Cyclamen Cyclamen hederifolium
It’s hard to say which is more appealing about cyclamen: The perky fall flowers or the charming round to heart-shaped leaves. Colorful blooms push up through the soil first. They’re followed by foliage that sports zones of silver or patterns of lighter or darker colors on the surface with red or purple undersides.
After a few seasons, a tuber the size that you can easily hold in your hand can grow into a clump in the garden that reaches 12 in. across. So even though they’re small, plant them in early fall with plenty of elbow room — 6 to 8 in. apart — just below the soil’s surface. Cyclamen tubers can sometimes take up to two to three years to start growing. (Both roots and stems sprout from the top side of the tuber.) Buy young plants for a quicker start.
TYPE Perennial SIZE 4 to 6 in. tall and wide BLOOM Pink or white in late summer to late fall LIGHT Filtered shade SOIL Well-drained PESTS None serious HARDINESS Cold: USDA zones 5 to 8; Heat: AHS zones 8 to 1 SOURCE Digging Dog Nursery
If you want to know when this or other perennials flower, see When Perennials Bloom at right.