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Confused by cyclamen

LG_LG_ SE LondonPosts: 3,920

I know there are different kinds and I know that some will thrive outdoors and others won't... but I am still confused. The local Homebase has loads of trays of outdoor cyclamen at the moment and I'm very tempted, but they clearly state 'for one season only'. I figure if they've bothered to put this on every bloomin' label it must be for a reason... but is it true? Surely if they would survive outdoors for one winter they have a chance of surviving after that? Frustratingly their labelling doesn't extend to actually stating the variety, so I'm nervous about getting them if they definitely won't survive. Help.

'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
- Cicero

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,270

    I've found those little trays of cyclamen they sell at Homebase, Tescos etc are fine for the autumn, but they won't stand the wet and cold of a British winter and turn up their toes pretty quickly as soon as the bad weather really hits - so unless you've got a really sheltered spot they're a waste of money in my experience image

    Cyclamen hederifolium are the hardy ones that are in flower at the moment (all over my garden) - they flower before their leaves appear,  and Cyclamen coum are hardy and will flower in the very early spring.  Both come in pink or white. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,126

    I think these plants are meant to be ephemeral creatures that will be discarded at the end of one season, the idea being that you will return time after time for more of the same......a bit like addiction. If you want something that will come up year after year I think you would be better placed to buy from a nursery that knows about these things. If you are happy with something colourful that will only last for a few weeks, then go with the Homebase goodies. I've never managed to get the things to last more than one season.

  • LG_LG_ SE LondonPosts: 3,920

    Thank you - I didn't buy them (though tempted) due to exactly those fears. I will stick to my instincts and a proper nursery from now on!

    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • ElusiveElusive Posts: 992

    They last well for me in containers and sheltered spots. Ive managed to keep about 30-40 plants from last year without any protection. All are starting to re-emerge and flower now.

  • Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

    Mine have kept going for 5 years now and get bigger each year, but it is very sheltered where I live.

  • Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

    My annual geraniums last for years and years too, I pull them up and start again when they get too leggy.

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,894

    The ones sold by Homebase et all are versions of C. persicum and they are only hardy down to about -2c.. And then only in well drained soil.

    There is a hardeir C. persicum from the Golan Heights in Lebanon, but it is not that easy to come by.

  • LG_LG_ SE LondonPosts: 3,920

    Thanks all, sorry I don't seem to have received notifications for the last few responses so didn't realise they were here.

    I'm in SE London so not exactly exposed. We do get some gard frosts though, so I don't think I'll risk it (or if I do, it'll be in an informed mannerimage)

    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
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