Willows Nursery Walgrave Northampton  NN6  9QA 01536 791371

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Cultural Advice

Ideally, when planting out, choose a location sheltered by trees and shrubs.  Most species of Cyclamen need shelter from the wind and driving rain and also shade in varying degrees - although Cyclamen Hederifolium is more forgiving in this respect than the other varieties, however, well-drained soil is essential ! 

If, like us, you have heavy soil, then ‘open up’ the soil structure by adding small gravel (up to 6 mm) and sharp sand, which will also serve to raise the soil level which will be beneficial for drainage - the most important thing to remember when siting and planting Cyclamen is the plants will most definitely not thrive in waterlogged conditions. A small amount of peat or leaf-mould may also be beneficial .

Plant Hederifolium so that the top of the corms are approximately " inch below the surface, covering all growth loosely except open leaves, open flowers and seed pods (which look like coiled springs and ripen and burst during the summer). 

During late spring/early summer most varieties are in dormancy and may not show any ‘top’ growth.  Care needs to be taken with Hederifolium at this stage due to the unusual pattern of root growth -  plant with smooth side DOWN and with the roots laid horizontally.

The Hederifolium corm on the left is upside down  -  showing the smooth rootless underside which should be planted downwards.

The Hederifolium corm on the
right is the right way up.

In nature the entire genus originates from a large area centred on the Mediterranean. Although some may be found at sea level, most grow in mountainous regions, and can be treated as alpines.  Due to their places of origin, cyclamen actually thrive under shrubs and trees where little else will grow because of the shady, dry summer conditions, which makes them a valuable addition for any garden with such ‘problem spots’.

When happily established, Hederifolium will slowly spread by self-sowing. However, individual plants can live for more than 100 years, the corms becoming very large - you can expect ‘happy’ corms to reach ‘dinner plate’ size in about 10 years.

Seed pods :
These are formed after flowering, the stems looking like coiled springs, and the pods will ripen in the following summer (July/August) These can be gathered when the pods go soft, and sown to produce  flowering corms in about 3 years. They germinate readily a few months after sowing - given the right conditions. Conditions must be right though, or you will get nothing, so perhaps a better way is to let them self-sow and transplant as necessary.

 

This Hederifolium corm is about 10 years old.

The photograph was taken in June when the leaves had all died back, and the corm was dormant with the seed pods due to ripen in July/August.

Each seed pod represents a flower from the previous autumn that set seed, and each pod will contain at least 30 seeds !

Please note : If you are unable to plant outside immediately upon receipt, please store temporarily in a tray of soil or compost, covering the the top of the corms and  all growth loosely - except open leaves, open flowers and seed pods - and keep damp

 

   Finally  -  Our cyclamen are not grown quickly
and may be smaller than others you have seen.
Ours are hard and tough, (feel them!), and are best
prepared to survive the move.

 

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