Growing Cyclamen from Seed
Ask ten cyclamen growers for their method of germinating seeds and you will get ten variations on a theme – but there is a theme. Here you will find a guide covering harvesting, seed preparation, sowing and potting on, which will give the less experienced grower a relatively foolproof route to success.
The Cyclamen Society Seed Distribution
The Cyclamen Society Seed Distribution is considered by many members, to be one of the most important benefits from their membership of the Society. As the reason for most of them joining is a keen interest in growing Cyclamen, obtaining fresh quality seed is of the utmost importance with a genera that reproduces almost exclusively from seed.
Applicants for seed must be members of the Society. You can join the Society easily through the Membership page on this website.
The General Seed List contains a large range of seed, including all the species (except C. somalense) with varieties of flower colour and leaf forms, many of the registered cultivars, and some florists’ cyclamen cultivars.
Applications can be made using the Seed Application Form in the June journal or through the Seed Orders and Donations page in the members only section of the website.
All applicants for seed will be charged one administration fee of 5 UK Pounds to cover all the seed applications they make that year. The fee covers administration costs, packing and shipping worldwide, but does not include a ‘signed for’ service or the cost of phytosanitary inspections and certificates if these are required.
Each member can have a Basic Allocation of 10 packets of seed and may purchase additional seed if available, at 50p per packet. Unless the harvest is exceptional, you are unlikely to get seed of every rarity in cultivation you ask for. (C. colchicum, C. parviflorum, C. pseudibericum f. roseum and any white forms of C. alpinum, C. coum, C. purpurascens and C. repandum, for example) So, please list at least some alternatives, otherwise you will receive less than your Basic Allocation.
Seed is supplied in small packets of about 10 seeds (depending on the harvest and demand), labelled only with the current code number from the General Seed list. So, please refer back to the list for the species, subspecies, variety and cultivar names to label your pots.
The deadline for the receipt of General Seed List orders is 31 August 2021. Fresh seed from the General Seed List is distributed from late summer to early autumn as this is the best time to ensure good germination.
A separate list, usually available in early October once seed has been received from donors, consists of seed harvested from plants collected on the Cyclamen Society’s Expeditions (CSE) and from good plants owned by two former members of the society, Jan Bravenboer (JB) and Peter Moore (PM).
Details of CSE/JB/PM seed will be published on the website once the list is compiled, and can be ordered through the Seed Orders and Donations page in the members only section of the website, or by contacting the seed distribution manager.
Packets are 50p each and orders will be dealt with on a first come first served basis with seed despatched from end-October.
Similar to the General Seed List, packets are only numbered, so members will need to return to the website list to identify their packets. Descriptions from Jan Bravenboer’s stock plants bear the description which he had written on the labels, all the stock plants are open pollinated so variability is to be expected.
A photo gallery of the 2021 CSE plants can be found here (from early October), to aid members with their selection.
PayPal is the preferred method of payment for all seed orders. You do not have to have a Paypal account to pay by PayPal, you can simply give credit or debit card details as you would for any secure online transaction.
The seed distribution manager will invoice applicants for the cost of their seed (by email) once their order is ready. They can then use PayPal to settle the invoice, before their order will be posted. If you are unable or do not wish to use PayPal you may send a ‘not to exceed’ cheque, made payable to ‘The Cyclamen Society’, to the seed distribution manager with your application (Address on Seed Distribution Application Form).
CSE 2021 Photo Gallery