hardy cyclamen surroundings

I'm about to put in some 50 Coum cyclamens (little plants) and the instructions suggest surrounding them with "granite or limestyone grit" to discourage standing water and slugs. "Grit" to me suggests something larger than sand but smaller than gravel. None of the local nurseries, hardware or pet stores seem to have it. Am I looking for the wrong stuff? zemedelec
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instructions
sand but

seem
I assume you are planting these in the ground? If so, I have never found grit (aka coarse sand) to be necessary, just a free draining garden soil (and mine is slightly acidic) in an area that gets filtered shade and remains relatively dry. I have never had a problem with slugs and hardy cyclamen and that says a lot considering I live in the PNW, which must be the slug capital of the world - heck, they even have "slug festivals" here!
pam - gardengal
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My conditions mimic Pam's, I've got no slug problems, and the cyclamens have thrived in my garden for over 20 years. I do throw some lime at them occasionally, only because my soil is so acid without it (4.5 unamended!). I let the pine needles stay on them over the winter to protect them from heaving.
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comspamfree (Zemedelec) wrote:

instructions
sand but

I second Pam's info, as grit strikes me as by no means needed. If the soil drains properly, that's enough, & if it doesn't, a tiny bit of sandy soil on the surface won't change the problem. Most of mine grow up near the bases of trees & shrubs, the roots of which suck up enough moisture that the cyclamens are never too wet. Since cyclamens don't need to be dug up ever, they're perfect in amidst the roots of woody shrubs, where they also get the shade they prefer. I love cyclamens to distraction, & have not found them the least bit difficult, just need to keep deciduous leaves off them come autumn. They self-seed, & unexpected seedlings will suddenly appear even in nearby potted plants, & will produce a few flowers even before they develop tubers. C. coum is especially easy. You may want at some point to add C. hederifolium which is even easier & begins blooming a couple months sooner so that their combined bloomings back-to-back, to keep those little pink flowers present from September to March. There are some five other species that are relatively easy, but the real no-mainteance ones are CC coum & hederifolium. There are many leaf-varients too, & differing shades of blooms from white to deep magenta, though pink is commonest. I think people are often leery of them because florist cyclamens so rarely bloom a second time, but these little wild species are good even for novices. They are going to reward you for years & years.
-paghat the ratgirl
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"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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On Fri, 26 Dec 2003 19:57:06 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@netscapeSPAM-ME-NOT.net (paghat) wrote:

well around here I can't FIND hardy cyclamens. So if you even come across some little extra tubers and am in a generous mood.................................<gbseg> The one fat tuberous corm I planted in the whiskey barrel under the black cherry tree just hated where it was at and after one return and bloom in the fall of last year, gave up the ghost. I suspect the black cherry roots came up into the rich soil and crowded them out, or it just hated the barrel. BTW this barrel is a full barrel with a slat out at the bottom that allows drainage, and was cut years ago by Squire for the rear seat of a 1945 Harley Davidson police trike. The trike was sold to a deserving person and I kept the whiskey barrel and when I moved over here, and to this house in 1995, decided it needed laying down and filled with rich soil for shade plants to reside in. I lift it up to break the feeder roots of the black cherry occaisonally, but so far the only return inhabitants is the Virginia Bluebells and the Te-te narcissus. I was REALLY hoping the cyclamen woulda returned and multiplied..:( madgardener
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Consider it done, Maddie. Expect some in that iris shipment. Happy pre-New Year!!
pam - gardengal
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awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww (sniffle............)

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Since cyclamens don't need to be dug up ever, they're perfect in amidst the roots of woody shrubs, where they also get the shade they prefer.
Do they ever! The one time I tried to dig up a few wild cyclamen in Lebanon (with owner's permission) they were nearly all lodged under 500-lb boulders or 500-year-old oaks. zemedelec
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<snip> There are many

Perhaps people have given florist cyclamens a bad reputation because they think the plants are dead when blossoming is complete and the leaves die back, a normal part of its growth cycle.
Cyclamens are reasonably easy to raise as house plants. There are a few things to remember when raising them that keeps them blooming. They like a cool, bright light window while growing and blooming and will often bloom for at least three - four months if treated properly. They like a high humus soil with peat moss in it. They thrive on regular fertilizing (every three to four weeks) with a low nitrogen fertilizer such as Schultz's Bloom.They should never be watered from the top because water on the tuber may cause it to rot. Deadhead spent blossoms regularly by removing fading blossom by grasping at the stem base and removing with a quick tug.
Once they complete their bloom cycle, which is usually in March, the leaves begin turning yellow and hang down as if the plant is dying and the stems become mushy, and by late spring there are few leaves left on the tuber. Remove the rest of the old leaves and knock the tuber out of the pot and cut it apart with a sharp knife, making sure there is growing area on each piece. Plant each section in fresh soil (be sure to add peat moss) and begin watering . Within a month or two new leaves begin growing, and with proper care should begin flowering by the following December.
A large red flowering plant that was given to me as a Christmas gift was a regular Christmas bloomer for over ten years and met its demise when I moved.
John
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Zemedelec wrote:

Pardon me if I'm wrong, but they might be talking about turkey grit. You should be able to buy it at a feed store. That's where I bought mine. It's also used to spread on the ground for bonsai gardens.
I agree with the other posters though, in your case it's not necessary.
And I do love reading this newsgroup every morning.
Jam Zone 5 Northeast Ohio
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Thanks to all for your info on hardy cyclamen. I might add that the "minature cyclamen" (probably bred down from the huge florists' version) I nutured on my terrace for several years in N. California are now growing happily in a friend's garden. zemedelec
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comspamfree (Zemedelec) wrote:

The miniature is apt to be either C. intaminatum or C. parviflorum. These are so small that it can be overwhelmed by larger plants, but if larger plants are kept away from them, they are very easy to grow. Our C. intaminatum is in a miniature raised bed, along with a dwarf fritillary, F. pudicans, which blooms in March & is only two or three inches tall. C. intaminatum blooms May to autumn in our garden, so its addition to the autumn & winter cyclamens means we have one or another blooming almost all year round. Here's a pic of C. intaminatum: http://www.paghat.com/cyclamenintaminatum.html
-paghat the ratgirl
--
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"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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Well, I've been nuturing my pot plants that I bought in bloom last spring. someone said to put them in a cool place and don't even water them for at least a couple of months. I did that and finally replanted them in pots and started watering them at the beginning but nothing has appeared in 2 months. Are they dead?
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