Although seen by many as indoor plants with wonderful flowers that can be a little difficult to grow, this is far from the truth for the ‘Real Cyclamen’.
If we were giving a brief description, we would actually call Cyclamen ‘A hardy outdoor plant’. However this does depend on your climate zone.
Cyclamen have a bit of an image problem, and this is because of the ‘Florists Cyclamen’. Grown in very controlled conditions and sold in full flower, they can suffer indoors. However in reality they are some of the easiest and most forgiving plants of all.
You can even grow them in between rocks in the garden. So forget the bad rap, and buy some Cyclamen for the garden.
Cyclamen are originally from the Mediterranean and although they include many varieties that can be classified as ‘shade lovers’, some varieties thrive in full sun.
And what about those florist varieties, well after they have started to fade, you have a couple of alternatives. Throw them away, or plant them in a well drained soil in the garden in part shade, usually they will thrive.
Cyclamen prefer a well drained position in dappled shade, plant tubers near or on the surface.
For growing outdoors they are hardy from USDA Zones 5a or 6a to 9. The main requirement is to avoid hard freezes and provide good drainage.
They can survive a covering of snow, and even a frost or two, freezing ground will be the end of them.
C. hederfolium and C.Coum are the best two species for colder climates.
However even in cold climates, grow them in containers and over winter them, cyclamen look great in containers.
Cyclamen species number about 20 and they do vary in foliage, flowering time and cultural requirements. Cyclamen hederifolium is perhaps the easiest to grow, while Cyclamen purpurascens is the most highly perfumed of the cyclamen. Cyclamen coum flowers during winter.
- Cyclamen hederfolium flowers earlier than cyclamen coum and has nice marbled foliage.
- C. hederfolium album is the white flowering version.
- Cyclamen graceum is a bit of an oddity, preferring a hot dry position, worth a try for the beauty of its leaf markings.
- Cyclamen coum is a hardy winter flowering cyclamen.
- Cyclamen purpurascens although not the most spectacular, is one of the most highly perfumed of the cyclamen.
Cyclamen For Shade
Cyclamen hederifolium, Cyclamen coum and Cyclamen repandum are regarded as the best varieties for shade.
Cyclamen for Semi Shade
Cyclamen purpurascens, Cyclamen cilicium and Cyclamen intaminatum are better suited for semi shade.
Cyclamen for Sun
Cyclamen graceum is the best for sun.
Where to buy
Cyclamen are available for sale from the following nurseries
SEQUIM RARE PLANTS
500 N. Sequim Ave. Sequim, WA 98382
Includes: Cyclamen hederifolium and Cyclamen coum