Last year, I planted cyclamen seeds. Last month, I saw their first stirrings to life.
This month, they’re going nuts. Every time I pass by the pots, I find more leaves pushing up from the gravel.
Two species are doing very well: Cyclamen coum album, and Cyclamen graecum ssp. anatolicum. I’m surprised that Cyclamen hederifolium isn’t doing as well, as that’s supposed to be the easiest to grow. I have heard that C. graecum is supposed to be quite finicky, although plants from Greece and Turkey tend to perform well here as long as the drainage is good. I can’t wait to see their foliage take on its pattern. Here are two images from John Lonsdale of the Pacific Bulb Society:
I can transplant them after they have 3-4 sets of true leaves–no idea how long that will take. The Pacific Bulb Society indicates fertilization with an 18-8-18 formula, alternating with a fertilizer based on calcium nitrate. I’ll show in a future post how to mix your own fertilizer blends.
For now, I must sow the rest of the seeds and see if I can get another batch going. The prospect of having such wonderful foliage to get me through a grim winter cheers me up immensely.
What are your favorite winter plants?
How exciting. Cyclamen graecum is gorgeous but it is not hardy here, but I am very pleased with some silver leaved Cyclamen hederifolium which I have grown from seed. This is their second year and they are nice little plants now.
Do you fertilize them at all?
Not so far. They are still in pots. The ones in the garden get a top dressing of peat and a little bone meal along with a good soaking in August.
I’m feeling a bit intimidated by my modest success. I don’t want to kill the seedlings by being either over-kind or neglectful. Are you on alkaline soil?
Not particularly, I haven’ t tested my soil but I think it is neutral. I was told by a local nursery man that this is how he treats his Cyclamen and he always has a great display. I don’ t think you need to worry about feeding your Cyclamen babies until you plant them out.
Very impressive! Beautiful leaves, and now you can look forward with confidence to the wonderful flowers.
Thanks! I can’t wait to see them mature.