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windrider7

Problems with Easter Cacti and Christmas Cactus

12 years ago

Hi all!

I purchased a beautiful Christmas cactus about a month ago. I transferred it to a clay pot that was the same size as the plastic pot it came in, and added a little Miracle Gro cactus soil. It had several beautiful hot pink flowers on it when I bought it and was loaded with buds. However, within a couple weeks, all the remaining buds shriveled up and stopped developing. The plant is on a table in front of a large window and it gets nice indirect light. I've watered it just a few times. Didn't soak it. What did I do wrong??

I also bought two gorgeous Easter cacti, one with orange flowers and the other with red. Those also had beautiful flowers and lots of buds. The flowers are still on the plants but the buds are doing exactly the same thing as the Christmas Cactus -- they are drying up and falling off. I've kept the soil moist. Haven't overwatered. I noticed that the "pads" on part of the red Easter Cactus are a bit wrinkled. Does that mean anything? I am so disappointed. Never had these types of plants before and was looking forward to having lots of flowers. Did I just buy poor quality plants? Help?

Comments (16)

  • 12 years ago

    Christmas and Easter cactus do not like to be moved. Losing the buds and flowers is common when moving them from one location to another or a big change in temperature.

  • 12 years ago

    So does that mean that the plants will be alright after they get used to their new home? When I saw the buds start shriveling I was afraid the entire plant was sick or dying.
    :( Is there something I can do to help them "settle in" better?

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  • 12 years ago

    Hard to say, pls. read up on their culture, search for 'holiday cactus' (sorry, don't know how to do the link).

    You did a few things wrong, like repotting while in bloom likely shocked the buds. Unclear why you chose a clay pot, these prefer plastic. Pls. understand that while these are cacti, they are jungle cacti, from the tropics & rain forest (not arid land cacti).

  • 12 years ago

    I had repotted both the Christmas Cactus and the red Easter Cactus into glazed clay pots. I chose these pots because I was thinking "cactus" and all my other (desert) cacti are potted in this type of pot. Should have done more research first. Do you suggest I repot them again or just leave them alone right now? The orange Easter Cactus is in its original plastic pot. I just hadn't purchased a new pot for it yet. It is losing its buds too.

  • 12 years ago

    If you leave them in the same place and the temperature and light stay the same they will be OK and bloom the next time. Every time I bring a new holiday cactus home they lose their buds and flowers. I keep mine in a cool room and leave them there through blooming. If I was to bring them into a warm room while they are blooming they would lose their buds and flowers.

  • 12 years ago

    Hi...when theses plants are in bloom they don't need as much water....they can be over watered....
    its not good to re pot any plant that is in bloom...
    it has been my experience that when theses plants segments start to wrinkle...that whole stem has root rot...usually if I gently pull on it, it will pull right out of the pot and you will see no roots and it mushy, and then I hold off watering until the soil dries out a while so the plant can recuperate....I just had a part of one of mine do just that...
    I am not a expert, this is just one thing I have learned about theses plants. I have found its helpful for me to add perlite to the potting mix I use......

  • 12 years ago

    I think that these plants don't need a particular kind of pot so much as they need a free draining soil mix, richer maybe than a desert cactus mix, but still free draining. They don't want to sit in water. I agree with emerald that when you get wrinkled segments, then I worry about the shape the roots are in. If the soil is really wet, then take the plant out of the pot and let it dry.

  • 12 years ago

    Hi ASeed,

    Am happy to tell you my 'true' Xmas cactus is doing nicely, all 4 stems now show new growth.

    I think it's both the type of pot & mix for these, but I've only done well w/ TC & now CC; am not doing well w/ EC, just ditched my last one last month, so I can't speak to that one in particular.

