Hardy cyclamen, etc.

Bonaventure Magrys magrysbo at SHU.EDU
Thu Dec 12 20:47:24 CET 2002

Hi Adam (and all fellow members),
welcome to the list. No offense taken. My general philosophy is "if it
ain't broke, don't fix it".
I'm not a night fairie, no, but I generally brush the leaves off once or
twice in fall if they've piled up to deep in the cyclamen spots from leaf
fall or migrating mulch. The base of the oak against my property side is
high, and away from it is a sloping bed that goes down towards the center
of the yard. Its a bit higher a few feet from the fence/tree trunk and
there is a bit of a dip where the cyclamen are in groups right against the
trunk, but so far no problems. On top of the "ridge" are some of the more
moisture-sensitive perennials, but even with high mulching, they stay
dryish, enjoying a moist spring. By late summer, the leaf mulch is almost
gone and I find dormant tubers and rhizomes even partly exposed. So be it.
They stay like that thru late summer and until the end of fall. Covered
now, they're ok as the covering diminishes in late spring after all growth
and blooming has ceased. Most Arisaemas are on this built up sandy slope
with leaf mulch cover (3rd winter now for me and them at this location).
More towards the yard center, where the dip gets filled in more, I brush a
little extra off the Cyclamen purpurescens - mostly to enjoy the leaves,
likewise some of the Hexastylis. I just took about 4 inches off the tops of
Hepatica americana and acutiloba (thank you Sunshine Farm) and they're only
slightly decayed around the leaf edges.
That'll probably be it for the year as leaf fall and added shredded leaf
mulch will stay in place.
Good observation about clay soil. Its usually given me a problem when I've
had to dig into it, crumble it up, and or leave a depresssion in it no
matter how deep its filled with well draining material.

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