Plants newsletter #3.
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Plant of the month - Persian Cyclamen, Cyclamen persicum

Cyclamen persicum (different varieties) is a species of flowering perennial plant.

The cultivars of this species are commonly known as "florists cyclamen". These cultivars are bred for colour, flower size, foliage, and short development time. They are grown from a tuber, in different colours - white, pink, magenta, red, or bicolored. The flowers are tall, with large petals and wide cabbagy leaves. Seeds can produce blooming tubers in 18-20 months - much faster than other species.

Cyclamen flowers when days are short and temperature is low. In the wild the cyclamen grows in cool and humid environment. If the daily temperature in the house is above 68 F. (20 C.) and above 50 F. (10 C.) at night, your cyclamen will die slowly. Too high temperatures will cause yellowing of the leaves, and the flowers will fade rapidly.


How to grow

• Water cyclamen plant only when the soil is dry, but not leave it dry completely.
• 13-16 C (55-60 F) is a minimum winter temperature.
• Grow in containers of loam-based compost. The tops of the tubers should be just above the soil surface.
• Fertilise every two months. Too much fertilising can affect their ability of repeated blooming.

How to care after blooming

• Allow the leaves to die, and remove them.
• Stop watering.
• Place the plant in a cool, dark place.

Links: Cyclamen persicum in Wikipedia
          Cyclamen persicum in RHS


Seasonal task - repotting cactuses.

Most cactuses are dormant in winter. They need almost no watering and their growth stops. This is the ideal time to repot them. Cactuses have very brittle root system and they are very receptive to fungal diseases. And most of them have thorns! So, not that an easy task.

To start with, you will need a new container (clay pots will do best), perlite for good drainage, sandy soil, and a thick old towel to protect your hands. The container, the perlite, and especially the soil should be steamed or heated for at least 30 min. to prevent the spread of fungus. Use special cactus soil from the garden centres.


Fill the lower part of the container with perlite.

Carefully remove the old container. Be sure the root system stays undamaged.

Place the cactus on top of the perlite covered with a layer of soil.

If the cactus resists to pop out of the old container, squeeze the container gently, or separate the soil with a clean dry knife.

The root neck should stay above the soil and the cactus should be planted in a way, that the root neck never gets moist. This is the part of the plant which is  most receptive to fungal damage.

Place additional plants into the container. Between the root systems there should be space of at leas 2-3 cm (1 in.).

Slowly fill the container with soil. Avoid air pockets by squeezing the soil with a spoon. Take care of your hands!

Level the soil to avoid building of small puddles. The soil should be slightly below the root necks of the plants. Water sparsely.


What's new with Plants app

In the first version of Plants we grouped the plant collection in different Places - your house, office, etc. In Plants version 1.1 we will introduce more fine granular grouping - Spots.


Each Spot could have multiple distinct characteristics:
• Type - balcony, indoors, etc.
• Exposure - sheltered, exposed, etc.
• Facing - south, east, etc.


This finer grouping will allow better planning of different gardening activities.


Plants app beta testers are now welcome

In the coming weeks we will start beta-testing version 1.1 of Plants app. This will give also a wider group of people the chance to provide us with valuable early feedback. If you'd like to participate in the beta-testing, please subscribe to the special Plants tester mailing list.


For more information visit Plants App website

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