Cyclamen persian (Cyclamen persicum) native to the Mediterranean and northern Africa with hot summers and cool winters. The plant has adapted to such conditions in its own way, grows and blooms in comfortable weather from autumn to spring (there are varieties blooming in autumn and blooming in winter), and in summer it rests, completely shedding its leaves. In order not to die, cyclamen stores nutrients in a special organ. - tuber (the tuber is a thickened part of the stem under the cotyledon leaves - hypocotyl).
The undoubted advantage of Persian cyclamen is that it blooms in winter, when there are not so many flowering plants. More often it is used one-time, similar to a bouquet, since Persian cyclamen refers to ephemeroid plants. Its life cycle is divided into two distinct periods: rest, lasting up to 9 months, and growth and flowering, lasting the rest of the year. But you can try to keep it until the next flowering, which will delight you next winter.
The Dutch company Schoneveld offers the following F1 hybrids of Persian cyclamen:
• Super Serie Micro F1 - characterized by a large number of miniature and very long-flowering flowers. There are 17 colors available.
• Super Series Verano (Super Serie Verano F1) - by flower size belongs to the mini-cyclamen section, designed for growing in warm conditions. 16 colors.
• Super Series Compact F1 - characterized by very abundant flowering and long flower life, compact in growth form. 21 colors.
• Super Serie Da Vinci F1 - has all the qualities of a cyclamen Super Series Compact, has silvery leaves. 9 colors.
• Super Series Mini Winter (Super Serie Mini Winter F1) - specially designed for flowering at the end of the season in the climate of northern Europe, has looser leaves, which provides better air circulation between the leaves, flowers are small. 15 colors.
• Super Serie Picasso F1 - this series is derived from the Mini Winter Super Series, differs from it in silvery leaves. 9 colors.
• Super Serie Original F1 - medium-sized flowers on a large plant, distinguished by very abundant flowering, there are 16 colors, including those with an uneven color.
• Super Series Allure (F1 Super Serie Allure) - medium-sized flowers, a series specially developed for warm cultivation, characterized by earlier flowering. 14 colors.
• Super Serie Macro F1 - medium size flower on a large plant, characterized by a huge number of flowers with long flowering. 18 colors.
• Super Series XL (Super Serie XL F1) - large flowers on large plants, long flowering. 16 colors.
• Super Serie Michelangelo F1 - mini cyclamen with unique marble leaves, combines the best qualities of the Super Series Compact and Super Series Mini Winter. 9 colors.
• Super Serie Jive F1 - has elegant wavy petals. 8 bright colors of flowers.
• Super Serie Mammoth F1 - has beautiful large flowers on a large plant. 8 colors.
Five lines of F1 hybrids offered by the French company Morel:
- Metis® - miniature, hardy and early flowering, with the widest range of shades;
- Tianis® - "midi", with medium-sized flowers, very compact habit and very early flowering;
- Latinia® Premium - medium-sized flowers, compact habit and early flowering;
- Latinia® - very large flowers, compact habit and early flowering;
- Halios® - large flowers, traditional qualities.
There are varieties of another type of cyclamen on sale - purple. Growing conditions and life cycles are different for them, so it is important to learn how to distinguish these species for proper care.. How to distinguish between two types of cyclamen, read the article Cyclamen purple (European).
At the time of buying Persian cyclamen should be given preference to a plant that has just begun its flowering.Such a cyclamen has only a few flowers open, and buds are located under the leaves, due to which the flowering will be longer. Peduncles should be strong and upright, leaves without signs of yellowness and softness. Be sure to look at the center of the plant to see if there is a gray bloom (its presence will indicate the defeat of the plant by gray rot). The plant should be moderately moist, not overflowing or overdried, with good turgor. Make sure that the tuber partially protrudes above the ground (this is mandatory only for Persian cyclamen). Take care of the warm packaging of the plant, because in the fall, during the period of its sale, it is already cold outside.
The main problem of the home keeping of Persian cyclamen is to provide cool conditions for keeping in winter.
Temperature optimal in the daytime +12 ... + 15оС degrees, at night it can drop to + 10оС. In such conditions, flowering will be the longest. An increase in temperature to + 20оС can serve as a signal for cyclamen to rest (the plant "decides" that a hot dry time is coming). At high temperatures, spider mites are activated, which leads to yellowing of the leaves and often - to the death of the plant.
