Yellow leaves on plants: 7 common causes for the leaves turning yellow on cannabis plants 5 out of 5 stars. 1 vote
While growing cannabis, there may be several reasons that cause the yellow leaves on plants during the entire growing process whereas in some cases such leaves also develop streaks and brown spots followed by withering that result in the death of the plants. If we come to summarize such factors that cause the leaves to turn yellow, among them the prominent reasons may be nutrients deficiencies, environmental stress, imbalances in soil or growing media’s pH, a few pest and several diseases, excessive or less watering and the most prominent being the zinc and Nitrogen deficiencies. We will consider looking into all possible reasons in the order of their priority to adopt effective remedy to overcome such problems on your cannabis plants.
- #1 Watering stress
- #2 Soil or media pH
- #3 Nutrients deficiency
- #4 Heat and Cold Stress
- #5 Common Pests
- #6 Diseases
- #7 Sunlight
- Marijuana Plant Leaf Problems
- Signs of dying leaves
- How to fix sick leaves
- pH imbalance
- Watering problems
- Nutrient Issues
- List of marijuana plant symptoms
- All About the Cyclamen Flower
- Description of the Cyclamen Flower
- Uses for the Cyclamen Flower
- Growing the Cyclamen Flower
- Yellowing Cyclamen Leaves: Solutions For Leaves Turning Yellow On Cyclamen
- Why are My Cyclamen Leaves Going Yellow?
- Cyclamen Persicum
#1 Watering stress
Watering creates stress when it is either given in abundant or below the need of the plants that generally reflects on the bottom leaves turning yellow, initially. Cannabis is fairly tolerant to moisture stress but exceeding the limits show a vigilant effect on the plant growth in the shape of yellow spots on plant leaves that emerge during these stress stages. Little watering is required at the initial stages of growth that increases with the development of plant foliage in the later stages. Excess watering in often observed at the start of the growth while the stress due to less watering is noticed during the longest watering intervals at the later stages of growth that might arise due to holidays or absenteeism from the garden. Yellow leaves on plants are due to too much water as well where you don’t have good drainage conditions. Priority is to have the right growing media that is well-drained and holds the required amount of moisture till next watering. Hydrofarm Grow, Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings, Sphagnum Peat Moss and Espoma-Organic Perlite are excellent growing media that can hold moisture for longer.
To overcome watering issues, DIY Micro Automatic Drip Irrigation Kit helps you to regulate watering during your absence in the garden designed especially for the indoor and outdoor houseplants that are 100% automated small irrigation kit and has a built-in 30-day timer to schedule self-watering with freedom and ease. It saves 70% water and runs on micro USB or alternate 4-AA batteries. Bright LCD is installed that is easy to read and program. Once you program it for a month it keeps its memory even the power is switched off or batteries replaced.
#2 Soil or media pH
It’s important to know the pH of the soil or the growing media that is being in use to grow your Cannabis plants or Marijuana as it’s the pH that determines the uptake of the nutrients from any media besides you put heavy doses of fertilizers or additives for the efficient growth of your plants. Deficiencies can lead to yellow leaves with brown spots if you have even put a reasonable amount of such nutrients but absorption takes place only if the desired pH is maintained. Ideal pH for growing Cannabis is considered 6.3 to 6.8 so timely corrections are needed before growing Cannabis in your edible garden that guides you that what nutrient deficiency causes yellow leaves on your plants. For this purpose, you can use PH-98103 Digital Soil PH Meter Portable that displays pH value on-screen in seconds. It can be used in soil beds and containers with convenience. For quick pH check, Redxiao PH Test Paper can be utilized that tests pH range 5.5-9 in the soil and water in the quickest possible way. Frequently check soil pH using these devices before and after adding nutrients to your plants which show leaves turning yellow during flowering in your garden plants and yellow leaves on pot plants.
After making careful observations, you can add Bloom City Professional pH Up + Down Control Kit to obtain desirable soil pH for growing Cannabis in your garden landscape. It contains both strong acid and base for correcting soil pH up to the asking levels in any growing media.
#3 Nutrients deficiency
After you are done with correcting watering and the soil pH and still signs of yellow leaves on pot plants and all leaves turning yellow during flowering are noticed, is the cause of nutrients deficiency and we need to know what nutrient deficiency causes yellow leaves on your plants?
