Is it true that
there are kinds of cyclamen that will grow outdoors in our climate?
I love the ones grown as houseplants and would enjoy having them as
garden plants, too.
A. There are two species of
Cyclamen that overwinter in protected locations in western
Pennsylvania that I have grown successfully, Cyclamen coum
and C. hederifolium. The main secret to growing these gems is
very sharp drainage, especially when they are dormant. All grow from
small tubers that easily succumb to rot when the surrounding soil
remains too moist for too long. Both species are hardy in USDA zones
coum, or hardy cyclamen, is native to Asia Minor and
southeastern Europe where it is found in shady areas, often mingled
with tree roots and rocks. The glossy, dark green, heart-shaped
leaves appear in fall, often highlighted by silvery markings.
Flowers bloom late winter to early spring in colors ranging from
white to rosy-pink with the strongly reflexed petals reminiscent of
the familiar florist’s cyclamen, but far more delicate. Both flowers
and foliage are dormant through the summer.
hederifolium, also known as hardy cyclamen, is native from
Southern Europe to Turkey, growing in woodlands as well as on rocky
cliffs. It blooms in fall with pink or pink-tinged-white flowers
that have a deep magenta eye and strongly reflexed petals. The
handsome foliage begins to grow as the blooms fade, with ivy-shaped,
often silver-and-white mottled leaves that persist through winter.
Both flowers and foliage are dormant through the summer.
cyclamens can make very attractive ground covers in woodland gardens
or under trees as an alternative to pachysandra and periwinkle.
Hardy cyclamen are at their best in part shade and humusy, evenly
moist, yet well-drained soil. However, they grow well in average
garden soil as long as it drains well. They are well adapted to dry
shade situations, such as the north side of a building or under
established trees. These delicate, but tough beauties grow four to
six inches tall, each tuber producing a clump that can spread 12-18
inches in diameter.
Grown from a
species grow from a round tuber that grows in diameter over time,
but does not produce offsets. Old tubers of certain species can grow
to a foot or more in diameter. Fibrous roots may arise from the top,
sides or bottom of the tuber, depending on the species. Tubers
should be planted just below the soil surface.
origin is 'kyklos'
“cyclamen” comes from the Greek kyklos, meaning circular, because of
the way the seed stalk twists as the seed ripens. The twisting
action pulls the seed closer to contact with the soil, where it has
the best chance of growing. Hardy cyclamen often self-seed in the
garden, especially where conditions suit them, but are never
Cyclamen adorn this round brick planter
How to grow Cyclamen
gardens in partial shade