  • 12 years ago

    Glad about the cc, pg. I've had all three kinds of holiday cacti, in plastic, glazed ceramic and terracotta pots, and mostly I think that they sell them in a soil that has too much peat and not enough bark and other stuff, and they are easy to over water. Often they are in plastic pots inside little cache pots that really make the water sit around the roots. My ec that I've had in some cloned form for about eight years is doing okay, and has buds now even though I just removed all the hard soil and replaced it with looser stuff. It was bad timing on my part, but sometimes it has bloomed in July before. I guess it is turning out okay after all. It hasn't even lost a lot of segments, so I think it was glad about the change of soil. It is pickier than the cc's and tc's.

  • 12 years ago

    Thanks for the info! Hopefully, these cacti will be OK. The red Easter Cactus is a bit wet, so I won't water it for quite a while. Without taking it 100% out of its pot, it looks like the roots are OK. How often, in general, should I be watering these plants?

  • 12 years ago

    Hi WindRider7,
    this is what works for me....
    my soil mix is--cactus soil mix, orchid soil mix, and perlite all mixed together...all miracle grow....and I use plastic pots...I do the old stick my finger into the pot and feel if its dry, I let them dry out between watering...I probably water every 3 to 4 weeks...I never let them sit in water ever....the plants are in my living room which has a south window with a sheer curtain...and in the summer ALL my plants go outside on the north side of the house, in a little cove off my patio...my tc, cc, ec, stay outside in the fall just until its going to freeze, then they are moved to my garage until its going to freeze in there and then they bud and I put them back in the living room for the winter...Oh I ferilize all summer long....I hope this isn't to long and it helps you..and as I said in the begining, this works for me.....and I don't know why but my tc, and cc are blooming for the 3rd time this year...linda

  • 12 years ago

    Yes, I also let the top inch of mine dry out before I water them.

  • 12 years ago

    emerald,
    What kind of fertilizer do you use? Also, do you think my EC is going to be OK despite the wrinkled "pads"? The plant's soil was very wet when I bought it. If I just don't water it for a couple weeks do you think the pads will go back to normal or are they damaged now? Thanks for your input!

  • 12 years ago

    Hi I use miracle grow quick start and a bloom booster....
    maybe take your ec plant out of the pot and lay it on a rake so the water drains away and see if that would help it dry out faster...maybe take some of the really wet soil off too...the longer it stays wet the more the chance of the roots rotting....linda

  • 12 years ago

    Would Al's 5:1:1 mix work for a CC? I have that and know very little about these plants. I have one I got twenty (yes twenty) years ago that does very little. Need to replant and start researching this site for help. Thanks everyone.
    Keith

  • 12 years ago

    Yikes ... EC watering problems again. Watering holiday cati in general Bi weekly water while it's showing new growth. Reduced amounts and longer timing between watering when in bud.wer

    Amounts of water can vary depending on where it is ( inside, outside, temps, climate etc.. )EC It's temperamental in so many ways I don't like moving this plant from place to place at all I don't like to suggest moving EC to anyone, hmmm but if not in the right place it doesn't like to flower as good as it can in another area.

    Wrinkling leaves on an EC. In a way it's your lucky plant usually if over watered EC tend to just drop off (shedding) your right on the wait until it dries out a bit if EC cati gets to dry it also tends to shed it's leaves as well.
    EC Potting: Different soils for different folks in a sense. Mine, a ceramic pot with a built on exterior watering at bottom. I use a more costume mix of the basic 5-1-1 (RE: in different question). Soil I use small sized orchard bark 5 parts ( Repti bark more pricy but is also good) 1 part turface ( or all sport) 1 part perlite is good, better a more porous more stable pumice 1/2 part shredded leaf debris. Yes in a way the basic 5-1-1 would work rinse and shift or sift then rinse allow to damp dry before re-potting.

    Like many others I like my jungle cacti roots to have more air. Ohhh I mentioned a bottom water reservoir. For EC. Of all holiday cati I have for EC ONLY I don't habit top watering as it is now the soil mix media allows the reservoir if full of water to be fully absorbed into the pot in an hour or less.

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