Cyclamen, which used to be florist specialty plants, have moved to the front of the pack for fall/winter planting, not only in gardens, but especially in containers on patios. Even commercial landscapers are planting masses of Cyclamen. Unlike many fall/wintere color plants, there is no waiting for color to start blooming as Cyclamen arrive with flowers.

Cyclamen can be planted in the soil, like any other plant, which makes them perfect for planting in pots and on patios. They are actually happy left in plastic pots, which allows you to tuck them in the nooks and crannies of other plants. Or, for instant drama, the soil level in any pot can be lowered to the point the plastic containers are out of sight and the pot can be crammed with Cyclamen in full bloom.

In the coastal zones, Cyclamen will thrive equally in the sun and in the shade. Cyclamen are available in four and six inch containers. Planted in the fall, they will continue to bloom past Christmas and often until Easter.  Probably no other flower will bloom as prolifically and continually during the cool months as a Cyclamen; six months of constant bloom is not uncommon.

Cyclamen come in everyone’s favorite colors, starting with white and running through the various shades of pink, lavender, red, and purple. No Yellow, no orange, no blue. Some cyclamen come with a white edge on the flower, others with a frilly edge.

Maintenance is easy: regular water (too much water turns the leaves a sickly yellow, not enough and the plant collapses), a monthly feeding and regular grooming. The spent flowers can literally be yanked out of the plant by their stems.

Cyclamen are readily available in various colors at Roger’s Gardens in the December.