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The Best Plants for the Job

November 26, 1994|SHARON COHOON

Cyclamens that have been grown outdoors and are acclimatized will perform much better than ones that were propagated in a heated greenhouse and hurried to market, according to Steve Minoru Goto of Cyclamen Growers. Here's what to look for:

* A plant with stiff leaves. A cyclamen should have leaves strong enough to support its own weight if turned on its head. Since you would break off all the flowers if you tried this, which a nursery wouldn't appreciate, push down on the leaves instead and see how much resistance they offer. If they spring back readily, that's good. If they fall away from your touch, keep looking.

* A plant with a lot of small leaves rather than a few large ones. Overly large leaves are an indication the cyclamen's growth was forced, which makes it a weaker, more vulnerable plant than one grown at a more natural rate.

* A plant with shorter stems. Stems over eight inches tall could indicate the cyclamen was over-fertilized.

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