Real World Gardener Cyclamen are Plants of the Week

June 8th, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />


Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


with Jeremy Critchley owner

and Karen Smith editor of hort journal

You would have been seeing Cyclamen almost everywhere since about mid-autumn.


Some, usually the bigger ones, have even got a light perfume, while others just have their outstanding colour and form with which to dazzle you.

Did you know that this next plant, the cyclamen, along with the columbine or grannys bonnet, was one of the flowers of choice for Leonardo Da Vinci at the beginning of the 16th century?

He liked them so much that he covered the margins of his manuscripts with drawings of them.

My sister tells me that she has been throwing out her Cyclamen when it dies down after flowering. Is this you?

You know you should be hanging onto the tuber so your Cyclamen can re-flower for you in the following year.


frilly%2Bcyclamen.pngThe Cyclamen lifecycle is one of shooting up leaves at the beginning of autumn. That's when you take them from the shady position in the garden and put your potted cyclamen somewhere where it receives dappled sunlight.

At this time give it some fertiliser of any kind.

Water your cyclamen when the soil in the pot feels dry to the touch.

Too much water will cause leaves to yellow and the tuber to be susceptible to rotting.

After your cyclamen has finished flowering and the leaves have died down, put the pot somewhere where it won't get too much rain. Even turn the pot on it's side. Now it's ready for the dormant stage before restarting the lifecycle next Autumn.



You might not be aware that in the language of love, giving someone a cyclamen expresses sincere feelings and why not? With flowers looking like butterflies.

Thanks to its tuber, cyclamen cope with neglect and other tough conditions.

The tuber, which is in fact a swollen root won’t ever have corms or bulb offsets, however, as in the case with the  potato (which is a similar organism), the tuber can be divided provided each portion has both a growth eye and part of the rooting region of the tuber..

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