Cyclamen in Italy
Generally in Italy the most common cyclamens are not those present also in the wild flora of our country, preferably they are cultivated instead hybrid species, generally derived from species of Middle Eastern or African origin, the cyclamens that we find in the nursery then fear frost and are grown as indoor plants.
In effect, however, they are not real apartment plants, as they are hybrids of winter flowering species, which, in the origin zones, might enjoy mild winters, with temperatures always over the 5-10°C, but always less than the 15-17°C; therefore, these plants, even if sold as apartment plants, should be, in reality, cultivated in a little heated room, in a stairwell, in short, in a zone of the house with a mild but cool climate.
The tubers of cyclamen most diffused in cultivation in apartment are of fairly big dimensions, flattened, and produce a thick tuft of fleshy leaves, with an almost succulent petiole; the leaves of cyclamen have a roundish or heart-shaped shape, and a dark green colour, striated of white or grey, with the lower page and the petioles often pink or reddish.
The cyclamen flowers are very particular, as the five petals forming the corolla are completely turned upwards, with the centre of the flower completely turned downwards. The colours range from white, to pink, to bright fuchsia, with many varieties with striated flower or with borders in contrasting colour, and also with frayed petals or with wavy margin.
These tuberous plants are very much appreciated as indoor plants, mainly because the blooming, as well as the development of the leaves, takes place in autumn and winter, when the garden is often grey and the indoor plants are almost all in a semi-plant rest.
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How to grow hybrid cyclamen
As we said these plants are grown in apartments, but trying to avoid the hottest areas of the house. Often in the autumn months, or when the winter tends to be not very cold, we place the cyclamen plants on the window, or on the terrace in a fairly bright position, characterized by a few hours of direct sunlight every day, as soon as the season becomes more rigid, or even just at night, the plants are moved to a sheltered area, or covered with agritourism.
Surely this method of cultivation is the one that allows a better development of the plant, even if it forces to continuous attentions: even just a couple of nights spent at temperatures below zero can irreparably ruin the plant, and often also the tuber.
Often we try to find a definitive position for our cyclamen, without having to move it every day, or within short periods of time; surely a very suitable place for these plants is the stairwell, provided it is poorly heated and very bright.
If we really have to cultivate our cyclamen inside the apartment, let’s try to place it in a not very hot area of the house, and absolutely far from direct heat sources, such as radiators, air conditioners, fireplaces, stoves, which dry the air too much and make it too hot.
Since it would be an outdoor plant, it is very important to ensure that our cyclamen enjoys the correct humidity environment, remember to vaporize the foliage often, but do not leave it soaked in water: usually a vaporization every 2-3 days is sufficient, especially if the plant is in an area of the house not very heated.
Watering is also important: in nature, cyclamen develop in damp and cool areas, such as undergrowth, so they need regular watering, but at the same time the tubers are very afraid of rottenness, which can quickly compromise them.
For this reason it is often advisable to water the cyclamen by immersion: instead of wetting the ground from above or leaving water in the saucer, the whole pot is immersed in water and the ground is left to wet to the surface, for capillarity. When we see the soil on a moist surface, we can remove the pot from the water; we will let it drain well for a few minutes, and then we will place it in its saucer.
It is not necessary to repeat this operation very often, just water when the soil is dry, if we forget to water our cyclamen we will notice immediately, because the leaves will sag: no fear, a single watering will return quickly turgid and beautiful.
In order to always have healthy and luxuriant plants, it is advisable to carry out some additional care to our cyclamen; first of all, we try to keep the leaves always clean, dusting them with the aid of a damp microfibre cloth.
Periodically remove all the damaged or dried leaves, cutting them at the base with a scissor that makes a clean cut, always well clean, in this way we will avoid that the tissues of the damaged leaves act as a gateway to harmful fungal diseases, which spread rapidly within the plant, and can quickly lead to death, in the same way we remove the wilted flowers.
After the flowering, the plants produce the fruits and, therefore, the seeds, if we want to try the sowing of the cyclamen, we leave only a couple of the pollinated flowers, we recognize them because, immediately after they are withered, the ovary of the flower tends to enlarge, constituting a sort of hard ball; the production of the seeds employs many of the nutritive substances of the plant, removing them from the tuber: If we allow a single plant to produce many seeds, it is likely that this plant will not flower abundantly the following year, so it is good to avoid leaving on the plant all the flowers withered to produce seeds.
Cyclamen – Cyclamen: How to make a cyclamen flourish again
Cyclamen tubers are not very long-lived, but a well-cultivated plant can continue to bloom for a few years; in order for a cyclamen to bloom from year to year, it is essential to allow the tuber to swell, because as we well know, bulbous plants use the reserve substances for flowering: if a tuber is “squeezed” to produce seeds, or if it is cultivated in the wrong way, it will hardly bloom the following year.
Therefore, the correct growing conditions are essential; the plants produce nutrients through chlorophyll photosynthesis, which takes place in the foliage: therefore the more luxuriant leaves our cyclamen will have, the more we will take care of them, and the more likely it is that our plant will flower again next year.
Correct watering and good fertilization are therefore essential, to be provided throughout the growing season, from August-September, until April-May (or even June), every 12-15 days.
The period of vegetative rest of the cyclamen plants begins when the minimum nocturnal temperatures become high; the plant will stop blooming and will start to deteriorate, remaining without foliage. It is very important to allow these plants to have a proper period of vegetative rest, during which we will move the pots in a cool and well ventilated area of the house or terrace, moistening the ground only sporadically.
A plant well cultivated during flowering, and that has spent a good period of vegetative rest, surely at the arrival of the cool at the end of summer will begin to sprout again: let’s move it to a brighter area and start watering again as usual.
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- There are many species of cyclamen that differ, essentially, for the colour of the flowers and for the slight shades
to visit : cyclamen yellow leaves