Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Cyclamen

This pretty flower is too little known. It is a native of Europe and Asia, some varieties being very abundant in Switzerland and Italy, and is to be found in almost every greenhouse. It is not uncommon upon European travels to notice these flowers overflowing out of flower pots on window garden after window garden.

It is of the easiest culture. Pot about the latter part of November, in a rich loam, with a dash of silver sand; an addition of about a spoonful of the old soot from a flue will increase the size and brilliancy of the flowers.

It must be well incorporated with the soil. Bits of charcoal, broken fine, serve the same purpose. Place the crown of the bulb just above the surface of the soil. The size of the pot must be determined by the size of the bulb; as a general rule, cyclamen do not require large pots.

Good drainage is indispensable, so make sure any garden water features (http://www.garden fountains.com/Detail.bok?no=3206) are carefully controlled. Keep the plants cool until the leaves are well grown, always keeping them near the glass. When the flower buds begin to rise on the foot stalks, remove to a sunny shelf, where they will soon show bloom. By shading, the duration of the flowers is prolonged.

When the bloom is past, gradually withhold water; the leaves will turn yellow, and the plants should be kept dry, in a state of rest, all summer. Do not allow the plants to ripen seed (which they do freely) unless you desire seedlings, to increase your stock. The seed germinates easily, sown in rich loam, and seedlings bloom the third year.

Some find difficulty in preventing the shriveling of the bulbs during the summer. Our best cultivators, to prevent this, bury the bulbs during the summer in the open border; take them up about the middle of September, when they are found fresh, plump, and in good condition for a start.

There is one risk, however, in this method: mice are very fond of the bulbs, and sometimes commit great havoc. There is shown in this plant a curious provision of Nature: no sooner has the flower faded, than the stem begins to curl up, and buries the seed capsule in the ground, at the root of the plant; this is designed to protect the seed from birds, outdoor waterfalls (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5vL8_HqhRo), and to sow it in a congenial soil.

Good sized, blooming bulbs may be obtained at any greenhouse and are not too expensive for more common varieties. This bulb is particularly adapted for window culture, and will give more flowers, with less trouble, and occupying less space, than any flower we are acquainted with.

The more common varieties are G. Persicum, white, tipped with rich, rosy purple; C. Persicum album, pure white ; C. punctatum, resembling Persicum. All these flower from January to March. C. Europoeum, pinkish purple; C. Europoeum album, pure white; C. hederafolium, very large, rosy purple, a splendid variety. All these bloom from October to January.

Author Resource: Sarah Martin is a freelance marketing writer based out of San Diego, CA. She specializes in landscaping, gardening, and home improvement. For an amazing selection of garden water features or outdoor waterfalls, please visit http://www.garden-fountains.com/.

Article From: Article Asylum

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