Why Are My Cyclamen Leaves Turning Yellow?

My cyclamen leaves are turning yellow. Not a good sign, I know. It means the plant is sick or dying. But don’t fret just yet. There are a few steps I can take to save this popular flower from succumbing to the yellow damage that often accompanies it.

Yellow leaves are caused by light exposure. You see, light exposure causes the plant to produce chlorophyll. In fact, the leaf itself contains a lot of chlorophyll when it’s young and barely even exists when it’s old. So when the flower is exposed to sun, it uses the chlorophyll in its leaves to absorb the light, thus turning the yellow color on and off like a light switch.

And as it turns out, when the days get longer, your cyclamen will not have quite as many leaves to use up its stored light. So, instead of getting maximum benefits, it tries to conserve its energy. And as a result, you end up with fewer leaves. That means fewer brown leaves in the mix and therefore, fewer yellow ones. Your newly sprouted cyclamen will be turning yellow much faster than it should be. It’ll die off before it gets older.

The reason is the same as for its sickled appearance: too much water! Your plant is trying to conserve its water so it ends up draining its resources. The more water it takes out, the fewer leaves it has. And because you’ve been watering it, you can expect that the leaves in the end will be pretty much brown. So, instead of giving your plant enough water to hydrate itself, you are causing it to starve.

Cyclamen leaves curling up is often due to mites. In order to spread their eggs, mites make themselves at home in the plant’s leaves. To do this, they go around on twigs, in the bark and even under the leaflets. When they eventually attach themselves to a leaflet, they set their eggs nearby. And then, all they have to do is wait…they reproduce, and so the cycle begins all over again.

Another reason why are my cyclamen leaves curling up is because of some other, less obvious problem. If you remember back to high school science class, you may recall that every living thing has a defense system: a bacteria or a virus that causes them to break down. These defenses are called ” Mutual Defense Systems.” Your plant’s ” Mutual Defense System” is its immune system.

Another reason why are my cyclamen leaves turning yellow is because of some sort of disease that has swept through the plant. One common disease is referred to as “phythophthora,” and this can lead to brownish-black spots spreading from the leaves all the way to the base of the plant. The spots that appear are often smeared with a sort of balsam-like substance, and they look sort of like the dried up remains of aphids. If your plant comes down with phythophthora, the disease will affect the plant’s social life, causing it to go into a stationary phase, at least for a while.

And, lastly, another reason why are my cyclamen leaves turning yellow is because of temperature stress. Just a tiny bit of temperature stress, as we have discussed, can cause a plant to curl up. When it does, this curl is actually a defense mechanism, a way for the plant to cool itself off. Since cyclamen plants don’t have wings, they must rely on their own body temperature to get out of this “freezing stage.” So, if you find that your plant seems to be struggling with the temperature, take it outside to try and acclimate it to warmer temperatures.

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