Why Cyclamen Dying

Dying Cyclamen Plants? (Troubleshooting 9 Common Problems)

Cyclamen declining and dying is typically caused by overwatering issues leading to root rot. Saturated soil deprives roots of oxygen. Fusarium wilt is a fungal infection that can kill Cyclamen plants. Severe Vine Weevil infestation can also kill the Cyclamen plant. 

Improve drainage by amending soil and using containers with holes. Allow soil to partially dry out between waterings. Discard any plants with black, mushy roots and repot healthy ones in a fresh mix. Keep humidity moderate. Preventing excess moisture from reaching the crown and roots will stop cyclamen from dying off and revive plants.

Cyclamen is a genus of 23 species of plants that give out pretty blooms. The blooms are fragrant and colorful, the reason why many keep the plant indoors.

The name ‘Cyclamen’ is derived from the Greek language. It is named so due to the arrangement of the flower stalks.

Cyclamen plants are loved by gardeners but are the plants low-maintenance? No, the plant does run into issues, let’s see how to fix them!

Outdoor Cyclamen drooping

Drooping leaves on outdoor Cyclamen generally indicates too much moisture. These plants thrive in well-draining soil and can rot if overwatered, causing leaves to wilt and droop.

Improve drainage by amending soil with compost or sand. Allow soil to partially dry out between waterings and avoid getting water on the tuber crown. Damp weather and poor air circulation also contribute to rot. Provide shelter if the rains are excessive. Addressing wet soil and moisture retention will help prevent cyclamen decline and perk up plants.

Cyclamen Crown rot/Overwatered Cyclamen

Leaf drooping is the primary symptom of overwatering. Overwatering your Cyclamen leads to the rotting of the crown and roots.

Overwatering creates soggy conditions around the Cyclamen plant. Waterlogged conditions favor the growth of fungi like Phytophthora.

What does an Overwatered Cyclamen look like?

Overwatered Cyclamen plant’s leaves become droopy and yellow. The plant withers and you’ll see random yellowing on the leaves of the plant.

Poorly overwatered cyclamen – Will it recover?
by u/Chl0thulhu in plantclinic

Cyclamen soggy stems

Stems of the affected Cyclamen turn black/brown and become aqueous. Observe the bulb closely for early symptoms.

Stems become soggy and one can see that stems have more water than needed.

How to fix an overwatered Cyclamen?

Respond early if you want to save your Cyclamen. Treat the plant once you see drooping and confirm crown/root rot. Here are a few steps to follow.

  • Do not water the plant anymore, let the soil dry. If possible depot the plant and place it on a stack of newspapers/paper towels. Wait for the papers to absorb excess water.
  • If the roots are brown, mushy, and releasing odor, cut off the roots that are affected with a pair of pruning shears.
  • Re-pot the plant in a new pot with fresh soil. Be patient, if the plant is strong enough it will come back.

How do you keep Cyclamen from rotting?

  • Make sure the soil/potting mix is well-draining and gritty. Add a potting soil that drains excess water well and aerate it.
  • Water your Cyclamen consciously. Water only when the soil goes dry.
  • Water your plant from below. Place a container below the Cyclamen, and add some pebbles to it. Add water to the container and let the plant take as much water as it needs.
  • Make sure the pot has holes to drain away excess water.

Do Vine Weevils eat Cyclamen?

Yes, Vine Weevil larvae eat the roots of Cyclamen plants. Leaves become droopy when there’s a vine weevil infestation in the roots.

Adult Vine weevils munch on the leaves of Cyclamen plants. So, Vine weevil infestation causes two-fold damage. Vine weevil is the arch-enemy of Cyclamen plants.

Controlling Vine weevils is hard as both, the larval and adult forms bother the plants. One needs to treat them both.

Get rid of Vine weevils on Cyclamen

I advise preventing the infestation of Vine weevils rather than treating it. It’s pretty hard to get rid of Vine weevils once they’ve established.

  • Use commercially bagged compost if possible. Clear the weeds around the susceptible plants.
  • You can control Vine weevil populations biologically by introducing Beauveria brongnartii mold and parasitic nematodes onto the infected plants.
  • If the infestation is severe, treat the adults using wettable powder and a lot of water. You can treat the larvae by mixing micro granules in the soil.

Cyclamen Fusarium wilt

Fusarium wilt is a fungal disease that’s common in Cyclamen plants. Fusarium wilt causes wilting/drooping and yellowing of the leaves in Cyclamen.

Fusarium wilt is a vascular wilt disease. Fusarium wilt is a fungal disease that is favored by poor cultural practices.

