October 17, 2006


They huddled by the back door, begging for mercy. So I let them in and they are now undergoing the fate of refugees everywhere, jammed together in temporary and inadequate accomodations while the government - me, in this case - decides what to do with them. Coleus and caladium, amaryllis and crown of thorns, ivy and oleander, cyclamens and ah yes, the cyclamens. These are not miserable, starving refugees at all. Their summer outside has agreed with them, and they are plump-cheeked and bright-eyed and much bigger than when they went out this spring.

Florist cyclamen

These are my seed-grown cyclamens, now about a year and a half old. I would be thrilled if they flowered for me, but the leaves are so beautiful, flowers are not necessary to attract admiring glances. I'll put them in a northeast window. I've tried southwest in the past, and they scorched. Although, come to think of it, having come in directly from outside, these ones might be able to handle it... Hmmm. I think I've talked myself into trying.

This tiny crown of thorns will definitely join its mother in the southwest window. These were cuttings I took as anti-theft insurance, (the big one was out front not far from a busy sidewalk) and it spent most of its summer tucked among garden plants as a cat deterrent. It stayed healthy, but didn't grow much in its not-so-sunny location. Crown of thorns often drop their leaves in response to an abrupt change in light and temperature, but after finishing their snit fit they grow a lovely new set, so it's not a major problem. So far the larger mother plant, much to my surprise, has accepted her new surroundings calmly, and other than cranking her flowers around to face the window, has maintained her poise admirably.

Crown of thorns cactus
I might even let the Christmas cacti in soon too. I noticed this morning that the big one is putting out flower buds already. Pregnancy is always helpful when trying to sway immigration officials.

Previous post on the topic of Cyclamens, Crown of thorns cactus

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waterroots said...

Well, I must say I had a good chuckle with this post! Refugees, for sure!

Your cyclamen – by far – is the most beautiful one I have ever seen. What a remarkable specimen. The leaves are perfect; the plant is brimming with health. And you’re right that with or without flowers this plant is strikingly attractive! I hope you do get flowers as an added bonus. Please post a picture if it goes in bloom. I’m totally floored by its perfection...

Janet said...

To be fair, it is three small ones. Other than that, all I can say is that cyclamens love spending the summer outside and love staying damp. It will look much less inspiring by springtime, as I just don't have the right light levels available inside. But that's OK, keep flinging compliments. I won't fight too hard...

pinar said...

I don't take my cyclamen inside.. it flowers under the snow.. if I take it inside..it dies.. meteo differences??
but your chrismas cacti took me years back.. my mother used to have a huge one.. maybe a meter high.. and the flowers colour was such a bright red like the colour of the pomegrenade flower..
enjoy your's dear..

Janet said...

Pinar, you might have a different species of cyclamen. Mine is Cyclamen persicum, which is not hardy. There are several species of hardy cyclamen that can even grow as far north as my garden. If I end up staying here, I want to get some.