My seed-grown cyclamen

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.

Cyclamen seedlings

Cyclamen seedlings

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:

Cyclamen graecum ssp. anatolicum foliage. Photo by John Lonsdale, via Pacific Bulb Society.

Cyclamen graecum ssp. anatolicum foliage. Photo by John Lonsdale, via Pacific Bulb Society.

Cyclamen graecum ssp. anatolicum leaves. Photo by John Lonsdale via Pacific Bulb Society.

Cyclamen graecum ssp. anatolicum leaves. Photo by John Lonsdale via 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?

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Growing cyclamen from seed: Cautiously optimistic

Last year, I tried growing cyclamen from seed.

Spring came and went and I saw no evidence of success; only empty pots topped with chicken grit. I set them on my potting table outside and left them to do what they would. Deep down, I believed I was merely procrastinating at composting their remains and sanitizing the pots for something else.

Last week, I happened to glance down at the table as I passed by.

cyclamen coum seedling sept 2014 2

A single leaf of Cyclamen coum emerging from beneath the gravel

A seedling of Cyclamen coum emerging! I studied it for perhaps five minutes before I convinced myself it wasn’t a weed. And then I noticed something else: I seem to have two (count ’em!) seedlings of Cyclamen rohlfsianum coming up.

Two seedlings (the one on the right is really tiny) of Cyclamen rohlfsianum.

Two seedlings (the one on the right is really tiny) of Cyclamen rohlfsianum.

I’m delirious with excitement. I intend to keep my hands well off them for some time until they appear resilient enough to cope with me. I will also leave the other pots to see if they’re thinking similarly…Bittster, how long should I give them?