The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera Truncata) is an attractive holiday plant with vivid pink and red blossoms. It’s a popular plant in the United States, and it’s frequently given as a gift during the holiday season. The Christmas cactus, which grows in USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12, is not to be confused with the Thanksgiving or Easter cactus.
What happens, though, if you care for your cactus plant all year and then discover a withering Christmas cactus during its winter bloom cycle? Why does a Christmas cactus become shriveled and limp? Well, the purpose of this post is to go through the various reasons why your Christmas cactus may be withering.
My Christmas cactus is withering, and I’m not sure why
The root rot and damp soil of a Christmas cactus usually cause it to wilt. It is almost certain that if you have the first problem with the Christmas cactus, it will lead to the second one as well!
Because it is a tropical plant native to Brazil, the Christmas cactus differs from the desert cactus. It demands more attention, love, and care than other cactus species, as well as more upkeep. But how can you take care of a Christmas cactus properly? How can you keep your Christmas cactus from getting limp and wilting?
The Soil is Soggy
Let’s start with the most typical issue with Christmas cacti: songy soil! If your Christmas cactus is withering, it’s most likely due to moisture problems.
When watering your houseplant, be sure to perform a thorough job and water until the water runs out of the drainage holes. If you water your plant and the water flows straight out the bottom, this may indicate stunted roots and the need to repot!
A Christmas cactus only has to be repotted every 3–to 4 years on average, but if you suspect this is the cause of your drooping leaves, here’s a terrific, easy-to-follow YouTube video on how to repot a Christmas cactus.
Root rot may be caused by overwatering a Christmas cactus and leaving the soil wet for lengthy periods of time. Underwatering, on the other hand, will result in a withered Christmas cactus.
So, how often should a Christmas cactus be watered? When the plant is in bloom, keep the water wet as a general rule. After the flowers have faded, wait until the top few inches of soil are completely dry before rewatering.
Due to wetness and soggy soil, the best soil for Christmas cactus actus, you might want to consider changing the soil with a tasty, nutrient-friendly alternative.
According to Horticulture magazine, the Christmas cactus prefers light, quick-drying soil. Mix one part potting soil, two parts peat moss, and one part sharp sand to produce your own Christmas cactus soil mix. This will make the ideal combination, providing all of the nutrients your festive houseplant requires to grow and revitalize those wilting leaves.
The Christmas cactus is a typical indoor houseplant that thrives in sterile potting soil. Avoid contaminating with dirt from outside, as this might result in Christmas cactus bugs!
When the soil of a Christmas cactus is left wet for an extended length of time, it frequently causes root rot! Obviously, this is quite harmful to your plant, and it may even kill it. When it comes to a withering Christmas cactus, this is also a regular issue.
Christmas Cactus Root Rot Symptoms
If you suspect your Christmas cactus has root rot but aren’t sure, there are a few telltale indicators to check for. Of course, limp, drooping, and wilted leaves are the first indicator and the reason you came to my blog page in the first place.
To get a better look at the roots of your Christmas cactus, you’ll need to pull it out of its pot. If your Christmas plant has root rot, the roots will be discolored and typically have a slimy quality.
If root rot is the cause of your wilted Christmas cactus, it’s critical to act quickly since root rot is fatal to your festive plant, and once it’s advanced, there’s no way to cure it; the only way to reproduce it is to use a cutting.
How to Treat Root Rot on Christmas Cactus
With root rot, you might be able to save a Christmas cactus, but only if you find it early. When attempting to preserve your Christmas cactus from root rot, there are a few basic procedures to follow:
Remove the saucepan from the heat as soon as possible. To get rid of the fungus/slime, cut away the decaying roots and carefully wash the remaining roots.
Allow the roots to dry overnight in a warm, bright, well-ventilated area.
Place the roots in a fresh pot with drainage holes once they are dry. You’ll want to choose a soil mix that dries quickly and is light.
Water your newly potted Christmas cactus after a few days
After you’ve completed the aforementioned instructions, you may water your festive plant as usual. Remember to water your plant thoroughly until the water drips out of the drainage holes. Place your Christmas cactus on the saucer only after the water has completely drained out. You don’t want your Christmas cactus to sit in the additional water because that’s what caused the root rot to begin with!
Remember, an overwatered Christmas cactus is significantly worse than a slightly underwatered Christmas cactus!
We spoke about and addressed your question about why my Christmas cactus is withering. We discussed how two key concerns create a wilting Christmas cactus: wet soil and root rot.
If your Christmas cactus is withering because of wet soil, the best solution is to repot it with nutrient-rich, quick-drying, and airy soil that you can simply mix up.
If your Christmas cactus has developed root rot, you may easily remedy the situation by following the instructions outlined above. Remove the rotten roots and clean the remaining good roots, then dry overnight before repotting into a fresh container with drainage holes.
These are the two most prevalent symptoms of a fading Christmas cactus, and following the steps outlined above should help your festive plant return to its former glory.