Hardy Cyclamen for the Woodland Perennial Garden

Hardy Cyclamen for the Woodland Perennial Garden

By Published July 21, 2013 Updated June 21, 2022

Welcome to Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. We are a private research and display botanic garden located near Raleigh, North Carolina (USDA Hardiness Zone 7b). Our retail mail order division allows us to make the best perennials from our trials available to gardeners around the world, some of which were developed here, some from our plant explorations, and others from breeders around the world. Between 1988 and 2010, Plant Delights Nursery introduced over 500 new perennial plants to US horticulture. In 2002, we were honored to be recognized by the American Horticulture Society for our lifetime of work in commercial horticulture. This image gallery is but a sampling of the great perennial plants available for gardeners around the world. We do not carry all plants pictured at any one time, but since our mission is to educate and inspire, we hope these images and the linked articles below will expand your garden horizons and interest. You will find an array of other interesting information and fascinating perennials throughout our website...thank you for taking time to visit.

Hardy Cyclamen are small bulb plants whose best known member is a common house plant (Cyclamen persicum). However, there are 23 species of Cyclamen and several of them (e.g., Cyclamen hederifolium, and Cyclamen coum) are easy to grow, winter-hardy landscape plants. Give these charming little plants a try and you'll fall in love with hardy cyclamen like we have.

Cyclamen are small plants and prefer a rock garden site or a spot where nothing else competes for space. Hardy Cyclamen leaves emerge in the fall and are the main ornamental feature for most of the year. Cyclamen leaves are usually heart shaped and sport amazing silver variegation patterns that vary from individual to individual. Hardy cyclamens typically flower over a two to three month period with bizarre little pink, purple, or white flowers that hover just inches above the ground.

Cyclamen are beautiful, winter-blooming plants that are relatively easy to grow in USDA hardiness zone 7b. Here are some growing tips to help you care for your cyclamen:

  1. Planting location: Cyclamen prefer a cool, shaded location with well-draining soil. Choose a spot that gets some morning sun but is shaded from the hot afternoon sun.

  2. Soil: Cyclamen prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Amend your soil with compost or peat moss to improve drainage and fertility.

  3. Watering: Cyclamen prefer to be kept evenly moist, but not waterlogged. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch, and be sure to water the soil, not the leaves or flowers, as wet leaves can lead to fungal disease.

  4. Fertilizer: If growing in containers, an organic slow-release fertilizer is recommended once a year.

  5. Temperature: Cyclamen prefer cooler temperatures. Avoid placing them near heaters or in direct sunlight, as this can cause the foliage to yellow or the flowers to wilt.

  6. Dormancy: Cyclamen will naturally go dormant in the summer. When the foliage starts to yellow and die back, reduce watering and allow the plant to rest for several weeks. Once new growth appears, resume watering.

  7. Pests and diseases: Cyclamen are relatively pest-free unless they are under stress.

With these tips, your cyclamen should thrive in USDA hardiness zone 7b and provide beautiful winter blooms.

Try growing hardy cyclamen beneath a deciduous tree so that the plants receive the sun and rain that they need during their active growth period, but also have the soil around them kept fairly dry during their summer dormant period. Cyclamen corms will just keep growing larger and larger each year, so if your plant is in a good location, it can get quite wide with age. Although we generally grow our cyclamen as specimens beneath trees and in our rock garden, you can pair them with other dainty little plants that will not over-run them such as anemonella, dwarf hosta, rohdea, cremastra, cypripedium, sanguinaria, sternbergia and trillium.

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