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October 21, 2011

Dainty and Fragrant Cyclamen

- Debra Anchors

Cyclamen Garden
Mornings are getting darker, days are growing shorter and soon our gardens will be asleep for the winter, resting as they store energy for use in the spring. How will you warm your home with color this winter?  For me, I think the cinnamon-like scent of cyclamen will fit right into our indoor space this time of year.

When it comes to color intensity and duration of bloom, few houseplants can match cyclamen. Blossoms rest like butterflies atop silvery heart-shaped foliage - their lovely pinks and salmons wake up a room when massed on tables or stairs.

Hardy only to Zone 8, cyclamen can be seen in outdoor gardens in places with temperate climates such as San Francisco. Gardeners in colder regions can enjoy these graceful plants indoors where, given the right treatment, flowering can last as long as two months.

Exposure: Choose an east or west-facing window; direct light will cause leaves to wilt and turn brown.

Temperature: Cyclamen prefer temperatures on the cool side. A nighttime range of 50° to 60° F will suit the plants well.

Water: Plants should neither be too dry (neglected plants perish quickly) nor too moist (the tubers will rot). The best method is to place pots in shallow, water-filled trays and allow plants to drink from the bottom up for no longer than 10 minutes.

Food & Care: Feed with a balanced liquid fertilizer every week or so during the bloom period. To prevent seed from setting, remove spent blossoms with a sharp tug on the stem. Don’t just cut off the spent flower or the stem will rot.

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Leave a legacy, but garden like you’ll live forever!
-Debra

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1 comment:

  1. Earlier this month, I did see cyclamen in the gardens in SF!!...along with blooming bleeding hearts! So lovely!

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