Brian Kidd brings new life to the coolest plant of all

Cyclamen - a time to jolt them into new life.

Cyclamen - a time to jolt them into new life.

The group is encouraging more young people to get gardening

Sowing the seeds for the next generation

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Have you put your cyclamen, still in its pot, out in the garden?

This is the time to start the tuber into growth again.

Take it out of the pot by knocking it against the handle of a spade. Gently remove all the old compost from the roots and remove the dead leaves.

You may find there are still some leaves on the tuber. Any fully-formed leaves are best plucked off, but leave the tiny ones on the tuber.

The reason for taking off all the old compost is to make sure there are no vine weevil grubs on the roots as these pests eat roots.

Removing the old leaves ensures the plants look more attractive.

Any universal potting compost can be used to repot the tubers. Use the same size pot, clean it and put a few pieces of broken clay pots in the bottom. Fold the compost with your hands and ensure the tuber is only buried to half its depth. This ensures the tuber won’t rot when watered. After repotting, water the compost.

The pots are now left outdoors for the rest of the summer. Put them in the shade, up out of the way of slugs and snails.

If there are vine weevils in your garden put a band of Agrilan Barrier glue on a strip of sticky tape near the base of the pot.

During the summer the leaves will grow and the plants can be brought indoors and placed in a cold room with plenty of light during September and they will produce flowers in October and continue to flower right up until February.

If you don’t have a cyclamen you will find them in bloom right now at your garden centre.

There is a particular one which has red flowers with a white edge at Keydell Nurseries.

If you love growing things from seed, cyclamen seeds are sown now indoors. They take about six weeks to germinate because they produce a tiny tuber even before the leaves emerge from the compost.

Always remember, cyclamen thrive in cold, light rooms.

A window sill which does not face south is ideal, but on frosty nights, unless you have double glazing, you should bring it into the room.

Watering incorrectly can cause the most problems, generally when it has been given too much water.

Always feel the compost before watering .

The best way of watering is to put the water into a plant saucer half-filled with water. Avoid splashing the centre of the plant

Leave for half-an-hour to allow the plant to drain properly. Any water remaining in the saucer or pot-holder should be tipped away. Then place the pot in direct light but out of direct sunshine.

What other indoor plant will give you blooms for 20 weeks? Cyclamen. As long as they are kept cool.

As we’re constantly told these days: it’s good to be cool.

TIP OF THE WEEK

This is the time to make notes of the changes you would like to make in the garden to make it a bit easier to manage.
Just write them down for now and perhaps make sketches or take pictures because major changes are best undertaken in the autumn.

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