Posted by: lornasass | December 7, 2009


Photo copyright Lorna Sass

I can’t tell you how many cyclamens I’ve watched die in my toasty Manhattan apartment.

They arrive looking gorgeous, with lots of bright blooms and sprightly green leaves.  Then, after a week or so, the leaves start turning yellow and the blooms begin to droop.  It’s quite unsettling to watch a plant that’s unhappy without knowing quite what to do about it.  (For this reason, I have a plant “hospital” behind my sofa where I put ailing plants that still get sunlight but are out of sight.)

More water?  Less water?

More sun?  Less sun?

For a long time I thought that the cyclamens found it too shocking to be wrenched from a greenhouse and transported to my home.  Well, that was part of the truth.

But the whole truth is that cyclamens like it good and cold.  When temperatures hovered just above freezing last week, I brought my cyclamen inside and transplanted it from its ugly plastic container to a beautiful porcelain pot.  Within days it started looking sickly.  I put it back outside on the windowsill and now its happy again.



  1. You’ve found the secret – place your Cyclemen right up against that window that is always cooler than a foot inside. Now you need to watch out for that pesky winter sun that heats up the south facing window. An east facing window is probably best for good light but not too much heating from the sun. Finally with dry heat in my house, I always place the Cyclemen on a tray of gravel which is kept moist giving the plant the humidity it prefers.
    Such great colors to warm up the uglies of winter.
    Happy Holidays

    • So appreciate the thoughtful advice! Will check out your blog immediately! Lorna

  2. Guess what? just found out there’s a cyclamen society:

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