Lighting bright, diffused. Best plant location - on the east windows. In winter, it can also be installed on south-facing windows. With a lack of light, the leaves will begin to turn yellow. When exposed to direct sunlight in spring and summer, burns appear on the leaves.
The air must be clean, cyclamen does not tolerate tobacco smoke and gas fumes, which cause yellow leaves. Do not place cyclamen in drafts and near heating appliances. At the same time, good air circulation in the room is necessary to avoid rot, so it is not recommended to place the plants too closely together.
Air humidity optimal within 50%. To increase air humidity in winter, it is recommended to spray the air from a fine spray next to the plant several times a day, without getting on the leaves and flowers. You can put a pallet with wet expanded clay next to it. Too dry air can cause damage by spider mites, but with high humidity (80-90%) plants can be attacked by cyclamen mites.
Watering regular and moderate, preferably from above, avoiding tuber and leaves. Water for irrigation should be at room temperature. Between waterings, the top layer of the soil should dry out; excess water from the sump must be drained shortly after watering. Cyclamen prefers abundant watering after some drying out of the soil, but it cannot be brought to the loss of turgor by the leaves. Excessive moisture in the soil can lead to rotting of the roots and tubers, and excessive dryness will cause severe mite infestation.
Top dressing should be produced at the time of leaf growth and flowering every two weeks in half doses, adding to the water for irrigation. After purchase, start feeding in a month. Fertilizer should not contain much nitrogen, which leads to leaf growth to the detriment of flowering. Plants overfed with nitrogen are more easily affected by gray rot disease.
For cleaning leaves you can use a soft brush, it is not recommended to use foliage varnishes.
Remove faded flowers follows completely with the pedicel by turning and pulling, but not too strong, so as not to pull out the normal flowers and part of the leaves at the same time. If the attempt failed today, then repeat it tomorrow.
After flowering, seeds are formed, while the pedicel is twisted in a spiral and the fruit-box drops to the ground.
After 3-4 months of flowering, in favorable conditions, a dormant period sets in, new flowers are no longer formed, the leaves gradually begin to turn yellow and die off. At this time (usually by the beginning of April), watering should be gradually reduced.The dying off of the aerial part can take 2 months, and when the plant sheds its leaves, it is necessary to almost completely stop watering, keeping the soil only slightly moist. Excessive moisture will cause the tuber to rot. It is advisable to place the pot with the plant in a cool place in the shade, protected from sunlight, with good ventilation. During this time, the plant remains in the form of a tuber.
During your summer vacation, cyclamen can be transplant by careful transfer into a slightly larger pot (2 cm larger in diameter) into a ready-made peat mixture (soil for onion plants "Tulip" is suitable). The peat will provide the required water holding capacity, and the addition of sand will provide good drainage. The soil should not be made too greasy, this can cause gray mold disease.
As a rule, cyclamen is transplanted every two years, but in a cramped pot - planting in too spacious can lead to poor flowering.
The roots of Persian cyclamen grow in the lower part of the tuber, therefore, when transplanting, it is imperative to leave the upper third of the tuber above the ground level, this will ensure its better preservation. After transplanting in the summer, it is better to refrain from watering.
Around September, young leaves appear, and by this time the cyclamen should stand in a bright place and in cool conditions. With the growth of new leaves, watering is gradually resumed. Further care is the same as after purchase.
If the previous growing season and summer vacation ended successfully, then the cyclamen blooms again. However, the flowering is usually not so lush, the flowers are not so bright and the peduncles may bend slightly. This is due to the natural aging of the plant.
Diseases and pests
Cyclamens are often susceptible to gray rot disease, are affected by spider mites, cyclamen mites and some other types of mites, trises, and aphids.
Persian cyclamen can be propagated by seeds or by dividing the tuber. The latter method is very traumatic and is rarely used at home. Many of the plants sold in stores are hybrids, their pollination leads to the splitting of traits in the offspring - in other words, the likelihood of getting the same cyclamen from seeds is very small. To ensure that varietal traits are retained, it is best to obtain them from a trusted seed producer. Seeds should not be expired.
To obtain seeds at home, it is better to have several specimens, during flowering with a soft brush, transfer pollen from one flower to the stigma of another, providing artificial pollination. After pollination, the peduncle twists and transfers the seed box closer to the ground. Seed ripening lasts several months, it is better to sow them immediately after opening the capsule. Young plants dissimilar to each other and to parental specimens can grow from seeds.
