Messages posted to thread:

Em29-Mar-02 01:34 AM EST 1b   
bruce29-Mar-02 09:25 AM EST 3   
Will Creed, Horticulturist29-Mar-02 03:40 PM EST   
Em29-Mar-02 07:59 PM EST   

Subject: help for christmas cactus
From: Em
Zone: 1b
Date: 29-Mar-02 01:34 AM EST

My daughter has a christmas cactus which was thriving until recently. She was quite pleased with it since it has been blooming continuously. Now it is limp and lifeless, even wrinkly, as if it needs watering, but watering doesn't seem to help. Some of the leaves are tinged with purple. Can anyone suggest how she can save this plant? She says the soil is dry but is afraid to water at this point, because she feels she must have overwatered it at some time to have caused this problem. The plant is still blooming.

Subject: RE: help for a christmas cactus
From: bruce
Zone: 3
Date: 29-Mar-02 09:25 AM EST

Hi Em. I'm not sure but I would continue to water and let the soil dry out in between waterings. Perhaps even some half strength fertilizer would help.

Subject: RE: help for a christmas cactus
From: Will Creed, Horticulturist
Date: 29-Mar-02 03:40 PM EST

This distressing phenomenon is quite common with holiday cacti following a profusion of flowers. It is as if the plant gives its all in producing flowers and then lies exhausted for a month or so before resuming growth.

During this period of languishing, holiday cacti often drop off many segment sections as well. Don't panic. Just bear with it and be careful not to overwater, but don't let it dry out completely either. Don't fertilize it, move it, or otherwise fuss with it during this trying period. Have faith that it's vigor will return in due time.

I have an article on holiday plant care (amaryllis, poinsettias, holiday cactus) that I will send to anyone who requests it at .

Subject: RE: help for a christmas cactus
From: Em
Date: 29-Mar-02 07:59 PM EST

Thanks Will and Bruce, I have passed along this information. Now I can only hope she watered the poor thing before leaving for the holiday weekend!

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