41224thumbCyclamen are everywhere! Some nurseries have more cyclamen than all other cool season annuals combined. Not all cyclamen are represented though. Almost all are white or simple red. Pink, salmon and other shades of red are noticeable scarce because they are not traditional colors of Christmas. The plants are mostly of impeccable quality, and outfitted with abundant flowers. While there is not much else blooming, the popularity of cyclamen is impossible to ignore.

The problem with cyclamen is the expense. Relative to other cool season annuals, they are large plants that are only available in four inch and larger pots, so naturally cost more. They can not be purchased in less expensive cell packs. Even though they are perennials that can last for many years, they are almost always used as disposable cool season annuals that get replaced when warm season annuals come into season. It can be difficult to justify such an expense for something that lasts only a few months.

The advantage to cyclamen is that they look good instantly, even if they do not perform as reliably during the next few months. This is something that the other cool season annuals have difficulty with. Only larger and more expensive annuals in four inch pots are so immediately colorful, and even they need some time to fluff out and get established in the garden. They just do not grow as fast now as they did earlier in autumn. The weather is now cooler. The days are now shorter.

This is why it was important to replace warm season annuals with cool season annuals earlier instead of later, even if some of the warm season annuals had still been blooming somewhat well. It gave the cool season annuals some time to mature before winter really slowed everything down. Even though they do not grow as actively now, they are already big enough to bloom impressively.

Pansy, viola, stock, Iceland poppy, nemesia, various primroses and ornamental cabbage and kale can certainly get planted now, but will grow a bit slower than they would have if they had been planted earlier in autumn. If necessary, it might be worth planting them a bit more densely than typical, or planting larger plants from four inch pots.

7 thoughts on “Why Cyclamen Are So Popular

  1. When I was new in the Pacific NW, I was so excited to learn that Cyclamen were hardy here. I went straight to a garden center and bought a pretty red one, which promptly died as soon as I planted it out in the cold. This was before I figured out that the large, showy ones are not the same as the far smaller and tougher C. coum or hederifolium. Haven’t stopped learning yet… which is one of the many things I love about gardening. It’s NEVER, EVER boring!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are the two that I want to put in (confined) drifts below redwoods. I want to see how they naturalize. I suspect that I will need to relocate them to where there is less debris from above. Not much wants to be under a redwood. I have never worked with those two species of cyclamen before. The common florists’ cyclamen does well as a perennial here, but surviving the transition from flashy florists’ plant to the garden is not easy. About half do not survive, which is fine when there are so many to dispose of. I will not do it this year, but may eventually designate a spot in the garden as a home for cyclamen that get removed from the landscapes. If half do not survive, half should. I don’t normally like mixed colors, but would make and exception for them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A friend says our native Sword ferns are about the only thing that survives under his big Western Cedars, up here. I imagine the same might be true for the redwoods, but hey – it’s worth a try – especially if you have a lot of it. It would be a shame if those pretty leaves would be covered under so much falling debris, though. Let me know how it works out!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The overwhelming volume of the debris is not the only problem. The debris has a herbicidal effect, comparable to that of the Western cedars, cypress pine and so many others. I can rake the debris, but I can not change the chemistry.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s