In case of Nitrogen deficiency, the lower and older leaves will start to become yellow, wilted, and dropping off simply because the younger leaves that are directly exposed to sunlight captured more solar energy during photosynthesis to convert it into glucose which is normal in the process but if things happen differently than all of the existing leaves turn pale yellow and papery, it’s time to apply additional doses of Nitrogen to complement plant growth. As you know Marijuana Nitrogen needs are bit higher than the other plants growing in its neighbor, one single such product that can recover all leaves turning yellow during flowering is 20-20-20 Premium All-Purpose Garden Fertilizer that can be applied with watering and sprayed directly on plant foliage to recover yellowing leaves during late flowering as well. It’s a perfect combination of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium fertilizers in a balanced ratio with slow-release properties that can be applied in any stage of plant growth. It also recovers plants from yellowing leaves during late flowering and other stresses as well due to its components such as Copper, Boron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Iron and Zinc and is considered a complete slow-release fertilizer to dissolve in water, easily.
Add 4 teaspoon of Garden Fertilizer in 1 gallon of water using a pressurized sprayer and apply thoroughly on all parts of the plant. Otherwise, add ½ teaspoon to the soil near the stem of the plant and apply to water. The application can be made during all stages of growth but it may be stopped 15 days before harvest. Another similar product is 18-3-6 All Purpose Liquid Fertilizer & Micronutrients has all the similar features as the previous product but high in Nitrogen that is modified to release slowly while other ingredients chelated with EDTA and HEDTA agents so that effects on plant growth reflect slowly and separately. To spray, 1 ounce per gallon is the recommended dose while 3 ounces per gallons used to water plants for vivid results.
#4 Heat and Cold Stress
Both heat and cold can affect plant growth showing yellow spots on leaves. During the extreme hot climates, plants stop nutrients uptake that is in other words reflected on their top leaves yellowing flowering during any stage of growth. Caring plants against such stresses is important during their early stages of growth otherwise produce is largely affected. Cold stress generally occurs in a ratoon crop where winters are more severe while gardeners keep their plants standing for the next growing seasons to sprout again. Cold stress is noticed in open climate on the plants growing below 10 F during their night exposures, their initial sprouts turn yellow on emergence.
Heat stress is what causes plant leaves to turn yellow on exposing them above 85 F for consecutive 2-3 days. To effectively save your plants from these varying temperature stresses is to place a Temperature gauge at some suitable place in your garden. One such instrument is NMSLA Rain Gauge + Thermometers + Wind Indicator to Monitors wind speed, measure Temperature, monitor rainfall with a scale, indicates wind direction and can be stuck into the garden earth to beautify your garden.
#5 Common Pests
In a Cannabis garden, Spider mites are aphids are also responsible for the plant with yellow spots on green leaves in the upper and middle foliage that are sometimes highly infested with these tiny creatures. Spider mites cause stippling on the upper surface of the leaves that eventually turn yellow upon exhausting chlorophyll from the leaves. On further infestations, these bleached yellow leaves tend to drop when leaf yellowing becomes prominent. This decreases the plant vigor and the entire foliage looks like burnt with a controlled fire in the upper plant leaves. There are several options to control spider mites on a Cannabis plant but sticking to the biological control is preferred over other insecticidal methods. Nature’s Good guys contain 2000 Live Adult predatory mites that prey on Spider mites. Predatory mites release is recommended during the initial stages of plant growth when preparing to develop canopy. 5-10 predatory mites are released in a square feet area on plant upper leaves where they start their multiplication in the next 2 days.
Aphids also cause a similar type of yellowing on upper leaves and tender shoots where they suck plant juices by inserting their stylus to the leaf epidermal layers and secrete honeydew on the surface of the leaf to invite sooty mold and other fungi problems on the Cannabis plants. Among biological controls, Beauveria bassiana is an entomo-pathogenic soil-borne fungus that preys on aphids and many other arthropods such as spider mites and whiteflies as well. BotaniGard ES and Mycotrol WPO are highly effective laboratory-raised fungi and best aphid killer for Cannabis, vegetables and fruit trees to stop leaves yellowing on early flowering.
Garden Safe Brand Fungicide3 is another ready-to-use, organic pesticide that is strongly effective on Aphids, mites and sooty mold associated with spreading other fungal diseases and is considered the best aphids and spider mite killer for cannabis, vegetables, and fruit trees in your edible garden. It also stops the multiplication of the sooty mold spores and further infestations in your garden. It contains Azadirachtin that is derived from the Neem and is considered safe for all sort of organic gardening where you can harvest even after its immediate use.
