Plant of the Month – January 2012

It’s odd isn’t it? January should have the fewest candidates from which to choose a plant for this post but no; Sarcococca (one day I’ll remember how many Cs go in that name without googling it – and I’m not even sure it’s right now) and Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ both put up valiant arguments for their inclusion amongst others and yet in the end I had to reject them in favour of

Cyclamen coum.

Cyclamen coum

The wee beasties really seem to enjoy this spot underneath the lilac and a beech hedge where they get an annual mulching of leaves (naturally – not through any intervention of mine) and plenty of sun in the period they are above ground. There are snowdrops here too which will pop up later to join the scene in a way that’s so very pretty it’s almost twee. (I’ll try to remember to take a picture!)

Cyclamen coum under hedge

I’ve had most success with planting Cyclamen while they are in growth, rather than as bulbs, which might be because I’m doing something wrong (any sure fire tips anyone?) but these ones here are so happy they seed themselves around.

The helicopter flowers in cheerful shades of pink brighten things up out of all proportion with their tiny size and I like the smooth green leaves too. Their shape is pleasing somehow. There are lots of varieties with different silver markings on their rounded leaves which look great in a container with some snowdrops and a small, variegated ivy.

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10 responses to “Plant of the Month – January 2012

  1. Good choiice. They are a cheerful little flower and lovely leaves We have cyclamen coum flowering in pots at the moment. I’ve always bought plants so I don’t have any tips about planting the bulbs. I always assumed that they are like snowdrops – better planted in the green.

  2. Pretty little things. I tried to grow some “hardy” cyclamen beneath our maple tree once… they did not last more than a few months. I saw a glorious planting once with scilla siberica through a rocky mound. Enchanting.

    Glad you have so many flowers to enjoy, especially since I can see them here too!

  3. It is surprising how much flowers at this time of year. I think a lot of bulbs aren’t stored properly and they dry out. I have had a few problems in the past with bulbs. I think with some plants it is best to buy them in the green. You can see what you’re getting and it is easier to place them and see how they look where you plan to plant them. It’s not the cheapest option but then buying bulbs that don’t then grow is so annoying especially when you have waited in anticipation for them to appear.

    • I think you’re right – also if you get them in flower you can be certain what colour you’re getting. After all, thinking you’ve got a stylish drift of white ones and then there’s one garish magenta one can be annoying. Or vice versa – you want cheery magenta and get boring old white!

  4. patientgardener

    The only cyclamens I have managed to establish are from a gigantic corm. I think I fail to get the right conditions but I keep trying

  5. I’ve been thinking of growing a few and after reading this I will give it a go. I certainly have enough shade for them 🙂

  6. Cyclamen coum are generally very hard to grow because they require excellent drainage in a dry site. Between tree roots is a great location. I have only grown them from plants. You should try some of the silver-leafed varieties since you have such good luck with them.

  7. I like the idea of scilla as well…great!

  8. I like the description of helicopter flowers. Most of mine don’t take off leaving one or two rather than an expanding bunch. Also get dug out when dormant so the undisturbed hedge line is a good idea.

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