104.7 FM) every Sunday morning from 6 AM to 9 AM.

Paul recently sent out a great post titled "Cyclamen". The post is following this paragraph. We grow our own cyclamen here at Skillin's--you cannot buy a more local product than our cyclamen plants. The plants are terrific--they flower for a long time in our homes and the colors are gorgeous!

One Lovely Color for Cyclamen--We Have Other Great Colors Too!
"Nothing is more beautiful in the garden than a large display of cyclamen. They are among the best fall-blooming plants. You can use them in pots on tables, by the front door, or planted in a nice shady spot outdoors before the frost arrives. They are great for atriums.

The flowers resemble a butterfly fluttering above the plant. The foliage is in the shape of a heart and they grow in a mound over the pot. There are miniatures varieties for small spots and the common larger plants for the table or garden. The foliage color can be green to silver and every combination in-between. The flower color ranges from white to pink, red, lavender and some multi-colored. Some varieties can also have frilly flowers or smooth edges. Hint: a great gift plant for someone with a cool home during the winter.

A few notes on growing cyclamen:


Try to keep water away from the crown area (they can get crown rot).

• Do not bury them too deep; keep the top of the tuber just slightly above the soil line.

• Keep your plants well fed; feed every couple of weeks while they are in full leaf.

• Pull out the stems that have gone by. Hint! Bend the stem down towards the foliage and quickly pull the stem out. It will snap free from the plant. Never leave old flower stems on the plant as they will rot and kill some of the leaves next to them.

• Pick a few flowers to go into a bud vase. They are lovely and last quite well.

• As the flowers begin to fade, gradually allow the plant to dry out for 2-3 months; do not feed during this time.

• Resume feeding when new growth appears. Repot at this time in a container 2 inches larger.


• Cyclamen like cool weather (that's why they make great winter-bloomers). That means outdoors in a shady to semi-shady spot. If you have a spot that is full shade in summer and gets more light in cooler weather, that is ideal.

• Make sure they are planted in a well-draining area.

• They like cool weather--but not severe cold. Some are hardier than others are, but all need some protection against cold. These plants are bulb-like and will not survive outdoors during the winter. They must be brought indoors for the winter and they will bloom most of the winter for you. Great in mixed containers for the front step also. Try planting with flowering kale and cabbage.


• Pick a cool spot. Make sure they have good air circulation, but keep out of cold drafts. Also heating vents where hot and dry air can dry plants quickly. Hot forced air will force the plant to send all flower buds into bloom all at once. Cool temperatures spread out the flowering time over many week indoors.

• High humidity, especially during winter, is very important. Try putting the cyclamen on a tray of water with a layer of pebbles to form a shelf for pot to sit on. Don't put the cyclamen itself in the water. You want humidity around the plant, not soggy soil.

• Let the cyclamen have plenty of light in winter; sunburn is rarely a problem. In summer keep it in indirect light.

• Repot when the tuber fills the existing pot; it's best to repot it while it's dormant. Use a pot just a little larger than the old pot.

Thanks to Paul Parent for this great post!

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
November 29, 2011

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