Cyclamen season

Here’s one I’ve styled in a vintage Australian pottery vase.

Its cyclamen season down under. I’m an ex-florist and I just love what we call potted colour. You can pick up cyclamen cheaply at florists and green grocers, prepared in green houses for easy and lasting indoor gorgeousness.

Cyclamen are summer dormant which means they hibernate in the warmer months and reemerge in autumn and winter. If you take a cyclamen home and it appears to die after a few months it’s not dead it’s just sleeping.

Cyclamens like bright shade and to get the best flowering I would not give them more than an hour of winter early morning sun. Too much sun stresses them. Keep it away from heaters too, it likes the winter.
For the best performance let them dry out between watering. The flowers will appear to fold over (the stems wilt) that is the time to water. The water will run straight through into the water dish. Leave it for an hour then check under the pot. If the water has been drawn up into the potting mix you are golden. If not, pour off the excess and relax. When your cyclamen goes to sleep it will first draw nutrients and glucose out of the leaves into its root bulb (corm), don’t interfere, water very cautiously allowing it to drain thoroughly until the plant is shrivelled. Or dump it thoughtlessly under a tree in your garden or side return. Make sure it can drain freely. Let the summer weather have its way with your apparently dead and dried up pot. You could also plant the corm under a non deciduous tree (it needs that winter shade).
As the weather cools, winter rain will revive the plant and you can then give it some worm tea or other gentle fertiliser and return the pot to bright shade for maximum joy.

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