Cyclamens are from Mediterranean climates and enter dormancy after bloom to survive the dry hot summers.
As they go into dormancy, the leaves of the plant turn yellow. If the flowers have just bloomed and the weather is warming up, the yellowing leaves you are noticing are completely normal so don’t worry.
If your cyclamens have not recently been in bloom, yellowing leaves may be caused by overwatering or the wrong temperature. Or, the quality of the soil might be the source of the problem. If not, it might be an insect or pest to blame.
With this guide, I’ll show you how to find the source of the problem with your cyclamen leaves turning yellow, and give you some tips on how to fix it and restore those leaves to a healthy green.
I’ve enjoyed growing cyclamens for years. Though I have found them sometimes fussy, problems can usually be easily rectified.
Benefits of Cyclamens
Many think of cyclamens as delicate indoor plants, but they are hardier than they look. Because they flower through the winter months, they are a delightful addition to any home or garden.
Perfect for adding a splash of color in a season when many plants are bare.
The reason cyclamens make great indoor plants is that they prefer cool temperatures and bright, indirect light. They bloom for about 4 weeks and then go into dormancy.
It can be tough to get a cyclamen to bloom again after this dormant period, but it is possible.
Just as many other plants burst into life, your cyclamen will stop blooming, the leaves will turn yellow, and it will begin to enter dormancy. You can expect this change around April.
Cyclamens have this specific cycle because they are native to the Mediterranean, where the dry summer season is tough to survive. So cyclamens lay dormant for the summer season when moisture is scarce, and re-emerge for the temperate winter.
Cyclamen Leaves Turning Yellow – Other Causes
If your plant is yellowing after blooming then do not worry, this is a completely normal part of its life cycle. If the timing isn’t right for dormancy and you are still seeing your cyclamen leaves turning yellow, consider these other options:
- Watering: Overwatering plants is a common problem because it’s easy to do, but it can cause root rot and yellowing leaves. The soil should never be soggy. If you suspect the plant is overwatered, leave it to dry out almost fully, and avoid watering in the evening. If you see signs of fungus, repot the plant in well-draining soil.
- Temperature: Cyclamens prefer cooler temperatures and yellow leaves may be a sign of overheating. These flowers prefer daytime temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and a night-time temperature of about 10 degrees. These cooler temperatures will keep them in bloom for longer.
- Soil Quality: As long as it is well-drained, cyclamens can tolerate a range of soils. However, they prefer slightly acidic pH levels. If your cyclamen plant is yellowing, use a soil test kit to test the acidity of the soil. If it is alkaline, add some sphagnum peat onto the soil to create the perfect conditions for the cyclamens to flower.
- Insects and Pests: If you see signs of pests, the nutrients they are sapping from the plant may cause the yellowing leaves. Just like other indoor plants, cyclamens are susceptible to spider mites, aphids, scale insects, and mealybugs. These can all be treated with an insecticidal spray but if the infestation worsens, move it away from other houseplants to stop the infestation from spreading.
After the leaves are yellow and the plant goes into dormancy, many people throw away a potted cyclamen plant. Although it can be difficult to rebloom indoor cyclamen, if you are up for a challenge then here’s what to do.
Once all the buds have opened and faded away, stop watering the plant. Move the pot to a cool spot for the summer. A shaded area in the garden is perfect. As the leaves yellow and wilt, allow them to fall from the plant naturally. This allows the plant to gain more nutrients from them.
In fall, repot the plant using fresh potting soil. Place the tuber so that it is slightly poking out from the soil. Keep this soil lightly moist and use a houseplant fertilizer weekly.
With this gentle care, the flower should regrow and you can enjoy its bloom again for the winter.
Frequently Asked Questions
As well as troubleshooting yellow leaves, these are some of the other most common questions I get about these popular plants.
Q: How often should you water cyclamen?
A: 2-3 times a week should be enough water, allow the soil to dry out thoroughly between watering.
Q: Why do cyclamens droop?
A: If your cyclamens droop heavily this is another sign of overwatering. Just as the guide states above, you should allow the soil to dry, and add proper drainage, and water less frequently.
Q: Can cyclamens grow outdoors?
A: If an area of your garden has dry shade this can be suitable for planting cyclamens, as long as the soil has good drainage.
Q: How long do cut cyclamens last?
A: If placed into pure water with no preservatives, cut cyclamen flowers should brighten your home for about 2 weeks.
Q: What color are cyclamens?
A: Cyclamens come in a range of colors, from white through to shades of pink and red, and light purples too.
Cyclamen Leaves Turning Yellow – Conclusion
Cyclamen's bright blooms can bless your home over winter, but they will begin to droop and yellow after that.
So it is likely that the yellow leaves you are seeing are a completely normal part of the life cycle of the plant, and you can follow the instructions here to see another bloom next year.
If this is happening not directly after the plant is flowering, the problem is more likely to be overwatering or a pest infestation.
Both of these problems can be rectified as long as you act quickly and fix the problem once you notice yellow leaves.