By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Cyclamen are common flowering gift plants but there are also North American native species found in the wild. The plants make excellent container or garden bed specimens and can even thrive and bloom for months indoors. However, cyclamen plants have an interesting life cycle, and certain needs to perform best. Learn the causes and how to revive a drooping cyclamen.
Drooping leaves on cyclamen may be the result of a natural process. Plants begin re-growth in fall and are actively growing in winter. By the time the heat of summer appears, the plants are slowly dying back and eventually there will be no sign that they were there. This process is natural and may result in drooping leaves on cyclamen. Wait until fall and see if you don’t find it coming back for its spring performance.
Droopy cyclamen flowers may also be due to cultural conditions and can be easily corrected. Cyclamen prefers Mediterranean climates and does not tolerate excessive heat or cold. The best temperatures are temperate and moderate. Drooping leaves on cyclamen are a common symptom of heat or cold stress.
The plant also prefers bright but indirect light. Plants situated in a southern window or in a hot area of the garden may suffer and indicate their distress by drooping.
Droopy cyclamen flowers occur when a plant has too much water. Cyclamens prefer moist soil but not boggy conditions. If planted in ground, make sure the soil percolates well; and if it doesn’t, add some gritty material to improve drainage. Plants in containers should also have well-draining soil and several holes in the bottom of the pot.
Plants that are kept too wet will develop drooping leaves as well as crown rot. This results in the core of the plant being overrun by fungal disease and causes eventual plant death. Cyclamen respond well to extra humidity and like to have their leaves sprayed but provide good ventilation so the leaves can dry off quickly.
Most insects aren’t an issue but if you spot any sucking pests, like aphids, combat quickly with horticultural soap.
Cyclamens are quite forgiving of incorrect culture provided you don’t drown the poor things. A sickly cyclamen in a container may simply need new potting soil. The plant rises from tubers and tubers in boggy soil become water logged and develop soft spots.
Remove the plant from the soil and rinse off the tubers. Check each for any damage and separate any with soft spots or discoloration. Use fresh, sterile soil and replant the tubers, burying them half their length in depth. Keep the soil moist and in a cool, indirectly lit area.
Cyclamen in their dormant phase need a bit less water than when they are actively growing. Increase water in late winter to early spring. Use ¼ teaspoon (1 ml.) per gallon (4 l.) of houseplant food every time you water from late winter until the plant begins to stop blooming. Suspend fertilizer during the dormant phase.
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See full answer. Besides, how do you revive a cyclamen drooping?
A One reason cyclamen wilt is lack of water. To rehydrate a plant, stand the pot in a saucer of tepid water and let it soak up moisture from the base. After a couple of hours, tip out any water left in the saucer. In heated houses, wilting is often due to high temperatures.
Also, why are the leaves on my cyclamen turning yellow? Warm temperatures and improper watering can also cause yellow leaves on cyclamen plants. Cyclamen likes a moderately moist soil. It should be moist to touch, but never soggy. Water around the sides of the pot or from the bottom to prevent rot.
Subsequently, one may also ask, how often do you water a cyclamen?
While in bloom, keep the root ball moist and feed the plant every two weeks. Cyclamen should be kept moist by watering in a tray and allowing the roots to take up the water rather than watering from above the plant which can lead to rotting. Remove yellow leaves and spent flowers.
It's normal for cyclamen to lose its leaves and go dormant after flowering. Gradually cut back on watering when the leaves begin to wilt and turn yellow. Use scissors to remove all remaining dead and dying foliage. Place the tuber in a container with the top half of the tuber sitting above the surface of the soil.
The flowering period of a cyclamen plant falls between September and April. This plant should be purchased in the phase where it has just begun to bloom, and there are enough buds to bloom later. Also, the stems of the flowers should not be drooping. Though it thrives better while indoors, cyclamen may be kept outdoors too, however, with strict adherence to its light and temperature requirements. Follow these instructions when caring for and growing the cyclamen.
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• Watering Requirements: Watering the plant in the right amount is of utmost importance. An excess or a deficit of water can cause several problems and hamper the tubers from which the plant grows. A cyclamen plant should be watered with cool water only when the soil appears dry. Do not allow the water to touch the crown of the plant. Ensure that the container that the plant is placed in has sufficient drainage holes to eliminate excess water.
• Temperature and Humidity Control: This plant thrives in a humid and cool environment. Ideally, it should be kept in an environment where the temperature does not exceed 60ºF. Due to these requirements it is possible to care for a cyclamen plant indoors, and in effect ideal, as you are able to control the temperatures and moisture levels under which it grows. It is best to keep this plant near or on a window sill that gets a fair amount of but not harsh sunlight so that it can thrive. To fulfill the moisture requirement of the plant, place its pot in a pebble lined tray filled with water. Do not directly immerse the pot containing the plant in water.
