The Q&A Archives: Caring for Cyclamen

Question: The potted cyclamen I received as a gift was covered with beautiful bright pink flowers and had large dark green leaves. However, the leaves have turned nearly yellow; the stems are drooping; and the flowers are a much lighter pink. It did not have care instructions when I received it. Should I plant it outdoors?

Answer: Florist's cyclamen prefer cool temperatures (around 50 degrees) and high humidity; your indoor conditions are probably too warm and dry. Try to keep your plant cool, well-watered, and away from direct mid-day sun. (An east- or west-facing window is good.) Cyclamen are difficult to maintain, both indoors and outdoors. You can always try planting it outdoors for the summer, and if the weather cooperates with temperatures in the 40's and 50's through winter it may survive the entire year. But don't feel bad if it doesn't--think of it as a long-lasting cut flower!

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