Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
For special floral designs during the cooler months of the year, cyclamen canít be beat.
Though cyclamen is normally thought of as a flowering pot plant, the stems are in fact sold and used as cut flowers. These flowers are sophisticated and versatile.
Cyclamen have exotic looking, nodding blooms. These are over an inch in length. Borne singly at the top of the flower stalks, they have five twisted petals. These curl downwards. In some varieties, the edges of the petals are toothed or feathery.
The flowers come in a wide assortment of colors. These include pure white and creams and all shades of pink as well as salmon, apricot, and scarlet salmon. They also come in a good range of different reds. These include true red, scarlet red, bright scarlet, rose, and deep rose. There are also magenta, violet, and purple ones.
In addition, some bicolors are available as well. These tend to have contrasting centers. For example, whites can have rose-pink eyes and reds have contrasting white centers.
In general, the larger varieties of cyclamen make the best cut flowers. The stems tend to be much taller than those of dwarf, compact cyclamen.
Some cyclamen flowers will be scented. However, this isnít always the case. So, if you want fragrant ones shop carefully.
Because the plants of cut flower varieties tend to be largeónearly 1Ĺ feet in diameter, a cyclamen plant can yield lots of stems for cutting.
Cyclamen are mainly available during the winter months. This usually runs from about October through February. Cyclamen plants donít like warm temperatures and sunny weather. So they canít be raised during summer months.
As cut flowers, cyclamen stems have a vase life of about a week or so. In some cases, they will last two weeks or more. In floral designs, these are used as a distinctive form flower.
Varieties with small flowers are often used for boutonnieres and corsages. The ones with larger stems can be used in bouquets and other kinds of floral designs.
Cyclamen arenít the easiest plants to grow. So, they arenít recommended for cutting gardens. Either purchase the fresh cut stems or buy large healthy plants that have lots of flowers.
Keep the completed floral arrangement in a north facing window. If put in the sun, this will shorten the vase life of the flowers.
For cyclamen, shimmering metallic ribbons and bows work very well. These serve to accentuate the delicate beauty of the blossoms.