The disease first infects the roots and then moves up into the trunk of the plant. Once a plant is infected, there’s no way to revive it.

Dispose of the infected plant and plant parts. You can eliminate the fungal spores in the spoil with heat treatments or chemical fumigation.

Fusarium wilt and Crown rot of Cyclamen are so similar. Many people confuse one disease for the other. But there are some key differences.

Fusarium wilt vs. Crown rot in Cyclamen

Cyclamen crown rotFusarium wilt
Random golden yellow leaves that do wither.Pale golden yellow leaves that do not wither.
Aqueous stems that turn black/brown in color.Stems don't change color but sometimes may become aqueous.
Bulb becomes aqueous and may/may not show orange spots.Bulb looks normal but spots appear on the side of the bulb.

Cyclamen flowers falling off

Cyclamen flower buds fall off due to underwatering. Never let the soil go dry. Check the soil often and water when it goes dry.

I know I always say less watering is better than overwatering. But don’t take this to an extreme. Check the soil with a soil moisture meter if needed.

You can let the soil go dry between the waterings, but do not let the plant wilt. Underwatered plant leaves turn yellow and dry.

Underwatering also affects the blooms, so it becomes crucial to water your plant consciously. If in doubt, use the below-watering method.

Place the pot in a tub/bowl and add some pebbles to it. Place the pot on these pebbles. Fill water in this tub up to two inches.

The plant will take in water when needed via the draining holes of the pot. I do this with all my plants and it works wonders!

Why is my Cyclamen leggy?

Cyclamen plants become leggy and stretch when they don’t receive sufficient sunlight. They require at least 4 hours of direct, bright light daily.

With inadequate light, stems elongate as the plant reaches for sunlight. Provide the brightest location possible or supplement with grow lights.

Rotate pots periodically so growth stays compact. Pinching back and pruning leggy stems encourages full, bushy new growth. Boosting light exposure prevents cyclamen from becoming lanky and top-heavy.

Do Cyclamen need sun or shade?

Cyclamen plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. If the plant gets some shade for the better part of the day, move it to a brighter place.

Keep your Cyclamen near an east-facing window for bright, indirect sunlight. You can also place it near other windows considering there’s a curtain between your plant and the window.

Cyclamen leaves curling

Curled cyclamen leaves are typically caused by environmental stresses. Low humidity causes leaves to curl and dry out on the edges. Too much or too little water can also curl leaves. Hot or cold drafts will cause foliage to curl to conserve moisture. Pests like spider mites may cause curling.

Increase humidity, ensure even soil moisture, provide temperate conditions, and treat pests. Addressing the underlying issue will allow leaves to return to a flat, healthy appearance.

Keeping indoor Cyclamen on pebble trays filled with water can increase humidity around the plant. Too much or too little water can also lead to leaf curling.

Allow soil to dry out slightly between waterings and avoid saturated soil. Hot or cold drafts from heating and AC vents may cause cyclamen leaves to curl in an effort to conserve moisture.

Finally, pests like spider mites can infest the plants and cause distorted, curled growth. Monitoring humidity, soil moisture, exposure to temperature extremes, and pests will ensure the cyclamen leaves remain flat and healthy.

Cyclamen Mite infestation

Cyclamen mites are tiny pests that feed on new growth of cyclamen, causing stunted, twisted leaves and flowers. They thrive in hot, dry conditions.

Control by maintaining cool temperatures and adequate humidity around plants. Isolate infested plants and prune off damaged growth.

Apply Insecticidal soap or Neem Oil spray treatments. Soak the entire plant to reach Mites. Repeated applications are needed to fully eliminate these persistent pests. Consistent monitoring and early treatment help curb Cyclamen Mite damage.

Infected Cyclamen plant’s leaves turn dark green and appear blotchy. Cyclamen Mites infest a lot of greenhouses across the US.

What causes Cyclamen mites?

Cyclamen Mites are widespread in Greenhouses across the US. These mites don’t fancy moving from plant to plant.

They move via wind and human contact. They are not visible to the naked eye and that is the reason why you bring them home along with your plant.

How to get rid of Cyclamen Mites?

The best way to get rid of Cyclamen Mites is by immersing the infested plant in hot water. Immersing the infested plant in 110 degrees F water for 30 minutes would suffice.

Spray Insecticidal Soap/Horticulture Oil on the affected Cyclamen plants. Drench your Cyclamen in the spray to get rid of these mites efficiently.

Will Neem Oil kill Cyclamen mites?

Yes, Neem oil will kill Cyclamen mites. Mix a teaspoon of Neem oil in a pint of water. Take this solution into a spray bottle.

