Can I grow cyclamen?

I live in northern Illinois and I have tried to grow cyclamen bulbs in my perennial garden but they never come back the next year. I've read to plant them very deep and I've read to plant them about three inches in the ground. Which on of these do you recommend? Maybe my winter temperature is just too cold for these beautiful plants? I don't want to give up! Barb
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Hi Barb,

Thanks for writing! You should be able to grow cyclamen -- I grow them here in Zone 5 Iowa!

I planted mine 3 or 4 inches deep in enriched soil. These plants really like organic matter, so I added a lot of compost to the ground when I planted them.

They do best in a shady spot, too, and one where the soil drains well. So if you have lots of clay, maybe the plants were rotting? I grow most of mine in a dry corner that doesn't get any extra water --- they seem to do better here for me than in spots where I do more watering in the summer.

The two hardiest types are Cyclamen coum and Cyclamen hederifolium. The big, showy cyclamen you see at the grocery store, florist, and such aren't hardy for our area. So that's probably the problem if you were trying to grow those.

Good luck. I hope this helps!

---Justin, Senior Garden Editor, BHG.com



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