Originally found in the garden of E. A. Bowles. Flowers may be pink or white from late August to October, but it is the leaves that make this group outstanding. The best have a 'double shield' marked out with silver. Young leaves can have a pink over-lay. Seedlings are very variable and need selecting. Plant in drifts for the very best effect, in any light to medium soil in sun or partial shade. Annual top dressing with well made leaf-mould or pine needles will give superb results. Others forms selected for their distinctive foliage and flower colour are also available.
Previously known as Cyclamen neapolitanum.
Position in the Garden: In the open garden, cyclamen prefer a position which is slightly shaded in summer, and moist during autumn through to late spring. Although Cyclamen hederifolium is tolerant of sunny sites. An ideal site can be found around the base of mature shrubs and trees, but they also do well along north-facing walls, in stone troughs and in the rock garden. They look superb when planted beneath silver birch trees. Above all, the site must be well drained and the addition of copious quantities of shredded leaf mould will create a perfect medium in which to grow your cyclamen.
Maintenance: Very little cultivation is needed to maintain a good collection of cyclamen in the garden. Once established, hardy cyclamen should be left undisturbed for many years and they will just keep getting better. Cyclamen benefit from a top dressing of leaf mould and grit during the dormant season. Very little fertiliser of any kind is required, but do remember that most cyclamen are dormant during the summer, so be careful with the hoe!
Alpine House cultivation: All cyclamen are suitable for alpine house cultivation, especially the more tender species. The alpine house should receive maximum light, but will require shading in summer. Good air circulation is crucial and extra vents are a must. We advise growing this cyclamen in clay pans using a suitable compost. This may be made up by mixing two parts (by bulk) of John Innes compost No2, one part of Perlite and one part of shredded leaf mould. Top dress all tubers with a layer of grit. Give just enough heat to exclude frost in very cold weather. Otherwise, plunging your pots in sand or covering with horticultural fleece during very cold spells will give an amazing amount of extra protection.
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