Cyclamen persicum ‘Giant Flowered Mix’ is a cultivated variety with large, sweet scented flowers that are produced on long stems. The blooms are held upright above the foliage and appear in a wide range of colours including light pink, deep pink, white and red. Light pink often has the outer edges and bottom of the petals that are dark pink in colour.
Cultivars of Cyclamen persicum are often referred to as the Florist's Cyclamen. They are widely available at florists for sale throughout autumn and winter months. The heart shaped, deep green leaves have interesting marbled foliage and no two plants have the same patterns.
Unlike other plants that grow at their best from spring to autumn, the cyclamen does the opposite and grows from the end of autumn to spring. The flower last for a few months they are usually used through the winter months as a decorative house plant.
In its natural habitat Cyclamen persicum grows in rocky areas, among shrub vegetation. It was first introduced in France in the late 16th century. In the 19th century the first hybrids appeared, with many more shades and bigger flowers. It is a tender plant will survive only the lightest frosts, to minus 3 or 4°C (24 to 26°F). These plants benefit from being brought indoors and appreciate a bright, cool window with a northern exposure, and cooler night temperatures if you can provide it, where they will flower for three to four months.
Sowing: Sow as soon as possible at cool temperatures.
Growing from seed is quite straightforward and seeds of Cyclamen persicum can produce blooming tubers in 18 months which is half the time needed by other species
Cyclamen have been found to germinate best in total darkness at around 13 to 16°C (55 to 60°F). Stored seed can be sown from late winter to mid-spring to flower in autumn of the same year. The seed must be soaked in water for 10 hours or more and then rinsed thoroughly before sowing.
Sow the seed into small pots containing a fairly light, gritty soil and lightly cover with soil. Most of the seed should germinate in 28 to 42 days but some may be considerably longer. Do not throw away the pots for at least one year.
The seedlings may be pricked out into individual 7.5cm (3in) pots as soon as they are large enough to easily handle without damaging their fleshy stems. Pot on year-old seedlings and grow for another year before planting outside permanently. Try to site the tubers where excess moisture can drain away. The tops of the corms should be level with the surrounding earth or just submerged.
Although the Cyclamen is a tender plant, it does not need a strong heat, and will not endure temperature extremes of any kind. Sudden changes are always fatal to its growth. The optimal temperature range should not be allowed to fall below 50°F or to rise above 70°F at any time. For indoor growing, place the pot on pebbles that are in a tray and are in water. The Cyclamen can absorb the water from its roots. Never pour the water directly over the crown of the plant, as that will lead to rot. For pot grown plants fertilise with a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly, diluted to half strength.
In pots, the tubers will grow in size quickly and it is common for them to reach a diameter of over 15cm (6in). They appreciate some pine needle litter incorporated in the compost and respond positively. However, C. persicum must not be grown in too rich a compost otherwise it will produce a large quantity of foliage and will look 'cabbagy'. This lush growth is also very susceptible to botrytis and other rots and moulds and it is essential that there is adequate ventilation so as to maintain a good flow of air around the plants.
When the foliage begins to turn yellow in late winter, allow the plants to dry out. A summer rest is required, with only a tiny drop or two of water necessary. Plants should start growing in late summer once the night time temperatures begin to drop, so plant should be brought outdoors, and kept dryish through the summer (under an eave of a house in the shade). They require autumn rains to begin growing again, so take care to relocate them near the end of august.
Blooms can last a long time. It is possible to get some seed development by placing the blooming plant outside when temperatures allow so insects can access the pollen. When pollinated the petals will fall and a seed pod will develop. Unlike the coiling stems of all other cyclamen species the stems with seed pods bend down to the ground. Leave these stems so that the seeds will mature. Seeds can be planted and grown the same as any cyclamen seed.
Winter Flowering, Indoor or Greenhouse Plants, Container planting.
Cyclamen persicum grows wild in south western Turkey, The Hatay and Adana Provinces of southern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, the Greek islands of Rhodes, Karpathos and Crete, Algeria and Tunisia. There is no doubt that the populations through the Hatay, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel are natural, but there are theories that those in the various islands and North Africa may be plants which were introduced by monks or other religious orders as there appears to be a relationship between these populations and monasteries.
It grows in a variety of habitats: maquis, garigue, open scrub, rocky hillsides, abandoned olive groves, or in woodland. It grows from Sea Level to 1200m (3,940 ft). It is found growing on graves in the old Turkish Cemetery in Rhodes Town, and in snow on the top of the Golan Heights in Israel.
Cyclamen persicum was first introduced in France in the late 16th century. In the 19th century the first hybrids appeared, with many more shades and bigger flowers. It is classified in the family Primulaceae.
The name Cyclamen comes from the Greek word kyklos meaning 'ring' or 'circle', and amen (from the Hebrew) meaning ‘truly’ in reference to the coiled fruiting stalk or the rounded tubers.
The species name persicum means from Persia, referring to its native habitat.
Cyclamen persicum cultivars are commonly called Florist's Cyclamen, sold in florists shops they are used as a decorative winter house plant. The cultivars we see today are the result of well over a century of hybridisation of wild persicum. In Europe growing and developing these hybrids has become an important commercial industry producing varieties for greenhouse growers in Europe and North America. There are named cultivars of other Cyclamen species but not produced on a large commercial scale in the numbers that C. persicum cultivars are. These cultivars are bred for flower size, colour, and short development time. Seeds can produce blooming tubers in 18 months which is half the time needed by other species.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 20 Seeds Family Primulaceae Genus Cyclamen Species persicum Cultivar Giant Flowered Common Name The Florists Cyclamen Hardiness Tender Perennial Flowers Light pink, deep pink, white and red. Natural Flower Time Autumn to Winter Foliage Mottled silver grey. Smooth textured Height 10 to 15cm (4 to 6in) Spread 22 to 30cm (9 to 12in) Position Light Shade