Cyclamen are native to the eastern Mediterranean, so spring's cool temperatures bring out their blooms. After the flowers fade, their leaves turn yellow and the plants go dormant. That's when many of us, thinking they're dead, throw our plants away. The tubers are actually just "resting," and need only enough water to keep from completely drying out until new leaves emerge in the fall. They tolerate sun or partial shade, but need protection from hot sun in the afternoons. This variety, ‘Victoria Deco Mix’ is from the Metis mini series and has dark green leaves marbled with silver, a sweet fragrance and unusual crowned flowers. Growers say this cyclamen, which is hardy in zones 5-9, is more vigorous in winter than other types.
After the holidays, cyclamens need a location with bright, indirect light and cool temperatures. They prefer high humidity, so try grouping them with other plants, or place them in a saucer filled with pebbles and a little water. (Just don't let the roots touch the water, which can cause rotting.) When the flowers finish, the plants will go dormant. Stop watering then and wait until new leaves emerge in fall before you water again. This cyclamen is 'Dixie Pink'.
The glass Conservatory at Biltmore was built in 1895 and houses the estate’s orchid collection. Most orchid species bloom from February to March and into April. By spring’s arrival, “the orchid room is packed full,” Andes says. Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis), bromeliads and cyclamen fill this scene with pink and white shades.
Pink Decorative Dahlia
Another type of bulb is known as a tuber. There are two types of tubers: root tuber and stem tuber. A dahlia grows from a root tuber. Examples of root tubers include dahlia, peony, tuberous begonia and ranunculus. A potato is probably the most famous stem tuber. Examples of stem tubers include potato, caladium, cyclamen and anemone.
Arranging the Plant
Place the plant, still in its pot, on top of the foam. For this terrarium, Rose used a cyclamen, shown here (Hypoestes phyllostachya ‘Pink’) and Phyllitis scolopendrium (not shown). Janit Calvo, author of Gardening in Miniature and owner of Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center, says mosses, miniature African violets, Needlepoint English Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Needlepoint’) and dwarf or miniature ferns can grow well in open terrariums with bright, indirect light.