By James Wall, Nurseryman.
This morning I attended a cyclamen trial. Plant trials are usually industry only events where varieties are grown and compared by fellow nursery people. You also get to see new varieties and experimental varieties. This trial was an indoor grown crop. The seeds were sown in Early October and the young seedlings were planted in the first week of January.
The quality of plants at this trial were superb. Nearly every pot plant had over 20 flowers. It surprised me to hear they were overhead watered, as often growers water underneath so as to better preserve the flower quality. This was a good indication that these were well bred plants that would even perform well in gardens and not just as inside pots. Congratulations to Ball Australia for growing these plants so well.
The majority of the breeding was from the French company Morel. It included mini varieties right through to larger varieties. There were the classic cyclamen colours, and also novelty varieties which include bi-colours and frilled edges. We are seeing more and more of these unusual types for sale in Australia, including ones with a more silver leaf.
Pictured are a few of my favourites. Expect to see some of the newer ones here over the next couple of winters. That’s right, cyclamen love the cold. Putting them outside for for a couple of nights will really freshen them up. To remove old flowers, twist and pull the stem at the same time. This will remove it from the base, making a clean break from the corm. Water regulalry, but don’t sit in water and you will experience months of their colour and beauty. Enjoy.