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Christmas Cactus Plants

Q.Christmas Cactus

Zone 7or8 | punkin added on February 13, 2013 | Answered

I bought some Christmas cactus and Thanksgiving. They got so root bound that I had to repot about the 1st week of Feb. The water would just run right through them. Now the leaves are falling off. I don’t want to baby them. I have never been able to have them because I want them too bad. Don’t know how old they were when I bought them. Thanks.

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Answered on February 13, 2013

Most cactus and succulents have small root systems and don't require frequent repotting. I've had Christmas and Thankdgiving cactus in the same container for 10-12 years with no problems. If the water was running right through, my first thought is that the rootball dried completely out. When this happens, the rootball pulls away from the sides of the pot, and will need to be soaked overnight to expand it back to size. When you transplanted, the new pot should only be 2" larger than original pot. Also, using a potting soil very similar to the original is important...not all "potting soils" are the same. I suggest that you always purchase potting soil from a greenhouse that grows what they sell, and buy what they use. Your plants are cactus,, they are tropical cactus, and do not need to dry completely between waterings. They do not need to be constantly moist. These plants can take a little dry or a little wet, but PREFER the dry side of evenly moist. Sometimes these plants will drop the segmented leaves after repotting, but they usually do it after being too dry. You may be trying too hard to do the right thing.

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