Cyclamen Hederifolium

Tips on Growing Cyclamen Hederifolium  

One of the tricks for planning a successful perennial landscape is to choose the proper plants for the season and for the autumn season cyclamen hederifolium is the perfect plant.  Although many people consider it to be strictly a container specimen, they will be pleasantly surprised to find that this cyclamen is actually an exceptional plant when grown outdoors as well.


Characteristics


While there are at least 20 different varieties of cyclamen, it is the hardy cyclamen that will excel in the outdoor garden or container.  The hardy plant possesses roundish to oval shaped leaves that are medium dark green; often flecked with lovely silver lines.  This attractive foliage brings plenty of interest to the garden on its own, but it is when blooming begins in September that the hederifolium truly begins to shine.  Rather like the appearance of a colony of meerkats standing at attention, the tall stalks with nodding buds at the tip offer a unique visual in the garden.  Before long, each of the blooms open to display a pretty pink flower with five swept back petals.  Blooming can continue for up to two months when plants are well maintained.


Cultivation


Cyclamen hederifolium is a very easy plant to grow, both in outdoor gardens and as container plants.  Although the plant excels in full sun conditions, one of the favorite places for many gardeners to plant the cyclamen is beneath shade trees.  Dry and cool locations that are well mulched with leaf litter or humus provide the ideal growing conditions for this bright bloomer.  Since the flower stems only reach heights of approximately 6 to 8 inches, they should be planted in highly visible areas so they can be enjoyed to the fullest.


Planting this hardy specimen is normally done with tubers.  The best option is to use fresh, healthy tubers that can be planted in the spring season.  They should be placed just under the soil’s surface so that they can be adequately covered.  Mulch with composted leaf material and provide protection from uprooting by animals.  Patience is the next step; it may be several months before any activity is seen.  Just as other summer season plantings begin to die off in the cool fall weather, surprising stems bearing the bean shaped buds appear and soon become colorful flowers.  Shortly thereafter, the attractive, eye catching foliage will begin to unfurl.


Areas that have mild winters will keep the attractive foliage throughout the season, while those that have heavy snowfall may lose the greenery.  Once the warm sun of springtime arrives, cyclamen plants die back to make way for the traditional temperate weather plants.


Propagation


When the ideal growing conditions are provided for cyclamen hederifolium, it will become a profuse self seeder.  Soil with good drainage, some shade, only adequate summer watering and a balanced lime environment are the ingredients needed for coiled seed heads to form.  The stalks will curl downwards as these seed heads mature and then drop them to the ground.  Nature takes its course as various insects carry the seeds off to different locations, eventually feeding off the seed coating and leaving the seed to grow in its new spot.  In addition, the tubers can grow over a period of time to about 12” in diameter or more; from which numerous flowering stems will arise.


One of the most popular container plants for homes and offices is the cyclamen hederifolium, but many people don’t realize it can be just as successful and beautiful as a garden or landscape plant.  It is quite unique in that its season to shine is a time when the majority of other plants fade away; leaving the stage wide open for the lovely blooms to grace the outdoor landscape.