Apart from several fungi diseases on the Cannabis, powdery mildew is the most common that follows after the Aphids invaded your crop during any stage of growth. Once its fungus is on the leaves, it keeps spreading through air, birds, wind and rainwater splashes on the neighboring plants. Spores keeps on multiplying that appears like a white powder on the surface of the leaves. On heavy infestations, leaves top surface is fully covered with white spores that don’t let direct sunlight to reach leaf surface resulting in slowing the process of photosynthesis, in result, plant foliage turns yellow, then brown and eventually dies. It is most likely to infest the youngest plants when the humidity levels are high and there is limited or no passage for the air to cross between the Cannabis plants. One quick organic approach is to use a homemade recipe by mixing 40% milk with 60% water and immediately spraying on the affected plants. This method works fine if there is abundant sunshine to break milk after the oxidation reaction. The phenomenon of killing spores using milk is still under discussions that what milk contains that kills these spores of powdery mildew?
Another organic and safe solution for Powdery mildew is Green Cure Fungicide with 85% potassium bicarbonate-base, broad-spectrum foliar fungicides that prevent and cure powdery mildew on the Cannabis plants along with controlling some common fungal diseases such as Downey mildew, Blights, Gray Mold and Black Spot on the Cannabis, Vegetables, and fruits. It’s an organic placement in your garden and no harmful effects are reported for the product on all edible greens. Simple to mix and use that holds built-in surfactant to stay its solution on the plant foliage.
Add 2 teaspoon of Green cure Fungicide in 1 gallon of water using hand sprayer or water sprinkler for thorough wetting of your plant’s foliage. It also includes an accurate measuring scoop and complete instructions for the Gardeners.
Sunlight is the trickiest factor that is not in your control while growing the Cannabis in your outdoor garden but you can overcome this factor by selecting a good site that is fully exposed to sunlight. Plants exposed to poor sunlight are often prone to yellowing of leaves as the process of photosynthesis is either delayed in such plants or it doesn’t occur that gives rise to yellowing.
Picking a site becomes easier if you were aware of the other growing requirements at the different stages along with their influx and output to lead you to better yields in your edible garden.
Another important factor related to the sunlight is its amount that your plants need to thrive well, entirely depends on the varietal features of the strains you are supposed to grow in your space. Generally speaking, more sunlight, more photosynthesis leads to more yields.
Marijuana Plant Leaf Problems
In this article we will discuss:
- Signs of dying leaves
- How to fix sick leaves
- PH imbalance
- Watering problems
- Nutrient issues
- List of sypmtoms
If the leave on your marijuana plants are dying off for reasons you can’t explain, it is time to figure out what is behind it. There are generally three reasons for the dying off of your plants’ leaves: a pH imbalance, too much or too little water for your plants, or nutrient deficiencies and toxicities.
Read this article and learn how to recognize leave problems and how to fix leave problems.
Tip: make sure to download my free Grow Bible for more information
Start with the possibility of a pH imbalance and go from there to diagnose the problem and find a way to fix it before it’s too late.
Signs of dying leaves
If you start noticing that your leaves are discolored, they are probably starting to die off. This discoloration can come in the form of yellow, brown, grey, or even red. The leaves might be curling one way or the other (up or down), or just dropping off the plant after yellowing or browning, signifying their death.
How to fix sick leaves
In order to know how to stop the trend of leaf death that is plaguing your plants, you are going to first need to know which of the top three causes is at fault. Is the pH level in the roots imbalanced?
Have you been over or under watering your marijuana plants? Are there nutrient toxicities or deficiencies that are causing the problem? These are all questions you need to ask yourself when trying to know how to fix the problem.
A pH imbalance is the most common reason your plants will be struggling with keeping its leaves happy and healthy. This is simply because the correct level of pH is necessary before your plant can even take in nutrients. That, in turn, means that a fixed pH level could actually solve any nutrient deficiencies or toxicities that your plant is having. So, whenever you see that something is off with your plant, always check the pH level near the roots before doing anything else.
In case you haven’t delved into the topic of pH before, the pH scale measures the acidity and alkalinity of a solution, gauging it via a range of 0 through 14. If it’s lower than 7, the solution is acidic. If it’s higher than 7, the solution is alkaline. Therefore, the pH level of 7 is perfectly neutral – pure, uncompromised water has a neutral pH level.
