Ericaceous compost is one is the types that gardeners commonly use. That’s most likely because of the organic content comprising coffee grounds, pine needles, and leaves.
It is also worth mentioning that it has loa-based soil too. Besides these components, it is also known for being acidic, going by its pH level.
It is such a property that begs many important questions. For instance, can you use ericaceous compost for cyclamen?
It would be good to know if cyclamen thrives in acidic conditions. If so, knowing how the plant benefits from the compost is equally important.
What Is Cyclamen?
What about understanding this plant before considering what’s good for boosting its growth?
It is a low plant that gardeners cultivate mostly because of its flowers. They are bright and beautiful, an addition to any garden or flower bed.
Equally important, cyclamen flowers are in various colors, and none are visually appealing. These colors include white, purple, red, and pink.
Besides flowers, its foliage also brings out a great aesthetic appeal. So, gardeners get to enjoy its beauty throughout, even when they aren’t blooming.
Various Types of Cyclamens
It is also important to note that there are several varieties of cyclamen. The most popular ones include the following;
- Cyclamen repandum: It has fragrant white, pink, or red flowers with marbled leaves. They blossom in April and need some shade and peaty woodland.
- Cyclamen persicum: Fragrant white, pink, or carmine between early winter and spring. Sometimes, the flowers are large and showy and occasionally ruffled or double.
- Cyclamen purpurascens: Unlike most cyclamen varieties, it is relatively hardy and ideal for open planting. It has silver-zoned leaves with fragrant white, pink, or carmine flowers blooming between July and September.
- Cyclamen hederifolium: also thrives in many areas, and its marbled leaves are ivy-shaped. Expect white, red, mauve, or pink flowers between August and November.
- Cyclamen coum: Whereas the plant is hardy, especially the green leaves, its flowers require protection. The flowers are white, red, or pink between December and March.
- Cyclamen cyprium: Its flowers are always white and have a pleasant smell. Expect them in late autumn.
Can You Use Ericaceous Compost for Cyclamen
Now let’s dig into this million-dollar question. Can you use ericaceous compost for cyclamen?
First, these perennials reap many benefits if you apply this type of compost. So, don’t hesitate to use ericaceous compost when cultivating cyclamen.
For instance, the plant grows and thrives in acidic conditions. Isn’t that one of the properties of this compost?
That’s why you should add it to the garden or flower beds you plant the flowers. It will increase its acidity, thus ensuring the soil’s pH level is suitable for its growth.
However, always remember that too much of everything is poisonous. So, don’t insist on using the ericaceous compost if the soil’s acidity is already high.
If you aren’t sure about the actual pH level, do a test. Going that extra mile will make a huge difference and help you avoid mistakes that could harm your cyclamen.
Benefits of Using Ericaceous Compost for Cyclamen
Now that you can use ericaceous compost when cultivating cyclamen let’s look at the benefits of doing so.
It Promotes Good Drainage
That comes as a surprise to many since the compost is known for retaining a lot of water. After all, it has high levels of organic material, thus contributing to significant moisture retention.
However, gardeners don’t worry about waterlogging soils or rotten roots despite its property. That’s because ericaceous compost also promotes good drainage.
Besides protecting the roots, good drainage is also one condition that promotes cyclamen growth. So, using it ensures that the plant thrives.
It Has High Levels of Organic Material
Cyclamen also thrives in soils with high levels of organic material. You will make the exact environment the plants love, thus boosting their growth.
That’s thanks to the compost’s richness in organic material. After all, its main component is an organic material, thus suitable for cyclamen cultivation.
It Balances the Soil’s pH Value
One can’t insist enough on how important it is to grow cyclamen in acidic conditions. It is under these conditions that the plants survive and thrive.
Unfortunately, there are times when the alkalinity of the soil may increase. That’s enough to hinder the great growth of such a plant.
Nevertheless, ericaceous compost is enough to overturn the situation. You can add it to that soil until the pH is ideal.
How to Care for Cyclamen
Besides adding ericaceous compost, there are other things you can do.
Summer is the ideal period for sowing cyclamen seeds. Besides, ensure that you do it under glass.
The seeds should come from burst pods, and you should collect them immediately. Equally important, sow them thinly and use ericaceous compost made for seeds.
Don’t expect these tubers to produce offsets, though.
Pests and Diseases
Gardeners have to combat several pests when cultivating cyclamen. Since they are tubers, squirrels and mice are some of them.
The list wouldn’t be complete without the mention of Vine weevils. During summer and spring, aphids can join this list.
Fortunately, it is possible to eliminate them whenever a need arises. Ensure that you use the right pesticides for excellent results.
Can you use ericaceous compost for cyclamen? The answer to this critical question is at your disposal.
It turns out that using compost is good and beneficial. On one side, it doesn’t harm these plants in any way.
On the other hand, plants benefit from it in many ways. It is rich in the nutrients cyclamen needs to grow and thrive.
It can fix any pH issue by ensuring that the soil is acidic since that’s the condition the plant appreciates. However, remember not to overdo it lest it does more harm than good.
The compost also improves drainage, which is also great for the plant. Taking care of cyclamen is also simple, thus a great plant companion.
Remember that you have several varieties of cyclamen at your disposal. They have different flowers and leaves and often blossom at different times.