Saturday, October 22

Unexpected success

You may remember that this year I decided to try growing some cyclamen from seed. If not I posted about it here.

You may also remember that at first I didn’t really expect any success and then as the seeds began to germinate my hopes were raised. In the end all eight of the cyclamen Lazer seeds germinated and five of the cyclamen Coum.

Lazer is a miniature variety that can be used as a pot plant or in theory planted outside in the garden.. It’s the sort that is on sale at the moment in garden centres. The sort that I bought last year after being assured it was winter hardy, the sort that fleetingly looked beautiful in a tub. There’s a photo of them in all their glory on this post. The beautiful display lasted short of a month as last December’s snow put paid to them.

Well back to my project to raise some plants from seed. The eight Lazer seedlings continued to grow and now all eight have produced sturdy little plants. Some have flower buds and others are on flower. There is one little niggle which is that some of the leaves have curled back and look distorted. I’m not really sure what has caused this to happen. I can’t see any mites on the leaves so I’ll ease up on watering. Anyway curling leaves or not I’m really pleased with the results and will try to keep these plants going so I can see whether they produce more flowers next year.

After my success with these cyclamen I have to admit being slightly disappointed with the cyclamen coum. I have managed to get five seedlings from these plants and they are very slow to grow. I am not too concerned about the slow growth as these are hardy perennials and I had expected this but I sowed far more of these seeds and had expected them to germinate more easily.

I based this reasoning on the fact that another hardy cyclamen - hederifolium self seeds all over our garden. I comes up in between paving and in any tiny cracks. See this post. Hederifolium produces flowers in autumn - around this time.
The leaves come after the flowers. Flowers are produced over a few weeks. Once the cyclamen have been pollinated, the flower stem curls into a spring and sits on the ground amongst the leaves. The seed pods splits as the seeds ripen. Ants and other insects are attracted to the seeds as they are in effect sugar coated. They carry the seeds away and so scatter the seeds all over the garden.
The original hederifolium plants in our garden were planted a long time ago and have often been dug up and moved around. Some of the tubers are now as big as dinner plates. I wondered whether our little cyclamen coum plants will ever achieve the same.


Now what challenge shall I take on for next year? What about you?


7 comments:

  1. Isn't it satisfying when something like that works out really well?

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  2. Good work Sue! I feel excited as well. Those plants look really good.

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  3. It really is Mark - just like having freshly picked peaches to eat from our 'nectarine' tree.

    I am looking forward to seeing what other colours I have, Diana. So far a white and a pink.

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  4. Nice one Sue, it is always so gratifying to succeed at growing things from seed. I'll have to give it a go myself some time. I love the leaves on cyclamen, and the wonderful corkscrew look of the emerging buds.

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  5. Great to see them coming in to flower. It's so satisfying when a project is so successful. I look forward to hearing of your next challenge.

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  6. I really like cyclamen too Janet which is just as well the way they have colonised our garden.

    I wonder what I can choose for my next project, Jo

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