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'Tis The Season --

By: Sandra Nelson; Images Sandy DeFoe

     ….. for a Christmas Cyclamen



One of the easiest plants to grow, the florist’s cyclamen offers a bright spot of color, a sweet fragrance and attractive foliage throughout the Christmas season and well into the New Year.

Originally a tuberous perennial from Europe, the Mediterranean region and North Africa, the tiny cyclamen (typically no taller than 8 inches high) is known as the symbol of sincerity and the flower of true love. It holds a place of honor in Greek legend for its ability to ignite ardent love in those who ate food that had been laced with it. Leonardo Da Vinci illustrated his manuscripts with sketches of  cyclamen and Flemish artists painted angels hovering above fields of the blooming plants.

To keep cyclamen healthy and in bloom, place cyclamen in bright but indirect light. Water them thoroughly, but only when the soil feels dry about an inch below the surface. When watering be careful to keep water off of the crown to prevent crown rot. Keep plants out of drafts; they prefer slightly cooler daytime and evening temperatures.