Taking Cyclamen Outdoors

Taking Cyclamen Outdoors

A colleague and I last week visited Greenheart Farms, where we saw several different varieties of cyclamen on display. My colleague, an avid gardener, commented there how he’d love to add cyclamen to his garden, but he a cyclamen expert told him cyclamen historically have not worked well as an outdoor crop in the United States.

Then, on Friday, I visited Schoneveld Twello, a cyclamen breeder, showcasing its new varieties and one new series at Speedling. Schoneveld conducts cyclamen trials outdoors in The Netherlands each year for its Picasso, Mini Winter and Verano series–it’s conducted trials for five years now–and Siebe-Dirk Streekstra shared the results of this year’s trials with us.

Schoneveld found that it’s Picasso cyclamen series are the most suitable outdoors. Plants don’t suffer from botrytis infections, Streekstra says, and blooms are hardy. A few varieties–’Wine Red,’ ‘Red,’ ‘Dark Salmon Pink’ and ‘Dark Violet’ exceeded 20 days of blooms outdoors.

Schoneveld’s Mini Winter series is its second best outdoor series. The Verano series tends to prefer warmer climates and is less suitable for outdoor use in Northern Europe than Picasso and Mini Winter.

One entirely new Schoneveld cyclamen series this year is Allure, which includes nine varieties. Among the varieties are ‘Red,’ ‘White with Eye’ and ‘Dark Violet.’ Schoneveld developed Allure, Streekstra says, because the company wanted another series for warm seasons and smaller pot sizes.

Schoneveld has also introduced two silverleaf mini cyclamen this year along with a number of new colors, such as ‘Deep Wine Red,’ in the Micro series.

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