• Controlling Cyclamen Growth Environment Outdoors: Even if you wish for to keep this plant outdoors, the temperature it is exposed to should not exceed 70ºF, while the temperatures in the evening should hover around 40ºF and 50ºF. Anything below or above this temperature range is not suitable for the plant. Bright and harsh sunlight is not appreciated by this plant, but it still requires a certain amount. Thus, place the plant in an area that is well-lit, but not directly exposed to sunlight. For instance, a spot in the shade outdoors is a good place to keep a cyclamen plant. This is only during the period ranging from fall to spring. In summer the plant becomes dormant, and should be placed away from bright sunlight.
• Fertilization Requirements: Regular fertilization, with a fertilizer that is suitable for indoor plants, is essential if the plant has been kept indoors. This means the plant should be given a regular feeding every 3-4 weeks, which begins a month after the plant has been purchased. As is the case with excess water, so is the case with fertilizer. The right amount will help the flowers bloom perfectly, while an excess will result in the growth of only foliage.
• Re-potting the Plant: If all these requirements are met, the plant will be in full bloom from the months October through March. It is only as summer arrives that the leaves begin to yellow, which signifies the onset of the dormancy period of the plants. During this period, do not water the plant. Allow all the leaves to yellow and wilt during this period place the plant in a cool and slightly dark place. Once all of them have wilted, and summer is nearing its end, move the tubers into a container that is larger than the previous one, and replant them using a soil-based potting mix, with the tubers protruding slightly from the top of the soil. Do not water until the foliage begins to grow. Store the plant in a cool area, away from direct sunlight.
• Pests and Other Problems: Though cyclamen plants are hardy they can sometimes get infested by red spider mites and even cyclamen mites. The latter are very difficult to spot unless viewed under a magnifying glass. Check for yellowing, deformed or curled leaves and withered blooms. Infestation by these mites can be prevented by keeping the plant in a humid environment. If you find the aforementioned symptoms it is best to discard the plant as getting rid of these mites is difficult. Other pests that affect this plant include red mites, aphids and thrips that cause discoloration of the plant and flowers, and may be eliminated to a certain extent by using insecticidal soap. Large-scale infestations by any kind of pest requires the plant to be discarded. Similar is the case if the plant gets affected by bacteria or fungi that can cause the stalk and then the entire plant to rot because of excess water/fertilizer and less ventilation. If you notice this rotting at an earlier stage, remove the affected parts and place the plant in a well-lit and ventilated area.
The cyclamen plant also makes a great gift for those who have a green thumb and are fond of indoor gardening. On the other hand, if you are a budding gardening enthusiast, the cyclamen, with its minimal requirements, is the ideal choice to begin your newly discovered hobby.
The care of this pretty plant depends very much on whether you are growing it to enjoy it just during the flowering season (over the holidays and winter) or whether you want to get it to rebloom.
The first is easy and the latter requires much more diligence. Read on for basic tips for caring for a cyclamen, and also suggestions for getting the plant to flower again next year.
Cyclamen persicum has been know to quickly stop growing and show signs of incorrect care and unfavorable conditions.
However, if you have a bit of a green thumb, the florist cyclamen can be kept blooming for many years without too much effort.
Caring for a cyclamen starts with the right light conditions.
Florist cyclamen prefers moderate or diffused light conditions. Keep the plant in high indirect light when it is in bloom. After flowering, move the plant to medium light.
Be careful of placing the plant in a spot with too much sun. One thing that cyclamen cannot take is extremes of heat.
A north facing window is ideal for florist cyclamen.
Good cyclamen care means that you need and water regularly during the spring and early summer.
Erratic watering will result in cyclamen plants which have droopy flowers. Give liquid fertilizer when buds start to form. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
Fertilize twice a month from fall to early spring, which is the bloom time.
I like to place my plant in the sink and water it thoroughly and then let it drain. Another way to water cyclamens is to immerse the container in water and allow it to soak up from the bottom and then replace the plant in its original spot.
Cyclamen persicum likes high humidity. Use a mister to keep humidity high, or place the pot on a tray of pebbles with water to allow the water to evaporate upward.
Plants grown in terrariums will also enjoy high humidity, so cyclamen plants are ideal for this type of container. Grouping cyclamens with other humidity loving plants also creates a nice environment for them.
Caring for a cyclamen means starts with your soil choice.
Grow cyclamen persicum in an all-purpose soil based mix. All types of cyclamen do best with soil that has been enriched with compost or other organic matter.
