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Happy December Blooms: GBBD, December 2014

December 16, 2014
snowy december gardenOnce again this month, I am a day late with my bloom day post. In mid-December, my Maine garden is already tucked in under its winter blanket of snow and I am reliant on my houseplants for blooms.

amaryllis bulbs with leavesMy many potted amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs have leaves but no signs of flower buds. (These plants are always reluctant to bloom in my cool house.)

A cool house, however, is the heart’s desire of my potted cyclamen. And now that they have been moved to their new home on a sunny window ledge, they are very happy. This pink one, which was a gift from a friend 21 years ago this week to celebrate my having achieved academic tenure, is blooming particularly profusely.

pink cyclamen in bloom

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month (not the 16th, when I so often get my post up!) by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see what other gardeners (including some in the southern hemisphere where summer reigns) have in bloom this month.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2014 1:24 pm

    Jean it is always special to read your posts and share with you what is blooming…Have a great holiday.

  2. December 16, 2014 8:18 pm

    That looks like a LOT of snow! I think it’s quite remarkable that you’ve kept a Cyclamen growing in a pot for 21 years, Jean. Have a wonderful holiday!

  3. bushbernie permalink
    December 16, 2014 9:27 pm

    That certainly is a decent sized blanket of snow. Gorgeous Cyclamen. She’s a lovely old girl.

    • December 25, 2014 6:04 pm

      Kris and Bernie, This isn’t a lot of snow by Maine standards. We don’t consider a snowfall really significant unless it is more than a foot or more. We did have one 14″ snowfall shortly after Thanksgiving. This icy coating a few inches thick is what is left of it after quite a bit of above-freezing weather and rain.

  4. December 17, 2014 7:30 am

    Lovely blooms but did have to chuckle at your 21 year old plant because I have one that is 37. 🙂

    • December 25, 2014 6:07 pm

      Judy, I know that potted cyclamen has a reputation for being difficult, but I don’t think that’s true for those of us who live in cold climates where people keep their houses cool in winter and where the weather tends to be cool in summer. Under those conditions, I have found these to be very easy plants. I think mine has a good chance of eventually reaching the venerable age of yours.

  5. Nell Jean permalink
    December 17, 2014 8:25 am

    Oh, the Cyclamen! I always think of them as Valentine’s Day plants but I’m seeing more and more of them.
    My amaryllis are slow this year too except for one that bloomed weeks ago on its own timetable, We’ll enjoy them in the midst of winter when they do decide to put up buds.

    • December 25, 2014 7:41 pm

      Nell Jean, I imagine cyclamen would be a harder potted plant to grow in your much warmer climate; they seem happiest in a house that is in the low-mid sixties. Mine bloom pretty much year round, but I appreciate them much more in the winter!
      Sometimes I’ll pick out a couple of amaryllis pots and put them on a heating pad to encourage them to put up buds, but I really don’t have any place to do that right now in my still-under-construction house. I’ll just enjoy them whenever they decide to bloom.

  6. December 17, 2014 1:18 pm

    Oh goodness all that snow! I am impressed that you have kept the Cyclamen for so many years. Mine never seem to get beyond the first year.

    • December 25, 2014 7:43 pm

      Chloris, What potted cyclamen seem to like is a consistently cool house and lots of light. My cold, sunny climate is perfect for them. Although it’s colder and snowier here than it is in England, we have more sunshine and more hours of daylight in winter.

  7. December 19, 2014 1:58 pm

    Cyclamens always cheer me up in gloomy days, your home looks fantastic and I wish you a happy holidays!!

    • December 25, 2014 7:44 pm

      Lula, Happy holidays to you! I find the cyclamen blooms very cheering, too. I’m liking the way my newly remodeled house is looking — I just wish it were done!

  8. December 19, 2014 6:20 pm

    That is an impressively old houseplant! And a very pretty one, too.

    • December 25, 2014 7:45 pm

      Gayle, These plants seem to be very long-lived in the right conditions. The only care I give them is once-a-week watering and repotting about once every 10 years!

  9. December 22, 2014 12:41 pm

    Jean I should get a cyclamen for my winter home….I want more green and flowering plants indoors and I have long admired yours.

    • December 25, 2014 7:47 pm

      Donna, If you have a cool, sunny window for it, I think a cyclamen would do very well for you. I love the fact that they provide me with so much pleasure for so little care 🙂 .

  10. Janie Young permalink
    December 23, 2014 4:32 pm

    Cyclamen is one of my favorites! Was gifted a book that has kept me in the mood to cultivate year round. It’s called Digging Deep by Fran Sorin, is her site. If you need motivation for the garden, Sorin is a great resource!

    • December 25, 2014 7:48 pm

      Janie, I’m glad to hear you are getting inspiration from Fran Sorin’s book. I find that the right books at just the right time are important sources of garden inspiration for me.

  11. debsgarden permalink
    December 29, 2014 1:49 pm

    Hi, Jean! Stay warm and snug, and I wish you the very best in 2015!

    • December 31, 2014 10:12 pm

      Deb, I am an expert at staying warm and snug (layers of silk, wool, fleece and down plus a good wood fire). Happy New Year!

  12. January 1, 2015 11:39 am

    Hi Jean, your indoor plants always look so healthy and vibrant! I’ve been having trouble with my Amaryllis as it didn’t like the house move so much and it seems to be concentrating on producing many many offsets (even the offsets have offsets) instead of building up the main bulb. I’m not very good at looking after it though, I tend to pamper it for a while, then ignore it for ages so I guess that isn’t helping!

    • January 1, 2015 12:48 pm

      LOL, Sunil, I just don’t photograph the ones that aren’t looking good! None of my amaryllis bulbs are showing any signs of flowers, although most have new leaves. Some will probably bloom eventually, but it usually happens in late winter or spring. I’m going to move some of them into my new bedroom, which has an enormous southwest-facing window and tends to be warmer because of all the sun pouring in there, in hopes that will make them more inclined to bloom.

  13. January 1, 2015 11:51 am

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Jean!! so glad I checked in and found this post. I was gifted with a cyclamen this Christmas from a neighbour and was hoping you would post on yours. You always have such beautiful plants and I’m not sure what mine needs to look as good. a cool room with lots of light then. Do they require much water?

    • January 1, 2015 12:53 pm

      Happy New Year, Marguerite. I usually water mine once a week, but if they aren’t getting enough water, they’ll tell you by drooping dramatically. Here is the most important thing you need to know about a new cyclamen plant: After it finishes blooming, it will drop all its leaves and will go into dormancy. At this point, many people assume the plant is dead and throw it out. It is not dead (even if it does look it). Just keep it in its cool, bright spot and keep watering it once a week. Eventually (I can’t remember how long this will take because it’s been decades since I last acquired a new cyclamen), it will get new growth. After several years, as the plant matures and spreads within the pot, it’s various segments will start to bloom and go into dormancy at different points so that you no longer get the “dead plant” effect.

      • January 1, 2015 7:51 pm

        Thank you Jean!! I wouldn’t have known about the dormancy and definitely would have tossed it. Great piece of information to know. Thanks for your advice.

  14. January 5, 2015 8:54 pm

    Just stopped by to see those amazing Cyclamens – never disappointed!

    • January 5, 2015 9:08 pm

      Kathy, That’s what I love most about my potted cyclamens — that they never disappoint. They just go on blooming month after month, year after year, with little care or attention from me. What’s not to love?

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