You don’t need to be a scientist to check the pH level of the soil. The most important part to check is the soil right around the root system of your plant. While the pH level doesn’t need to be perfect, it will enable you to figure out if there is a pH balance problem. It is useful to allow the pH range to fluctuate a bit over time because this will actually allow certain nutrients be absorbed at different rates, which can be helpful to your plant.
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You will need to have a way of maintaining and managing the pH level throughout your plant’s life. One way to do this is by testing the water/nutrient (or supplement) solution before you feed it to your plants. Simple use something like pH Up/Down to adjust the pH level until it’s within the ideal range. You can do this by using natural means, as well. You can add vinegar to the solution to lower the pH level, for instance, or you can simply whisk the water (which adds oxygen) to bring the pH level up. Another way of raising the pH level is by adding dolomite lime to the soil. This has the added benefit of also adding calcium and magnesium to the soil medium.
The ideal pH level for roots to absorb all nutrients efficiently is between 6 and 7. Any higher or lower than that, and you could start running into problems. If you are using a hydroponic growing system, however, then you are going to want to range to instead be between 5.5 and 6.5.
If this adjustment before feeding your plants hasn’t solved the problem, there are other ways to check and adjust the pH level. If your plants are in pots of some sort, you should try collecting the water that is draining from the holes on the bottom. This runoff water should be tested for its pH to see what really goes on near your roots. If you feed your plants a nutrient-water solution that was at a pH of 6.0, for instance, and the runoff water measures up to a pH level of 4.0, you know there is a buildup of some nutrient that needs to be removed before your plant’s roots can function properly. This buildup affects the pH level of the soil around your plant’s roots and, therefore, keeps the roots from effectively absorbing all the nutrients they need to.
You can remove a buildup (such as a salt buildup) by flushing the system with three times the normal amount of plan, pH-balanced water. After that, you can feed them normally, but make sure to continue monitoring the pH levels to know if the flush was successful. Some growers perform a routine (every 3 weeks or every month) flush of their plants anyway to prevent buildups from occurring. This is probably not crucial, however unless you consistently give your plants too many nutrients.
If you’re growing in a hydroponic system, the pH tends to rise over time as the oxygen content in the water increases. Your best way of ensuring a stable pH level is checking consistently until you are familiar with how the pH level rises or lowers in your particular system.
If you have fixed the pH level and your plants are still experiencing dying leaves, you need to look elsewhere for the cause. One such cause could be the incorrect watering of your marijuana plants. You can diagnose what the exact issue is depending on your growing medium. If you are growing your plants in soil or in coco coir, for example, (or another similar soilless medium), the problem most likely lies with poor drainage, too much watering, or too little watering.
You can follow certain steps to ensure that your plant is receiving the right amount of water. Each time you are watering your plants, you should add the correct amount to make sure about 20% of it has drained out as runoff water. After you have done this, wait to water them again until the soil is dry enough. You can establish if the soil is dry by poking your finger in and making sure it’s dry until the top knuckle.
TIP: Looking to buy seeds? Visit the ILGM cannabis seed shop
Of course, if you are growing your plants in a hydroponic setup, then over or underwatering will not be the issue since you don’t even water your plants. They could, however, be “drowning” due to a lack of oxygen. Use an air stone to get more dissolved oxygen into the water.
If your plants have root rot (whether in a hydroponic or soil-based growing system), the roots will be brown, mushy, and stinky. This can also come from improper watering, poor drainage, or high temperatures – then again, sometimes root rot seems to appear out of nowhere, for no logical reason.
If your plants do get root rot, get rid of it with Aquashield. Other root supplements that can be used are Great White and Subculture B.
If you have ensured that improper watering or an imbalanced pH level aren’t the issues, then your plants likely have a nutrient deficiency. You should read up on the symptoms of each nutrient deficiency (or toxicity) to establish which one your plant is struggling with.
Read the article Nutrient deficiencies in marijuana plants for a list with pictures of all possible nutrient deficiencies
List of marijuana plant symptoms
– Curling up of edges
– Curling down of edges
– Falling off
– Leaf death
When it comes to the pH level, it is valuable to know that the nitrogen content in a nutrient system has the strongest effect on the pH of the water. You, therefore, can use this to mix the right nutrients together according to the current water pH levels, so the nutrients are self-correcting the pH level without any extra hassle.