Sow seeds it is possible at any time of the year, but it is better - at the beginning of spring. It is useful to pre-soak the seeds in Epin according to the instructions for the preparation. Sowing soil should be sterile (steamed) to reduce the likelihood of rotting, consist of sand and ready-made peat mixture. It is not worth adding humus to the composition of the soil, it contributes to the further development of fungal diseases. For sowing, shallow boxes or other containers are usually taken, the seeds are embedded in grooves about 1 cm deep at a distance of 2-3 cm from each other. It is better to shed the grooves beforehand. The distributed seeds are carefully buried in the ground, from above it is soaked from a fine spray so as not to blur the surface.
Germination occurs in the dark, so the containers are covered with a black film, leaving a gap of several centimeters from the ground level. The film will help prevent the soil from drying out too quickly. Germination temperature +18 ... + 20оС. It is necessary to monitor the moisture content of the soil and periodically ventilate the crops.Seedlings appear in about 30-40 days, some varieties take longer to germinate. As soon as shoots appear, it is necessary to remove the dark film and transfer the containers with seedlings to bright diffused light, the temperature should be kept within the same limits.
At the stage of 2-3 leaves, cyclamens dive, preferably one at a time, by this time they are already growing small nodules above the ground (under the cotyledon leaves), they should be completely sprinkled with soil. After 6-7 months, cyclamens are planted in small pots (about 6 cm in diameter), the tubers are left open about 1/3. In the first year of life, young plants do not rest; with good care, they can bloom at the age of 15-18 months, but usually the first flowering occurs closer to two years.
By dividing the tuber Persian cyclamen is rarely propagated, these cyclamens do not give children, so you have to cut the mother's tuber. At the same time, there is a high probability of decay of the divided tuber. Only old specimens that have been growing for several years are suitable for this procedure. Imported plants are usually not divided in the first year.
We must wait until all the leaves have completely died out, carefully remove the tuber from the pot and free it from the old soil. Place on a table and cut from top to bottom in the center with a clean sharp tool so that each part has leaf buds and roots. Treat the sections with fungicides, sprinkle with charcoal, let dry. Plant in different pots as usual.
Possible growing problems
- New leaves grow smaller. The reason is lack of nutrition. Feed the plant in moderation.
- Re-flowering is less expressive. The reason is the natural aging of the plant.
- Leaves wrinkle and collapse. Too hot and dry, possibly mite infestation. Normalize care, place the plant in a cool environment, water more abundantly. Treat with acaricides for ticks.
- Leaves turn yellow. It is too dark, the atmosphere is polluted with gases (for example, tobacco smoke or fumes from a gas stove), tick damage is possible. Provide light, good ventilation, treat with tick acaricide.
- Leaf burns. The plant was in direct hot sunlight or water got on the leaves during watering. Remove from direct sun, water gently.
- Sticky leaves. Damage to aphids is possible. Treat the plant with insecticide.
- Leaves in gray mold. This is a fungal disease that affects plants in unfavorable conditions (too abundant watering, high air humidity and lack of ventilation, cramped conditions, overfeeding with nitrogen fertilizers, the soil is too rich in organic matter, especially manure). Treatment consists in removing severely affected leaves, treating with fungicides, and changing the conditions of detention.
- Tuber rots. Waterlogging of the soil, water ingress when watering on leaves or tuber. If the plant is in the growing period, then it will not be possible to save it. If the plant is resting without leaves, then you can try to cut the rotten place to living healthy tissue, sprinkle it with fungicides or charcoal.
- On the leaves on the reverse side, a bloom in the form of flour is visible, sometimes a cobweb is visible, the plant is depressed. This is a spider mite lesion. Too hot and dry. Change care, treat with acaricide.
- A small grayish bloom is visible on the leaves, the leaves curl downward at the edges, the plant is depressed, deformation of peduncles, leaves and flowers can be observed. Defeat with a cyclamen tick. Reduce air humidity, treat with acaricide.
- Light strokes on the obverse of the leaves and on the flowers, later acquiring a silverygray color, leaves are bent upward, underdeveloped disfigured buds are formed. Sometimes there is sweet discharge. This is defeat by thrips. Treat with insecticide, remove affected leaves, increase air humidity and lower the temperature of the plant.