Cy­cla­men TIPS

Go Gardening - - Winter Colour -

Favourite in­door plants for win­ter, del­i­cate look­ing cy­cla­men are ac­tu­ally very tough. They orig­i­nate from Mediter­ranean cli­mates where win­ters are cold and sum­mers are dry.

Well lit

Place in bright in­di­rect light, away from di­rect sun. An un­heated room is ideal, as cool tem­per­a­tures pro­long flow­er­ing.

On the dry side

Keep the pot­ting mix moist but not wet. Wa­ter­ing from the base of the plant, via the saucer, avoids wet­ting the corm, which is sus­cep­ti­ble to dis­ease.

Signs of stress

A yel­low leaf is the first sign of too much wa­ter. If this hap­pens, let the pot­ting mix dry out for a cou­ple of weeks (not to wilt­ing stage), then re­sume cau­tious wa­ter­ing. A thirsty cy­cla­men plant will shed its lower leaves and flow­ers, but re­tains its new­est leaves most vi­tal to sur­vival.

Groom­ing

Re­move spent blooms by hold­ing the stem close to its base and giv­ing a sharp pull to break it cleanly from the corm. De­cay­ing left over stems in­vite dis­ease.

Af­ter flow­er­ing

At the end of win­ter the flow­ers and leaves die down, you can keep your cy­cla­men plant go­ing if the corm is kept dry. Put the pot out­doors for sum­mer, turned on its side. In au­tumn repot into fresh pot­ting mix and re­sume wa­ter­ing. Once the leaves ap­pear, feed fort­nightly with di­luted liq­uid fer­tiliser un­til the flower buds begin to form.

Mini cy­cla­men are great in pots, in­doors or out.

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