Cyclamen. Purchase, home care, reproduction
Cyclamen (Cyclamen) - an incredibly beautiful plant that has gained great popularity in the society of flower growers. At the time of flowering, its flowers look like "tongues of a frozen bright flame" or outlandish butterflies soaring in the air. There are many species and varieties of plants that differ in height (from 15 to 35 cm), the nature of ashen-silver spots on dark or light green leaves, as well as the color of flowers and terry.
Almost all year round in any flower shop you can buy flowering copies of this amazing plant. Many of them are grown in a room on the windowsill, some in the garden. However, when growing cyclamen at home, flower growers often encounter when the life cycle and some flower preferences differ significantly from those inherent in other indoor inhabitants.
Therefore, very often the "uneducated" owners, immediately after flowering, when the cyclamen discards leaves, it is sent to a garbage container, like a missing plant. Some amateurs treat the flower as “one-time” and immediately throw it away after flowering. Meanwhile, cyclamen, in conditions suitable for him and with proper care, is able to fully live for at least 20 years, becoming more beautiful and magnificent every year.
Types of cyclamen
To make fewer mistakes when caring for indoor cyclamen, first of all, you need to figure out which types and varieties are most often sold in specialized stores, how they differ. The varieties mainly go on sale. Persian cyclamen (C. persicum). Adult plants are 15-30 cm tall (depending on variety). They have a flat-round tuberous root with cord-shaped roots and a single apical growth point. Large or small, with corrugated petals or double, fragrant or odorless flowers come in all kinds of colors: from light pink to red or purple, sometimes two-tone variations are found.
Distinctive features of this type of cyclamen are the green color of the lower side of the leaves and lush flowering from October to April. After flowering, the plant loses its leaves, and it begins a dormant period. In August-September, Persian wake up, begin to actively grow leaves and bloom. Today, breeders have developed modern varieties of cyclamen that do not drop leaves and go on sale year-round.
They are grown using special chemicals, the use of which knocks down the natural cycles of plants. Therefore, the acquisition of cyclamen, which does not bloom at the right time, will lead to the fact that for some time it will tune in to its own mode, or wasting power on premature flowering, may soon die.
You can find a little less on sale cyclamen purple (C. purpurascens), which is characterized by not tall (up to 15 cm) growth, small leaves (diameter up to 2-4 cm) and small white-pink-purple flowers. It differs from Persian cyclamen in the presence of roots located throughout the tuber, in the violet-red color of the lower side of the leaves, and also in the development cycle — it blooms in summer and rests in the autumn-winter period. He does not discard the leaves, or partially discards.
Daughter branches appear on the tuber with age, which are used for reproduction (Persian cyclamens do not form children). It’s very rare to buy this type of cyclamen in a store; it’s more realistic to buy it from gardeners who grow it in garden soil on the street. Cyclamen purple is widespread in France, Poland, Southern Germany, but it also occurs in Ukraine, where it can survive the winter without any shelter.
In the flower shop you can buy and Neapolitan cyclamen (C. neapolitanum) or cyclamen ivy (C. hederifolium). This species is distinguished by deeply lobed or pointed, like ivy, leaves with a distinct silver pattern. Pink-purple flowers at the base have a dark V-shaped spot (in white-flowered varieties it is not). In summer, the plant rests and sheds leaves (Persian cyclamen), and daughter nodules form on the roots (like purple cyclamen). This type of cyclamen blooms in August-October immediately after a dormant period, being in a leafless state. Only after flowering do the leaves with which it hibernates begin to grow.
The flower is winter-hardy (withstands frosts down to -28 ºС), therefore it is the most profitable for growing in open ground. It grows well in the sun and in the light shade of trees. It tolerates drought and will bloom in the fall, when many flowering plants complete their vegetation. It is this cyclamen that better than anyone else adapts to home conditions, grows faster and lives quite a long time (up to 50 years). It is worth noting that until 1972 in Europe, the last two types of cyclamen appeared under the same name - cyclamen european (C. europaeum).
It may seem to new flower growers that dealing with a variety of varieties and the conditions of their maintenance is quite difficult, but this is not always the case. If you follow the detailed instructions for the maintenance and care of the flower, you can understand not only their own mode, but also understand what kind of cyclamen belongs to, even if it was purchased from an unscrupulous seller.
When buying cyclamen, first of all, you should carefully examine it for the presence of diseases and possible pests. From flowering specimens, it is better to choose the one that has more buds, brighter foliage and a fresh smell. If the tuber is half protruded from the substrate, then we can confidently say that it is Persian cyclamen, if it is completely powdered, it is European cyclamen. This allows you to at least approximately determine the time of flowering and buy cyclamen at the beginning of vegetative growth, so that he has enough time to get used to new unusual conditions and for flowering.
If all the signs indicate that the purchased plant does not bloom in due time, then you need to remove all the flowers from the stasis so that the bushes do not quickly deplete and rather establish their life cycle.
All types of cyclamens, especially flowering ones, react poorly to transplants, so it is advisable to transplant every 3-4 years. The procedure is best done before active growth. A signal for a transplant is the growth of new leaves (in species that do not drop foliage), which do not appear during rest. The soil for planting is preferably light and well-drained with a slightly acidic or neutral reaction.
An ideal substrate is a mixture of earth (turf, humus) and sand mixed in equal proportions. You can use ready-made mixes from specialized stores. Pots are best taken in small sizes to reduce the likelihood of stagnation of water and acidification of the substrate. When planting, the Persian cyclamen tuber is buried so that its third part remains above the soil surface, the European tuber is completely covered with a small (2-3 cm) soil layer.
The main thing when caring for cyclamen is to provide it with diffused lighting and a cool temperature (12-18 ºС) without drafts. It is recommended to water the flower with standing warm water. Watering should be carried out along the edge of the container or through a tray, but only after the soil has dried. In the heat, the plant needs to be sprayed, avoiding droplets of water falling on the leaves, flowers and in the middle of the outlet. The flower fully develops in a room with a working air conditioner, and in winter on the eastern or western windowsill. Only coolness guarantees full development and abundant flowering for many years.
Overmoistening can provoke the development of fungal diseases, and a high temperature of the content can cause yellowing of the leaves and their decay. In the heat at low temperatures, the flower may be affected by aphids or spider mites. During the period of growth and flowering, cyclamen needs top dressing, which should be carried out on wet soil with liquid fertilizer for indoor flowering every 2 weeks.
The flower very painfully tolerates reproduction by the method of dividing the bush. To make this procedure successful, it is necessary to take adult tubers that have several growth points (Persian cyclamen) or many children (European cyclamen). The separated tubers must be sanitized (sprinkled with charcoal) and dried for several days. After planting, watering is not often.
Cyclamen can also be grown from seeds. Only the growing process will require from the grower not only skill, but also endurance, since the first loops of Persian cyclamen will have to wait up to two months, and purple cyclamen to six. Flowering will come only a year after seed germination.