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Author Topic: Cyclamen hederifolium tuber bites the dust  (Read 5018 times)

Paddy Tobin

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Cyclamen hederifolium tuber bites the dust
« on: December 26, 2006, 09:32:06 PM »
It's a  pity to see a plant which has grown in the garden for many years die. I have photographs of a Cyclamen hederifolium tuber below with a stanley knife beside the first one or two to give a sense of its size. At a guess, it is about 20 - 25 years old, hard to be more accurate. Given its size you can realise it occupied a good patch in a cyclamen bed and I took note of a rather large bare spot yesterday and began to poke about only to have my nostrils assailed by that same smell which comes from rotten potatoes. I lifted the tuber; it had no root whatsoever though the underneath was perfectly healthy, clean skinned, hard to the touch without any signs of disease.

The top of the tuber was very encrusted, not unlike the texture seen when something is covered with barnacles at the seaside. It was rough to the touch but this was only skin deep as immediately under this skin the tuber was soft and rotten with a smell that stank to high heaven.

I am surprised at this occurence as this plant was growing in a bed of cyclamen and none of the others was affected. The bed is raised above the level of the surrounding garden for drainage, had extra drainage material added to the soil and was top-dressed with bark.

Any informative comments on this occurence would be welcome.

Paddy
Paddy Tobin, Waterford, Ireland

https://anirishgardener.wordpress.com/

Tim Murphy

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Re: Cyclamen hederifolium tuber bites the dust
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2006, 10:08:43 PM »
Hello Paddy, you wouldn't have found any roots on the bottom of your hederifolium tuber as this species roots from the top of the tuber. The roughness on the top of the tuber would have been created by old growth points and root growth.

I know that smell very well! I pot on my plants in the glasshouse every couple of years, and there are always losses. I'm sure that other than old age, the next biggest killer of cyclamen is too much moisture. It's difficult to say exactly why your tuber bit the dust - we could speculate all night and still not know the answer for sure.

If it's the top of the tuber which has rotted away, perhaps a fungal infection got the better of it. We've had very damp, foggy, still weather here for the last 10 days and it's not good for the cyclamen in the glasshouse. Perhaps it isn't good for plants outside either. It's always a surprise when losses occur as all of my plants are in the same compost mix and get watered at the same time, and yet whilst most are fine, a few do rot every year. Sorry I couldn't give you more useful information, Paddy

Paddy Tobin

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Re: Cyclamen hederifolium tuber bites the dust
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2006, 10:34:36 PM »
Tim,

I have just read your reply - many thanks. It is a bit of a mystery. Your comments on fog and damp weather describe very accurately conditions here recently also and that may have contributed.

Isn't it just typical of a gardener that I said the tuber had died on me and that it had bit the dust - really it is all its own fault; nothing that I could be blamed for.

Paddy
Paddy Tobin, Waterford, Ireland

https://anirishgardener.wordpress.com/

Joakim B

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Re: Cyclamen hederifolium tuber bites the dust
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2006, 11:42:50 PM »
Sorry for Your loss Paddy :( !
I am far from an expert but we grow cyclamen even further north with cold and damp winters. (South of Sweden.)
We are groing under bushes of beach and close to big birches so the soil is drained naturally. Maybe it is something to test? Using the natual draining. The leafs from the tree also give frost protection to the plants.
Most likely the ones that die have gotten ill before they rott and hence do not use as much water as the others and are then killed with excces water since the others did not have that problem. It is more of a general speculation rather than a specific for the cyclamen so thake it for what it is worth.

Kind regards
Joakim
Potting in Lund in Southern Sweden and Coimbra in the middle of Portugal as well as a hill side in central Hungary

Maggi Young

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Re: Cyclamen hederifolium tuber bites the dust
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2006, 01:03:40 AM »
My sympathies, Paddy! It is harder to lose a big old plant than it is to lose a pot of seedlings, no matter how much we might moan when that happens, isn't it? A few years ago we lost a huge hederifolium that we had had for nearly fifteen years in our garden, having moved it at approximately forty years of age from the garden of an old friend when she moved. Once a plant gets to over fifty years one tends to regard it as likely to be immortal... ("what a mistaka to maka" as Captain Bertorelli said in 'Allo,'Allo)
It was a huge shock when it died... complete with stinky bits, as you describe...I wonder if sometimes, although adverse weather conditions etc may be a factor, if the plant has simply just got to the end of its life, has run out of steam and is weakened so the rot or whatever is able to carry it off?
I'm sure you are correct, that it was not anything YOU did to cause the death but I think that it is the sign of a good gardener that you are, nonetheless, looking for an answer, a reason why the plant succumbed so you might be able to save the next patient, so to speak! Ian always says that if we can learn something form a loss then it becomes less of a loss... he's right, of course, and you obviously think that too.   I'd still like to magic that fat old cyclamen back again, though!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Paddy Tobin

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Re: Cyclamen hederifolium tuber bites the dust
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2006, 04:41:08 PM »
It made room for its seedlings in the bed, I suppose. There's always a bright side to each loss in the garden.

Paddy
Paddy Tobin, Waterford, Ireland

https://anirishgardener.wordpress.com/

 


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