Mist this solution on the affected Cyclamen. Neem oil is a natural solution to get rid of the Cyclamen mites without harming your Cyclamen plant

Does Diatomaceous Earth kill Cyclamen mites?

Yes, Diatomaceous can kill Cyclamen mites. Diatomaceous Earth can kill any insect with an exoskeleton.

Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth around and on your Cyclamen plants. You need to be careful while doing so though as it kills beneficial insects too.

How do you keep Cyclamen Mites away?

Reduce the humidity to 60-75% indoors, Cyclamen don’t survive in such conditions. Keeping the temperature in a range of 20-25°C works well too.

Buy plants from a reputed nursery. Cyclamen mite infestations usually come from the greenhouse itself. Isolate those plants which show signs of infestation.

After you deal with the affected plants don’t touch the healthy plants. Human contact is the primary way these pesky mites spread.

Why are the leaves of my Cyclamen turning yellow?

Yellowing leaves on cyclamen typically indicate overwatering. Too much moisture causes root rot that blocks nutrients and water uptake, leading to yellowing foliage.

Improve drainage by repotting in a mix amended with sand and pebbles. Allow soil to partially dry out between waterings. Remove affected leaves and cut back on watering.

Preventing excessively wet soil will help green up those yellowing leaves and lead to healthier plants.

Dormant Cyclamen

Cyclamen goes dormant in the summer season. Cyclamen leaves turn yellow when the plant goes dormant. Cyclamen goes dormant after it bloomed contently.

Cyclamen plants rest during the summer to preserve resources and save themselves from potential drought conditions.

Move the plants away from direct sunlight and water them fortnightly/once in 3 weeks throughout the summer. Please wait for it to come back.

Aphids on Cyclamen

Aphids can infest Cyclamen plants. I’ve had a white aphid infestation on one of my Cyclamen plants. Identify them early and respond promptly.

Aphids suck the plant sap from the leaves and weaken the plant. They produce a lot of honeydew which favors the growth of various types of fungi.

How do I get rid of Aphids on my Cyclamen?

Dislodge Aphids from the infested plant using a strong stream of water from a garden hose. Look for aphids that hide in the curls of the leaves and axils.

Knocking them off is the safest way as you are working on an indoor plant. One should always try to treat infested indoor plants naturally.

You can also spray Neem oil on the infested plant if the infestation is severe. Hang yellow, sticky cards around your Cyclamen plants to identify aphid infestation early on.

Why have my Cyclamen gone Moldy?

The gray, fuzzy mold on Cyclamen is because of a fungal infection. Gray mold is caused by a fungal pathogen named Botrytis cinerea.

Gray mold is favored by damp, cool weather. Gray, fuzzy/slimy outgrowths form on the leaves and flowers of the affected Cyclamen.

Gray mold is seen on plants that aren’t ventilated adequately.

Treat Gray mold on Cyclamen

  • Prune out the plant parts that are infected by Gray mold as soon as you see them.
  • Use a clip-on fan to increase the airflow around your Cyclamen. Increased air circulation lowers the risk of Gray mold in Cyclamen.
  • If Gray mold is a yearly problem on your Cyclamen, spray copper fungicide before blossom time.
  • I’ve treated my infected Cyclamen by spraying Mycostop on the affected plant parts.

What is the white stuff on my Cyclamen?

The white, powdery layer on the leaves of Cyclamen plants is because of a fungal disease called Powdery mildew.

Leaving your Cyclamen foliage wet for a long time favors the growth of Powdery mildew. Respond quickly if you see a white layer on the leaves.

Powdery mildew is not that common to Cyclamen plants as far as I know, but it can cause great damage to flowers.

Treat Powdery Mildew in Cyclamen

  • Increase air circulation around the plant by pruning excess foliage.
  • Try not to wet the plant when watering it. If possible water your plant from below.
  • Mix 2.5 tsp. of Neem oil in a gallon of water and spray your affected plant. You can eliminate the disease by spraying weekly/fortnightly once.

Holes in my Cyclamen leaves

Slugs eat dime-sized holes into Cyclamen leaves. Adult Vine Weevil bugs eat irregular notches from the edges of leaves.

You can confirm the presence of snails if you find silvery trails on the topsoil. Slugs and Snails leave this trail behind.

Slugs are most active at night, so you need to catch them at night. Get a torchlight and hand-pick the slugs at night. Dispose of them in a bucket of soapy solution.

You can also try to trap them in a bowl of beer. They love beer! Leave a bowl of beer near the infested area overnight.

A lot of slugs gather in the bowl, dispose of them properly. Spraying salt on slugs is also a good way to get rid of them.

I wish you a Cyclamen full of blossoms 🙂