Cold Hardy Cyclamen

Tony’s first encounter with hardy cyclamen was in the garden of the late Rachel Dunham of Cary, NC in the 1960s. He was amazed to see what he thought was a rare perennial, seeding all through her woodland lawn and was immediately struck by how tough cyclamen were, and obviously, how easy they were to cultivate. This started him on a lifetime of cyclamen fondness. Here is some of Tony’s insights on growing hardy cyclamen.

Cyclamen coum and Cyclamen hederifolium are the most commonly grown garden species with C. hederifolium blooming in the fall before the foliage emerges and C. coum blooming in the winter. Here are a couple of images of C. hederifolium blooming in the garden.

4 thoughts on “Cold Hardy Cyclamen

  1. Do you have other companion plant recommendations? The suggestion of keeping them with dwarf hostas seems counterintuitive as won’t the hostas need water in the summer to do well? Bonus points for deer resistant companion plants.

    “ Since Cyclamen are so small, they only pair well with other small plants that will not overgrow or crowd them out like graptopetalum, dwarf hosta, and dwarf agave.”

    • Cyclamen do really well at the base of deciduous trees where the trees will use the water and moisture during the summer months, helping to keep the cyclamen corms dry. Other companion plant recommendations would be hardy orchids (calathea or lady-slippers), asarum, selaginellas, maidenhair ferns or other small non-aggressive ferns , aspidistra, rohdea, hellebores or heuchera.

  2. I would love to see Tony’s advice on how to deal with dry cyclamen tubers that are sold by one of our well known bulb suppliers. What do you do when they arrive in the mail? Lay them on moist paper towel inside a zip lock bag for 24 hours? then set them on moist pea tmoss in a flat and wait for life?
    There was an article of an experiment at PD with cyclamen under a window and overhang. Is there a follow up on that experiment? did it work?

    • Since we don’t deal with dried harvested tubers often, we don’t have much experience in that area. When we were gifted some hardy Cyclamen persicum, we soaked them overnight prior to planting, which worked great.

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