Cyclamen Failures

Jeanne Hannah Jmh98law at AOL.COM
Tue Dec 10 16:13:56 CET 2002

Our Cyclamen coum and C. hederifolium is grown in very free-draining woodland
soil. (In a recent neighborhood dispute involving the wrongful harvesting of
125 year old maples in what is a highly restricted neighborhood -- deed
restrictions that forbid cutting of trees for any reason other than to build
a house or to remove hazards -- I learned that the soil is called "podsolic."
This is a soil that has formed over hundreds of years as a result of the
decay of the leaves and other plant materials. Actually, if you were to pick
it up in your hands, the consistency is like that of sand.

I have amended the soil in other areas of our gardens, but the area where the
Cyclamen are planted has never been amended. I haven't tested the pH, but
would expect it to be acidic given the beech, maple and oak trees depositing
leaves here.

I don't remove the leaves from this area, but the wind usually carries them
off. Irrigation has typically been spotty, often nothing more than rainfall.
This year we installed tall sprinklers and water every other day for 30
minutes. That's been great for everything except the Helleborus thibetanus
which does not tolerate water on its leaves. The snowfall other areas got
last week missed us. We have only a few patches here and there. I love the
winters when our beds are covred with 3 feet or more, as the insulation is so
good for the plants.

Jeanne M. Hannah, Traverse City, Michigan Zone 5b (on Grand Traverse Bay,
with Zone 7 microclimates)
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