Plant Feature

Plant Feature

Plant Feature

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THE CYCLAMEN

 

The Cyclamen is probably my favorite flowering house plant. In the old days  it required a very cool environment but the new  hybrids are very adaptable to ordinary room temperatures.  Cyclamen need a sunny location and should be cleaned once a week removing any spent flowers or yellow leaves. Feed them with Daniels, an amazing organic  fertilizer, on a weekly basis. The results are incredible.  New flower buds are initiated in the crown of the plant. These buds keep the plant blooming all winter and in many cases throughout the spring and into the summer. The trick is to keep the crown clean of any dead material which may cause rot and lead to Botrytis. When removing spent flower buds or leaves, pull to the right or left not straight up and make sure the full petiole is removed completely from the crown.  Watering is one of the most critical requirements in growing a good Cyclamen. They need a lot of oxygen in the soil and  should not be waterlogged. Clay pots are preferable to plastic  because they allow an exchange of oxygen into the soil.  The best method for watering a Cyclamen is to give it a good drink, filling the pot up to the rim with water then allowing it to dry out before watering again.  A customer told me that after all these years he finally learned the secret to watering a Cyclamen.  He waits until the plant starts to wilt and tells him “I need a drink.”  He then waters it thoroughly and by the next morning it is perky and rigid.   He has them in flower until the heat of summer.  Miniature Cyclamen are f-1 hybrids and are gaining in popularity adding another dimension to the Cyclamen world. They are grown in 4 inch pots, have a smaller flower, are more prolific and often can bloom throughout the year.  They lend themselves to planting in window boxes at the same time as pansies. They withstand some cool temperatures  and give a dramatic display of color.  They are a great windowsill plant and add a lot of color to any home.

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