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible
The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing…
The cyclamen flower is known by other more common names that you have probably heard of before and know it as. The cyclamen flower is actually also called sowbread and the Persian violet. This is a flower that is not one that symbolizes happiness, so you need to understand that if you plan on giving it to anyone. The cyclamen is poisonous and it actually has a meaning that relates to death and the fact that all good things will eventually end, so this is a flower that you may use at a funeral to represent departure.
There are 23 species of the cyclamen that are out there today. These flowers generally have grown throughout Europe and through the Mediterranean area to Iran. This flower is a tuber, which means that the flowers are growing from that and it is going to have deeper roots. The leaves will actually bud in the fall and it will grow through the winter, which is backwards of a lot of flowers that are out there today. The flowers that come off of the cyclamen have 5 petals and they are usually facing in an upwards direction. The petals of the flowers can be white, pink, purple, or even a darker color than that. There is also a fruit that comes off of this flower and that is going to release the seeds so that the flower can grow again.
The obvious first use for the cyclamen is that it is a flower that can be used in certain bouquets. You have to understand the meaning of this flower, however, and make sure that if you are putting it in a bouquet, it is for the right circumstances, make sure that you are paying your respect for someone, that is the primary meaning of this flower. Also, it is going to be something that is a little bit more expensive to purchase because it is a flower that has to grow under very specific circumstances. Aside from using it in a bouquet you can also grow this flower. If you live in a cooler climate, this is a great flower to grow because you will have the proper conditions to grow it in.
Why do people plant the Cyclamen Flower?
The cyclamen flowers can actually be grown both indoors and outdoors. They are actually good flowers for a more mild climate and are pretty able to hold up to the conditions that they may have to face in these climates. The cyclamens are more difficult to grow beucase they require a strange process so that they are able to bud. The flowers from the cyclamen actually come about at about 68 degrees and at night, they even want temperatures as low as 44 degrees. So, if you are growing these flowers, you want to make sure that you are giving them the temperatures that they need. If the temperature is too high, they won’t bloom and will actually go dormant.
All About the Cyclamen Flower
Not a lot of people have heard of the Cyclamen flower, this is a flower that is known better as the sowbread or the Persian violet. You will find that this violet is something that actually symbolizes happiness and that is why you want to make sure that you are giving it to people. Remember, however, this flower is a poisonous plant and that it is going to make a difference when you give it to people. On the other hand, it can sometimes be related to death and tells you that all good things will eventually come to an end. This can be used as a beautiful flower for a funeral to show a departure to bigger things.
Description of the Cyclamen Flower
You will see that throughout the world there are 23 different species of the Cyclamen out there. Most of these flowers are found throughout Europe’s Mediterranean coast all the way through to Iran. You will see that this particular flower is a tuber and has deep roots. This means that the leaves will actually grow in the fall and bud them too, that is backwards basically of the other flowers that are out there. With the flowers on the Cyclamen, you have 5 petals and they are going to face upward. The petals are going to be white, purple, pink, or sometime really dark. With the flower, a fruit will come off of it too and this will give off the seeds so that it grows more and more of the Cyclamen for the next season.
Uses for the Cyclamen Flower
What you will find is that this flower can be used for some of the bouquets that you are going to make. More than likely, you are going to want to use these for funeral arrangements and that sort of thing because of the meaning that is out there. You will also find that since there are some really specific growing conditions, this flower is expensive because it can’t grow in a lot of places. You want to make sure that you are looking at growing this flower too, especially if you are going to live in a colder climate because it is so easy to grow there and it can bud and flower in some pretty crazy conditions.
Growing the Cyclamen Flower
The good thing with the Cyclamen is that you can grow these flowers indoors and outdoors. These flowers are good for colder climates, so don’t feel bad if you don’t live in Arizona or California, they will still grow. The only thing that makes the Cyclamen tricky to grow is the fact that it has a weird cycle of budding and flowering. If it isn’t 68 degrees or lower, the flower will not bud and it generally will only bud at night. Sometimes, the flower will even bud as low as when it is 44 degrees out. High temperatures and this flower are not going to get along and you definitely don’t want to do that to it.
