Daily Prompt: The Inscrutable Cyclamen

Cyclamen

I will never understand a cyclamen. It declares war on me as soon as it takes up its position in my home. I give it light and love, I even talk to it. I had always had bad luck with cyclamen. They look at me in the flower store as if to say take me home and I do. This time I asked the assistant how do I treat this plant to ensure a long life. She knew it all, as it was probably not the first time she had to give instructions.

Above all, do not give it too much water and from below and not from the top. Now it was clear, all my previous cyclamen had been given too much water boarding treatment. I had suffocated them with cans of water, they could no longer breathe. Otherwise she said moderate light effects and talk to it regularly. She did not actually say anything about talking to it, but for me that goes without saying. Always talk to your plants: they feel wanted and loved.

And so this cyclamen entered my life and I really had good intentions. I left it alone for a few days and then I tested the earth for Sahara symptoms. It was a little dry on top and so I decided it must be thirsty. My plant had unopened buds and nice healthy dark green leaves, so what could possibly go wrong The lady in the shop said water about twice a week, and this was the first time. I submerged my healthy flowering cyclamen in a water bath, just a few minutes, and it sucked the water up happlily. Afterwards I drained it off and returned it to its place on the table near the window.

Soon came the time for the second watering of the week. I tested the soil, found it to be a little on the dry side and repeated the water treatment. Next morning I found the first yellow leaf. This did not disturb me so much as it had opened three buds in the meanwhile and produced about 10 new buds. I was convinced it was feeling good and happy and a leaf turning yellow is no big deal.

The next morning I had at least 5 yellow leaves and you can now see for yourself. The yellow leaves are outnumbering the green leaves. I have decided to now let this plant realise what drought means. I refuse to give it more water, even if it stretches its roots out for it. The leaves are still attached to the plant, but I am not sure for how long. I really cannot understand what I did wrong. Perhaps it is casting away the old leaves to make room for new leaves, although there are none in sight: just a hopeful thought,

I will never understand the workings of a cyclamen organism, but I will persevere. Perhaps it might resuscitate itself.

Cyclamen

Daily Prompt: The Inscrutable Cyclamen

14 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: The Inscrutable Cyclamen

    • I really need new specs, but this time have to see the eye doc first. I have been postponing it too long, I so hate having those eyedrops and not seeing anything all day. A good alternative title, as I am sure this cyclamen is out to get me.
      Actually I had a bit of a problem concentrating as in the background from another room I could hear that Mr. Swiss was watching the Coltrane interview. He is very pleased with it and said it is well made, so thanks for the tip again.

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    • Thanks for the link. I have just been reading the article and understand the cyclamen a little more. It is a little early for the summer season, but I now know what to look for. At the moment I will leave the plant to see what happens.

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  1. When I was in highs school, I liked them in the garden. They died down every spring, and regenerated in the autumn to bloom through winter. However, I really dislike them as potted plants, and as annuals. As annuals, they are too expensive to just throw away at the end of the season. As potted plants, they are just so finicky! Yours has such nice deep red flowers. I am sorry that it is not happy.

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    • We could never have them outside in our colder seasons as they would probably get frostbite or be suffocated by snow. I will try to save mine using the various tips I have received.

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  2. I was having problems with my Christmas cacti and decided to return to the way I used to treat them — to NOT water them until they are 100% dry. From looking all sad and floppy, it now has at least a dozen fresh buds. A lot of these succulent plants really do need to get very dry before watering. Even a little too much water and they start to fail. I knew that. I think I sort of forgot over the years.

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    • I think you are right. I fed my christmas cactus throughout the summer and it had enough water, but as soon as you have them inside in winter you must reduce the water and fertiliser. I recognised a similar symptom on my cactus. We tend to kill them with kindness.

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  3. I have had a lot of success with cyclamen — but they don’t like too much water (twice a week could be too much if it’s generally humid in your house) AND after they have a blooming spell, the leaves die back and they go dormant. It’s normal. Be sure and trim back (pull off) spent leaves and flowers. When it’s done, you can let the bulb thing stay in the dry soil or take it out and repot it later. I really love this flower but don’t grow it because it’s poisonous to dogs.

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