Cyclamen are gorgeous, delicate plants. They bloom in winter when little else does. And bittster tells me it isn’t hard to grow them from seed. So he and I went in together on a seed order from Green Ice Nursery, and the seeds arrived not long ago (along with a little gift).
The live plants are tucked into their spaces in the garden, and now it’s time to sow some seed.
Instructions for multiple methods to start cyclamen from seed may be found on the Internet. I’m going to try them all (though not in a terribly scientific way).
The first and easiest method is simple winter sowing, or Letting Mother Nature Take Her Course.
Cyclamen need dark to germinate. I am beginning with dark plastic pots, filled with coir. I water the coir and pack it into the pot, using another clean pot to tamp it down:
The seeds are quite small. These are of Cyclamen hederifolium. I don’t know if there is a variety or cultivar name, but the nursery describes them as “extreme dark purple flowers.”
The packet came with 10 seeds, so I’m trying this method on five.
I potted the seeds, covered them with a thin layer of coir, and watered them in, passing them back and forth a few times under the fine spray from my kitchen faucet.
Finally, I labeled the pot and covered it with a thin layer of chicken grit to reduce light and to reduce the risk of damping off. My chicken grit is crushed granite, available at farm-supply stores.
Then the pot goes outside on my deck, to suffer the elements and wait until spring.
Today we’re expecting to see the edge of a winter storm, with cold rain definite and freezing rain possible. That should get them off to a good start. We’ll check back in three to six months, which is how long it may take them to germinate.