Yellowing Cyclamen Leaves: Solutions For Leaves Turning Yellow On Cyclamen
Are your cyclamen plant leaves turning yellow and dropping off? Are you wondering if there is any way to save your plant? Find out what to do about yellowing cyclamen leaves in this article.
Why are My Cyclamen Leaves Going Yellow?
It could be normal. Cyclamens come from Mediterranean countries, where winters are mild and summers are extremely dry. Many Mediterranean plants bloom in winter and sleep through the summer so that they don’t have to struggle to survive the dry conditions. When leaves are turning yellow on cyclamen as summer approaches, it may simply mean that the plant is preparing for summer dormancy.
It’s not easy to bring a cyclamen back into bloom after a long summer nap, but if you want to try to save your plant over the summer, let the leaves remain in place until they fall off on their own. This allows the tuber to absorb nutrients from the dying leaves. Place the pot in the coolest room in the house for the summer months. Lots of sunlight helps.
In the fall, repot the tuber into fresh potting soil. Bury it so that a little of the top remains above the soil. Water lightly until leaves begin to appear, and then keep the soil lightly moist at all times. Feed with a houseplant fertilizer designed for flowering plants according to the package instructions.
Check temperature and water. Warm temperatures and improper watering can also cause yellow leaves on cyclamen plants. Cyclamen plants like daytime temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit (15-18 C.) and night temperatures around 50 degrees (10 C.). The blossoms last longer when the plant is kept cool.
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. Drain for 20 minutes and then discard the excess water.
Insect pests may be to blame. Cyclamen is susceptible to the usual houseplant insects, all of which can cause some degree of yellowing. Spider mites, aphids, scale insects and mealybugs can all be treated with insecticidal soap spray. Cyclamen mites are particularly nasty insects, and you probably won’t be able to get rid of them. Discard infested plants to keep the insect from spreading to other houseplants.
Staten Island Advance/Frank J. Johns A Mediterranean plant, cyclamen sometimes is called the “poor man’s orchid” for its flowers attractive, dark-green, mottled, heart-shaped leaves.
If you were fortunate enough to receive a gift plant of a cyclamen this holiday season, it is important to know how to care for it and keep it healthy.
The first thing you should know is that this is one plant that needs to be kept cool. If you’re lowering your thermostat to cut back on winter heating bills, you’ll benefit your cyclamen, too, since it’s happy with temperatures less than 68 degrees in daytime and even lower at night. Cyclamen doesn’t appreciate temperatures much above 70 degrees and the dry atmosphere that goes with them.
Beyond the benefit to both plant and pocketbook, keeping your house cooler also will make a difference in how you feel. You’ll immediately notice relief from stuffiness in your nasal passages. At night, under the covers, you’ll breathe better and feel better, too.
Too high a temperature causes cyclamen’s leaves to yellow and flower buds to wither; too little light will produce the same result. A south window is preferred, but an east or west window also are suitable. Your plant will appreciate high humidity, i.e., placement in a shallow tray of water with pebbles to keep the pot above the water.
GROWN FROM TUBERS
Cyclamens grow from tubers that are round and rather flat on top. The tubers are the storage organs that keep the plants alive during their summer dormancy. Avoid watering the tuber itself and wait until the soil surface feels dry before watering, however, don’t wait until the plant becomes limp.
Cyclamens prefer to receive a good soaking, then dry out partially before receiving another good soaking. Remember, don’t let your plant sit in water; empty the saucer of it after a few minutes.
Fertilize cyclamen every three or four weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer as you would your other houseplants. Overfeeding will produce more foliage than flowers. To remove dead flowers or leaves, steady the plant at soil level with one hand, while using the other to reach in and pull off the aging stem with a snap.
Your cyclamen is a Mediterranean plant originating from parts of Europe, western Asia and parts of North Africa. Sometimes called the “poor man’s orchid,” its flowers look like shooting-stars and its foliage is attractive, with dark-green, mottled, heart-shaped leaves. Miniature cyclamens are just smaller-flowered plants. They tend to be a bit more heat-tolerant and bloom longer.
The florist cyclamen traditionally is sold during Christmas season and winter. If you love to garden and miss all the flowers once your garden has been put to bed, you will love cyclamen. It wakes up and takes over as your garden goes into its long winter nap, bursting with blooms of white, red, pink or lavender, all winter long.
DON’T TOSS IT
When the garden begins to burst into bloom in April, cyclamen stops blooming, its leaves begin to turn yellow and it enters a dormant state. Most people discard the plant at this point thinking it is dying, but the cyclamen is a tuberous plant that needs to rest for awhile.
