Cyclamen experiment

When we had our new home built, the design resulted in several potential planting areas under a wide overhang that never sees any moisture…unless something akin to a hurricane blows in. The idea was to keep water/irrigation and mulch away from the wood siding. Cyclamen seemed like a good choice for this difficult spot, so our friends Brent and Becky Heath shared some corms of a hardy form of the normally tender Cyclamen persicum. We laid the corms on top of the soil and covered them with 2″ of Permatill (expanded slate that resembles pea gravel), which was then covered by an ornamental layer of river rock. Here are the plants currently after just over 1 year in the ground. The cold last winter burned off all the foliage, but they have all returned. Techniques like this should also work with any of the hardy cyclamen. 

10 thoughts on “Cyclamen experiment”

  1. They are beautiful! I was just admiring cyclamen in Brent and Becky’s catalog. And it’s no wonder mine died, if those are the conditions it prefers! Sadly there isn’t a dry spot in my yard.

  2. How much light do these get? And would turface (baked clay) work as well as permatill, or would turface retain too much moisture?

  3. You should try them elsewhere in the garden. For years I grew (in Greenville, NC) the form of C. persicum (I can’t recall if it was wild-collected or what) that Montrose Nursery sent out. The foliage burned off a few times but it always came back, and the plant bloomed every year.

    1. I’ve tried hardy C. persicum several times around the garden over the last twenty years, and only had them limp through a couple of winters before expiring. This is the only real success we’ve had with that species. My guess is the Greenville is just slightly warmer so that they’ll come through the winter.

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