Be sure the soil mix will retain moisture but also drain well.
Repot crowded plants to a container 1/3 larger only when the nights are consistently above 55 °F
Cyclamen persicum likes a cool temperature. During the day, florist cyclamen likes a temperature of 60 to 72 °F. At night, keep temperatures in the 45 to 60 °F range for best results.
Since the average home doesn’t normally have rooms that are kept this cool, maintaining this temperature can be a challenge.
Additionally, drafts from cold windows and variations in temperatures can result in bloom droop and also in plants failing to produce flowers.
Florist cyclamen is a popular gift and holiday plant with long lasting blooms. The plant is only cold hardy in zones 9-11.
Florist cyclamen is a cool loving plant that flowers from October to April in the northern hemisphere.
The butterfly-like flowers of cyclamen come in many shades of red and pink, with white and lavender varieties also common. Under the right conditions, florist cyclamen will flower nonstop for many months.
The beautiful blooms of cyclamen sit on long, stiff stems, well above the foliage. Dwarf varieties can be found with frilled flowers and also with double flowers.
The basic leaves of cyclamen persicum are green with silver markings. Other varieties have a silver marble effect around most of the leaf with a green center.
Flowering occurs from winter through to spring. The beautiful cyclamen flowers sit above a rosette of heart shaped blue green leaves. Cyclamen persicum is a graceful plant, often with beautiful silver markings on the leaves.
Caring for a cyclamen means spending some time with maintenance. To extend the length of time that your cyclamen flowers, you should deadhead it regularly. Use this time to also inspect for yellowing leaves and insects.
To correctly deadhead fading flowers and foliage follow the stem all the way down to the soil and cut with scissors.
Cyclamens come in basically three types when it comes to mature size.
Florist cyclamen forms compact clumps from underground tubers.
To get a larger sized plant right away, plant several smaller ones to a pot. The mounding growth habit of the plant will blend them nicely into a uniform look.
Cyclamen persicum is prone to spider mites and cyclamen mites which can cause distorted growth on the plant. If you find an infestation, discard the plant.
A common problem for florist cyclamen is yellowing foliage. This happens because of temperatures that are too hot, or from too little humidity. If the plant receives too much sunlight, the foliage will also yellow.
Other problems are a short life span for the flowers. While cyclamen normally blooms for many months, if your environment is too warm and dry or the plant doesn’t get enough water, it can suffer from a short flower life.
Lack of moisture can result in buds drooping. Be sure to give water right way if you notice this and it will quickly recover.
If the leaves are soft and drooping and the plant is soft in the center, this is a symptom of crown rot. This is caused by too much water. Repot and avoid watering and hope the plant will recover.
Droopy cyclamen flowers are the first thing to alert you to either underwatering or overwatering of your plant. If you react quickly to either, the plant will pick up quickly.
Once your cyclamen persicum has bloomed, it goes into a dormant state. They leaves and flowers will look dead, but the plant is just asking for a rest!
With proper care, you can keep the plant through dormancy and it will flower again in the fall.
The trick is to let the leaves die and hold off on watering during the dormant state.
Keep the plant in a cool, dark place for 2-3 months and new growth will start again.
For more details on how to get a cyclamen to flower again, check out my post – getting a cyclamen to rebloom.
Planting cyclamen in a sheltered spot beneath a tree is perfect for providing dappled sunlight in summer and winter. Photo: Getty
The name cyclamen is derived from the Greek word for coil or circle, because of the way the flower stems curl up to bring its round seedpods under the protective cover of the leaves when the petals drop.
Growing hardy cyclamen outdoors is simple as long as you follow a few general guidelines. Unlike florist's cyclamen that grows outdoors only in warm climates, hardy cyclamen tolerates cold climates and freezing winters. However, this cool climate plant doesn't survive where summers are hot and dry.
Similarly, how do you protect cyclamen from frost? In freezing weather a light cover of leaves or evergreen boughs will help protect the plants, removing them as soon as possible. In late spring or early summer the plants leaves will start to yellow and the plant will enter dormancy. This will be delayed in areas of moister deeper shade.
Similarly, it is asked, how can you tell if a cyclamen is Hardy?
We are often asked about hardiness and the easiest way to know if a cyclamen is hardy is simply, the bigger and showier the flowers, the less likely it is to be suitable for outdoors all year round. Cyclamen Hederifolium and c. Coum. are both wonderful hardy ground cover varieties, both with RHS AGM awards.
Can I plant an indoor cyclamen outside?
Cyclamen are usually grown in pots indoors. They go dormant for the summer, but with proper care, they will re-bloom in the fall. When grown outside, Cyclamen persicum will bloom in late winter or early spring.