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Cyclamen

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CYCLAMEN Care 

The first requirement for growing cyclamen is to provide COOL temperatures. Cyclamen detest warmth! Grown from a tuber, cyclamen do best outdoors and are a "cool weather" plant, growing and blooming during the cool/cold months of the year. Like most tubers and bulb plants, they need a rest period (dormant time). Cyclamen lose their leaves and go dormant during the summer months.

 

LOCATION

Grown in pots, they make an excellent choice of flower color for fall, winter and early spring.

The best exposure is bright filtered light, or partial shade. Along the coast, cyclamen will take early morning sun and afternoon filtered light or shade.

 

PLANTING FROM A TUBER IN THE FALL

Select a firm tuber and plant it concave side up. Cyclamen DO NOT need to be planted deeply, but

quite the opposite - with the tuber half in and half out of the soil. Cyclamen will thrive in a rich, loose, fast draining soil but rot in a heavy clay soil. Use the following soil mixture: 1 part good Potting Soil 1 part Peat Moss.

 

WATERING

Cyclamen require regular moisture, but overly soggy soil will suffocate the roots and cause the leaves to yellow. The soil mixture must drain well, but hold enough moisture so that the plant will not dry out. A general rule is thoroughly saturate your potted cyclamen once a week.

 

If the plant is allowed to dry out, it will wilt quickly with leaves and flowers bending over the sides of the pot. If this happens DON'T despair! Try this remedy but don't wait too long or the plant will die back and be forced to grow new leaves, giving up flowering until the next cyclamen season.

 

REMEDY

Using newspaper, much in the same way the florist wraps a bouquet of flowers, surround the pot and carefully prop the stems into an upright position. Tape the newspaper to secure it in place. Put pot in a kitchen sink and allow a very slow stream of water to thoroughly saturate the entire plant. Before long, the stems will absorb enough water to hold themselves up, and the newspaper can be removed. 

 

FERTILIZING.

Feed a mature plant every two weeks with a good Flower Food at 1/2 strength. A newly planted tuber SHOULD NOT be fertilized until at least 3 to 4 inches of new growth appears. Then begin feeding every two weeks. 

 

GETTING YOUR TUBER TO BLOOM A SECOND YEAR

In late April or early May your cyclamen will show signs of being tired. On or before June 1 move your plant to a protected, full shade area in your garden and stop fertilizing. Water your plant just a little each week to give it some moisture --but keep the plant a bit on the dry side.

 

If your cyclamen is blooming up a storm by May and appears to have NO intention on taking its

summer nap, follow the above instructions anyway. The tuber must have a rest period in order to bloom.

 

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