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Midland Diary Discussion: 23 January 2009

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Started by: Ian McEnery

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Go to latest contribution by Ian McEnery, 24 January 2009, 10:58. Go to bottom of this page.

Contribution from Ian McEnery 23 January 2009, 23:34top / bottom of page
Cyclamen germination

Thanks Diane very interesting although I have been using the Reading method for the last couple of years or so I haven't thought to excavate the pots and see what was going on. I did not realise that these were hypogeal germinators and thought that this form of germination required periods of cold and heat. As they are germinating quite quickly (showing above ground) sometimes in a little as a couple of weeks is the alternating cold, heat, cold not necessary with cyclamen?

Contribution from Diane Clement 24 January 2009, 00:11top / bottom of page

Hi Ian Cyclamen africanum, graecum, hederifolium and persicum do not need alternating temperatures to germinate. They need up to 14 days at around 15C. Perhaps there's some confusion about hypogeal germination. I'll attempt to explain. Epigeal germination is where the first shoot is a cotyledon or two, and hypogeal is where the first shoot is a true leaf. In hypogeal, there is firstly a development underground of a root system and maybe a tuber. Later on a true leaf appears, not a cotyledon. The two stages may have quite a long time gap between, as they are sometimes temperature dependent. Some Paeonias and lilies do this, so can appear to take up to two years to germinate, depending on what time of the year they are sown. Cyclamen are temperature dependent to get started, but then move on fast. After germination, in a few weeks, I will move mine out into the cold, but this is to restrict etiolation that happens when they are kept indoors in relatively poor light conditions.

Contribution from Colin Dolding 24 January 2009, 00:22top / bottom of page

Hello Ian, As far as I know Cyclamen do not need the variance of temperature to germinate but a spell of 14 to 16 deg for a couple of weeks. Many years ago in Kent in the late 1970's we used to grow florists cyclamen from seed and used this method and as long as you kept them at that temperature and moved them into good light, the first ones would be in flower in about 9 months. Obviously conditions would differ for hardy species but coum flowers in the first year sometimes for me.

Contribution from Ian McEnery 24 January 2009, 09:41top / bottom of page

Thanks Diane and Colin. I notice that Cilicium and Mirabile are more stubborn with this method (and to a less extent the repandum types. Do you know how or if these differ in germination requirement

Contribution from Diane Clement 24 January 2009, 10:24top / bottom of page

Yes, the 4 species with "auricles" respond best this way, but I believe the original Reading method was just with these species. I'm working on theories with all the other species! I've got quite a bit of data, it doesn't yet lead to any conclusion. Coum has been quite variable for me. It sometimes responds well to the Reading method, and is up in a month then, as Colin has found, in flower within 12 months of sowing. However, sometimes, it can take several months to germinate. The most difficult I have found to be purpurascens.

Contribution from Ian McEnery 24 January 2009, 10:58top / bottom of page

Funny what you say about purpurescens I have not bothered to sow seed of this as it seeds itself sparingly in my scree. Sometimes nature does it better I have even had repandum and libanoticum seed itself well outside but so far the parent plants don't grow well with the odd flowers but I am hoping that a more hardy strain might just emerge.

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