Some like it hot, but not
gems such as cyclamen

Keep them cold and cyclamen will reward you throughout the winter.
Keep them cold and cyclamen will reward you throughout the winter.
Now is the time to get to grips with your strawberry bed.

BRIAN KIDD: Strawberry fields forever – but renew them every three years

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We all love cyclamen, Pam and I enjoyed the lovely flowers last winter.

Pam bought them last September and they were put into our cold conservatory.

The blooms were wonderful all through the winter- despite the cold weather. They flowered right into March. The reason was because they were kept cold. Cyclamen don’t like being too hot.

These lovely gems were taken out of the conservatory and put out into the garden, still in the pots, they have been kept watered but on a shelf so the dreaded vine weevil couldn’t get into the pots.

Despite watering, the leaves have got a lot smaller and there are rounded lumps at the ends of the stems.

Wow – what good news. The rounded lumps are seed heads. When the pods are the size of marbles, they can be cut off and the seeds sown in early August.

Have a look at yours because this is the magic moment to prepare for the next lot of beautiful blooms around about November – sorry to mention the autumn again.

Knock the plant out of the pot.

If this seems difficult, try banging the edge of the pot against the handle of a spade.

Carefully take off all the compost from the cyclamen tuber.

There will be some white roots, but all the former compost must be taken off.

If there are creamy white grubs, kill them with a size 10. These are vine weevil grubs. Robins love them but put them into a saucer, don’t let them get away.

We are now ready to replant the tubers.

Take off every leaf. Use broken pieces of flower pots in the base of the pots to ensure good drainage and replant the tubers in John Innes Number 3 compost but add 20 per cent extra sharp sand.

Mix those well with the JI compost. Cyclamen love a well-drained compost.

Water the pots after repotting and keep them up off the ground to prevent vine weevil grubs entering the pots.

During mid-September, bring them indoors again and they will come into bloom during the autumn.

They will flower all winter if kept free from frost and watered when the compost feels dry.

Tip of the week

When watering, keep the rose on the hose as close to the ground as possible to ensure the roots have a good soak. Spraying all over the border creates loads of weeds.