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A delightful tuberous perennial providing colour often when little else is flowering, particularly in late winter or early spring. Hardy cyclamen species and cultivars are ideal for naturalising under trees, on banks or in a shady border and planted in association with other early-flowering woodland plants such as snowdrops, winter aconites and primroses.
Cyclamen are not difficult to grow in the garden, provided the site is not overly dry or sunny.
Collect seed of most cyclamen species when the flower-stalk coils, drawing the seed capsule closer to the soil surface to release the ripe seed. Best sown fresh, seeds should be sown immediately after soaking overnight, in a mix of equal parts seed compost and sharp grit. Cover seeds carefully with a thin layer of seived compost as light can inhibit germination.
Cover the container in a clear plastic bag and keep at a minimum temperature of 16°C (60°F) in light shade until large enough to transplant.
Cyclamen coum AGM: This species and its many excellent cultivars have pink or magenta flowers during the depths of winter from January to March, surviving in the severest weather. Kidney-shaped, dark-green leaves that are often marked silver and white.
Cyclamen hederifolium AGM: This excellent garden plant will provide ground cover from winter to spring. Large flowers in shades of pink appear before the leaves in early autumn. Marbled foliage bears a resemblance to that of ivy. This species self-seeds freely.
Cyclamen purpurascens AGM: Very fragrant pink flowers borne with the heart-shaped, shiny, dark green and silvery mottled leaves, flowers from mid-late summer.
For other ideas on choosing hardy cyclamen, see RHS Find a Plant.
Hardy cyclamen may get a number of problems;
Plants for winter interest
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