Has anyone grown Cyclamen outside?

pfmastin(8 N. Carolina)December 19, 2005

I received a Cyclamen persicum (florist cyclamen) as a gift and wonder if it will grow outside in zone 7b? Has anyone tried it?

Thanks in advance.


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aisgecko(7b Raleigh)

Yes. I don't know what variety. They are pink. Frankly, I thought I had lost them for 2 yrs, then all of a sudden they sprang up. They are very subtle -Ais.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 10:03PM
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I have them in the yard, great color this time of year I have been told that only coum and hederifolium are hardy in Zone 7. There are instructions on internet on how to treat as a houseplant so that it's back for you next year. I think it's a dry summer dormancy.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 5:11AM
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According to the website at Dave's garden, Cyclamen persicum is not very hardy, just to 30 degrees F. Another site indicates better cold hardiness, but the grower also had snow, which acts as an insulator. I guess you could try but I wouldn't expect them to survive unless we have a mild winter. Elizabeth Lawrence mentions growing, or trying to grow, C. coum, neapolitanum, and C. repandum. She had the best luck with C. neapolitanum.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 7:52AM
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Sometimes you see these sorta mid-sized Cyclamen offered for sale. Kinda looks like a cross between the florist style and the species type. I've wondered if they would handle my yard and gardening style but have never tried. I do grow the little garden Cyclamens, C. heterofolia I believe - they are bloooming now. Tough little winter gems. They like neglect and gravel. My type of plant.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 9:12AM
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victoria_sc(7b sc)

I put a few in the ground about 2 months ago. They are doing very well so far. Frankly, they are doing better than the ones I have indoors. If I lose these, I'm going to get the more hardy types next year. They are very cute and I really like them. The only thing I noticed is that the flower petals get very beat up by the rain, so they look ratty for a week or so after each rain.

I guess you can always leave it in the pot, and bring it inside when it gets cold.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 9:12AM
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aisgecko(7b Raleigh)

I should have said more... Mine were ordered from Spring Hill 7 years ago, before I knew better... They sold them as "hardy cyclamen" they were NOT the pretty houseplant variety. I didn't see a bloom after the first year but once in a while I thought I saw leaves. . But apparently they were still there because last year in very early spring I got several flowers. After the flowers faded I got the leaves which were quite pretty. The plant is very understated and I think it would take a lot of them to make any impact. Mine did not bloom in winter really, maybe late winter or more like in the first part of Spring before the daffs even. Still a welcome bloom before there is much. I tried to move some with no luck. I think they spread by underground rhizomes and it seemed like I could not get any roots when I tried to dig out a leafy clump. They seem to spread VERY slowly for me so I figure my grandkids will enjoy a nice colony of them someday.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 9:45AM
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I love these little cyclamen. I first decided to grow them when reading in Elizabeth Lawrence about Billy Hunt's hillside of cyclamen in Chapel Hill (now part of the botanical garden). I have coum and hederafolium. They grow in dry shade (something to be desired in my yard), and are like magic lilies or naked ladies--blooms with no foliage, followed by lovely foliage. The trick is to plant the corm right side up--I sometimes plant them on end when I can't figure out which side of the biscuit shaped corm should go down. No, they are not as eyecatching as the florist's type, but not so tempermental either! I highly recommend them!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 4:57PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Ditto to what Sally had to say. At my last home, I planted Cyclamen coum that I purchased from vendors at the Spring Garden Show in Charlotte. The plants seemed to thrive in a shady dry area in a partial woodland setting. I too wondered about how to plant the corms since I couldn't tell up from down on them so I planted them on their side and let gravity do the rest. Unfortunately, my present yard doesn't really have a suitable site for these little beauties but I am sorely tempted to try them in an area anyway!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 6:03PM
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pfmastin(8 N. Carolina)

Thanks to everyone for all the insight and advice. You have piqued my interest and I've already decided...if this one doesn't survive, I will pursue the other varieties. I have just the place for them. I had read about the varieties you mentioned in Nancy Goodwin's book, Montrose, life in a garden.
Many thanks.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 10:15PM
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greygardener(7b NC)

Mine have been in the ground for years. I don't know the exact variety, without going to Google...but they've thrived on a slope, around a large holly, with pine straw mulch. Certainly, they wouldn't be the same as the florist varitey...or I wouldn't think.

But I love them as well, and they do mulitply fairly rapidly.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 1:52AM
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A friend of mine from Italy says that over there people like to stuff the corms in between rocks in their rock walls along their driveways and around their houses. No dirt. No fertilizer. These little guys are tough as nails. I also like the curly cue thingys that grow along with the leaves and I like the highly patterned leaves.

I believe they hybridize freely - so some of what we are growing are not true species type. And the florist ones are a different species/hybrid all together and much more delicate. Its even difficult to keep alive as a houseplant. But they are affordable and gorgeous so I buy them when I feel the need (which is NOW).

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 10:16AM
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The C. persicum IS difficult to keep alive -- one summer I inadverently saved one by taking the bulb out of its pot (thought it was dead) and tossing it on the ground under a pine tree. That dried it out enough to keep it going. I noticed the plant when it started blooming again.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 12:53PM
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