Cyclamen persicum, or Floristís Cyclamen, is a tuberous herb native to the Eastern Mediterranean area. Its tubers are up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, flattened to globose with a corky surface, rooting from the lower surface. They are mound forming plants that will grow to 6-12 inches (15.2-30.4 cm) tall and wide. Leaves are cordate to 5.5 inches (14 cm) long and are extremely variable color from above, but always green underneath. They are very easy to grow and are showy plants. Plants are hardy in the landscape from USDA zones 7-11.
Blooming: In the greenhouse, plants will bloom from mid-winter to spring. The 2 inch (5 cm) long flowers are borne on 6-8 inch (15-20 cm) scapes. Flowers are very fragrant and showy.
Culture: Cyclamen persicum need full sun to partial shade with a rich well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand. The plants are well watered and allowed to dry until the surface has become dry before watering again. We fertilize them monthly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/2 the strength recommended on the label. Be careful not to over-water as too much water will cause the tubers to rot. After the flowering period, the plant are allowed to dry for its summer dormancy period. In late September, we start watering the plants again to break dormancy and stimulate its winter flowering period.
Propagation: Cyclamen persicum is best propagated from seed. Sow seed indoors before the last frost. Seeds should be sown in a peaty soil mix, planted 1/4 inch deep and should be kept moist and in darkness to germinate. Seeds will germinate in 30-60 days from sowing at 55-60°F (12.7-15.5°C).
Cyclamen persicum was featured as Plant of the Week January 23-29, 2009.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.