As the flowers begin to fade, gradually allow your plant to dry out for two to three months. Some of my cyclamen don’t ever appear to go fully dormant. I usually move them to an upstairs room away from the hot sun and continue to give them some water over the summer. Be careful, though; too much water will cause the tuber to rot. So, while a little water isn’t going to do any harm, you don’t want the soil to remain wet. You may place your plant outdoors out of direct sunlight during summer, in a location where rainfall won’t reach it.
Come September, when new leaves appear, you can water the soil thoroughly. If new growth doesn’t start by late October, go ahead and water it. As long as the tuber is still plump and hard, your cyclamen should be just fine. Wait for new shoots to appear and the soil becomes somewhat dry, then water thoroughly again. When your plant starts to wake up, move it to a brighter location.
WHEN TO REPOT
You should repot your plant after several years. Once all the leaves have dried, the tuber may be repotted into a container one inch larger in diameter than the old one. Set the top of the tuber level with the surface of the soil, or slightly above the soil level to prevent crown rot.
Use a packaged, peaty soil mixture and pot in a mixture of two parts peat moss to one part packaged potting soil. Choose a lightweight bag of soil rather than a heavy one.
Although I have never tried to propagate my cyclamens, I have read that, similar to potatoes, they can be divided providing each portion has both a growth eye and part of the rooting region of the tuber. Next fall this will be something I definitely will try to do.
If you didn’t receive a cyclamen during the Christmas season, a good place to purchase one will be at the New Jersey Flower and Garden Show at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison this February 12 to 15.
When choosing a cyclamen, pick one with only a few flowers that are open, but with lots of buds tucked underneath the foliage. This will ensure that you will have flowers that will develop and bloom later.
Pinch out any yellow leaves from your houseplants. Your plants will benefit from some grooming. To increase humidity, place trays filled with pebbles and water under your plants.
Lee Gugliada is past president of the Great Kills Garden Club and past director of First District Federated Garden Clubs of New York State.
Buying: A quick mention on the buying front. If you are able to buy a plant during fall with some buds unopened your likely to enjoy these delightful plants for longer.
Cyclaman is the common name used for this plant and the name of the genus the persicum variety belongs to. In it’s natural habitat you’ll find this plant growing within rocky areas, among many shrub vegetation areas and over 1000m above sea levels. It is a tender plant which does not like frost, however, they’re grown outdoors (temperate climates) but struggle to survive in winter temperatures.
The genus of cyclames “which are tuber plants” consists of over 20 species and many hybrids, but the persicum and hybrids of this species are the most popular grown indoors. There are also dwarf sizes cultivated (like they are not small enough as they are!), which only grow up to 6 inches tall.
Foliage: The foliage grows very compact and the leaves are patterned and kind of heart shaped, which are very attractive without flowers. The basic leaves are green with silver markings and another has a silver marble effect around most of the leaf and the center is green. The beautiful blooms sit well above the foliage on long stems.
Flowers: The colorful decorative blooms growing on stems sitting above the leaves are available in many colors, including light pink, deep pink, white, red and light pink with the outer edges and bottom of the petals are dark pink in color.
Flowering and Dormancy Period
This plant is named the florist cyclamen because it’s widely available at florist’s or stores and treated as an annual plant, to be thrown away after flowering. They can be bought during fall and winter with flowers lasting for a few months, with proper care given. It’s really a perennial that can flower the following year.
Once the flowers die off and the leaves turn yellow and deteriorate, the plant becomes dormant and wants to rest during the summer period, so if you like “you can have a go at getting the plant to bloom next year.” Unlike other plants that grow at their best from spring – fall, the cyclamen does the opposite and grows from the end of fall – spring.
Remove all the dying foliage once much of it has deteriorated and place the plant tuber in a pot with the top section of the tuber sitting above the soil, within a cool environment, without bright light. Stop watering and feeding. You do not want the soil to become wet (wet will rot) and feeding stops because growth has stalled until next year. Once you see the first bit of growth, which should be from September – December, give them a thorough watering and begin normal care.
Level of care: If you grow cyclamens as annual pot plants and discard them after flowering you’ll find them easy to care for in cool conditions. Taking care of them during the dormant period to bloom the next season is the tricky part, which is why so many discard them.