NOTE: Christmas cactus may be referred to as Schlumbergera x buckleyi in this article, in fact, those are the same plants, Schlumbergera x buckleyi is the botanical name for Christmas cactus.
During the winter season, the holiday cactus is beloved by Norfolk Island pine trees and poinsettias. The holiday cactus is a welcome sight in the middle of winter, because it is flush with blooms. The Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus is a hybrid plant called Schlumbergera x buckleyi. Both types bloom during the late fall or early winter season and grow quickly, reaching two feet tall in two years.
Why does my Schlumbergera x buckleyi roots have rot?
If left untreated, root rot on your Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) can be fatal. For this reason, if the symptoms appear, we highly advise that you adhere to our recommendations to keep your plant alive: Blackened and softened roots.
Why does my Christmas cactus have gray mold spots?
Gray mold spots are a type of fungus that is found a lot in flowers, and spreads quite rapidly. If you notice brown (or gray) spots, it is probably this fungus. Don’t ignore these symptoms, as they may end up killing your plant.
The answer is obvious once you recognize the cause of the problem. Most frequently, it results from the Schlumbergera x buckleyi being overwatered. We strongly advise you to remove the damaged plant parts, cut off the diseased roots and leaves, and then repot your plant in a new container with sterile potting soil.
Why does my Christmas cactus have leaf spots?
If your plants exhibit symptoms like rapid color changes in the leaves or leaves that wilt or droop, we give you all the information you need to recognize them and rescue your plants. For owners of Christmas cactus, this kind of illness is among the most distressing.
Why are my Christmas cactus leaves turning yellow?
Yellowing leaves are arguably the most prevalent issue in the gardening world. Overwatering or a lack of nutrients are the 2 main causes of this issue.
When it’s overwatering, simply reduce your watering frequency, and if you think it’s a nutrient deficiency, here’s how to check it:
Here are some signs of yellowing caused by the many deficiencies on the Schlumbergera x buckleyi in question:
- Yellow patches between leaf veins on elder leaves are the first sign of magnesium shortage. Veins continue to be green while the leaf’s core turns yellow. The leaf’s edges yellow last.
- Another indicator of iron deficiency is yellowing between leaf veins, but young leaves on plant tops and branch tips are first affected.
- The newest leaves are first affected by sulfur deficiency, rendering them completely yellow.
- Potassium deficiency shows itself when leaf edges turn bright yellow, but the inner leaf stays green. Older leaves show symptoms first, and leaf edges soon turn brown.
- Nitrogen deficiency shows up as a general yellowing. Older, inner leaves turn yellow first. As it progresses, yellowing moves outward, eventually reaching young leaves, too.
You only need to act in accordance with the symptoms listed above. You can address a potassium or nitrogen deficiency by buying a particular soil, and a gardening store consultant will be able to advise you on how to do that. Furthermore, you can also limit how frequently you water your plants.
Is my Christmas cactus sunburned?
You can easily tell if your Christmas cactus (your Schlumbergera x buckleyi) has a sunburn. In this case, your plant will change color, starting to turn yellow or white, much like it does on us.
As we saw above, if your Christmas cactus receives too much water or not enough light, the leaves may also change color.
However, there is a way to tell if it is sunburn; look at the bottom of the yellow leaves, the ones that have a shaded area closer to the root, if this area stays greener, it is probably sunburned, not something else.
Why are my Christmas cactus leaves turning brown?
The classic sign that a plant has been overexposed to direct sunlight and sunburned is the development of browning leaves. Rest assured that while this may probably save your plant from dying, it will adversely affect its growth.
Should I leave my Schlumbergera x buckleyi in direct sunlight?
No! If your Schlumbergera x buckleyi (or Christmas cactus) has the symptoms described above, don’t leave it in direct sunlight, that’s the reason why your Christmas cactus is in such a state!
The remedy, as said in the paragraph above, is simple: just move your plant’s Christmas cactus out of direct sunlight. Your plant should swiftly re-grow with this strategy and appropriate watering.
Why are my Schlumbergera x buckleyi leaves drooping or wilting ?
This typically occurs when your Schlumbergera x buckleyi gets dehydrated. Large plants are more at risk since they naturally require more water than smaller plants.
You may quickly determine if your Schlumbergera x buckleyi plant needs water by under-weighing its pot; if it seems light, the soil and roots are probably fairly dry and require water.
In order to ensure that the roots of your plant receive the water’s benefits, you must first moisten the soil in the container if it is absolutely dry. One common error is to immediately drown the Christmas cactus after a dry period in the belief that it requires a lot of water.
This is true, but the easiest way to end it is to give too much water at once. Instead, you should water the soil properly, returning to a peaceful watering rhythm.
Caring Tips for Schlumbergera x buckleyi
Your plant needs water to survive, but it’s crucial to balance the amount and timing of watering. As we previously mentioned, overwatering could be catastrophic for your Schlumbergera x buckleyi.
You can tell if your plant needs water by touching the soil; if it still feels damp, it’s usually preferable to wait a few more days.
Always keep temperatures stable
It is also a good idea to keep your Schlumbergera x buckleyi at a stable temperature (especially if it is kept indoors!). At GreenShack, we generally recommend staying in the 65 and 85 degrees F range. Of course, do not place your Schlumbergera x buckleyi near a source of hot (or cold) air such as A/C units, radiators or the like.
Keep your Christmas cactus Dust-Free
This one is about houseplants. Your indoor plants’ leaves get dusty just like your furniture does. The problem is that this might prevent photosynthesis from beginning, which would result in the plants gradually losing their color.
This would be a true journey into hell for your Christmas cactus and would also satisfy the pests.
Take a microfiber cloth and gently massage the plant’s leaves to get rid of the dust. Use a damp cloth to make dust removal easier, but avoid using corrosive materials like rubbing alcohol!
Keep drainage in mind
If you tend to overwater, you need to pay attention to your drainage, and we advise choosing a saucer and a pot with drainage holes if they are not already there.
In the meantime, if you don’t have holes in your pots, you can add volcanic rocks (or any rocks with holes) at the bottom of your pot, this way it will create a channel so that the water doesn’t stay in your skin too much (to avoid that roots start to rot!)