Potted Cyclamen Care - Knowledgebase Question

East Haddam, CT
Question by k2pfs
January 3, 2000
I was given 2 beautiful cyclamen plants for Christmas. They are loaded with flowers and beautiful large green leaves. Some of the leaves are turning yellow. I thought this was a sign of overwatering, but they are not really too moist. Should I water them again? I have watered one and not the other, but they both have the yellowing leaves. Both have the same amount of sunlight.

Answer from NGA
January 3, 2000


Yellowing leaves is quite common and can be caused by a variety of things, including transplant shock, over- or under-watering, lack of nitrogen, or even normal leaf aging. It can also be a sign of shock from being moved from an ideal environment (the greenhouse that readied it for holiday sale) into our homes, which are usually not as humid and pleasant a growing environment. Since the soil moisture doesn't seem to be the factor, you might try fertilizing with an all-purpose fertilizer at half-strength. However, I think it's likely that it's shock of a new environment. Here are some general care tips:

Winter care: Place in an east-facing window with bright, indirect light. Cyclamen crowns and foliage are susceptible to fungal rot if too wet, so water only from the bottom (setting the pot in a bowl of water for a few minutes works well). For best flowering, keep humidity high and temperatures cool (60F).

Spring care: After flowers fade, gradually withhold water until foliage withers. Store pots in a cool, dry location or remove corms from soil, and store at 40 to 50F in a perforated plastic bag filled with dry peat moss.

Summer care: In July, repot the corms in soilless potting mix, leaving half of each corm above the soil surface. Place the pot outdoors in a shaded location; when new growth begins, fertilize the cyclamen with all-purpose houseplant food, and keep the soil evenly moist.

Fall care: Bring the pot indoors before first frost. To induce flowering by Christmas, place in an east-facing window with 55F temperatures.

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