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Wilting-Christmas-Cactus.jpg

Wilting Christmas Cactus

My 84 year old mother-in-law has a large Christmas cactus that she has had since she was 14!  It has always been in really great shape, but now is looking very wilted, even though her pattern of watering (about a cup every 2 weeks) has not changed.  She did add soil from her garden to cover up some exposed roots.

Start by removing the garden soil added to the container.  This soil is not suited to indoor container gardening and can contain disease organisms and insects that can be harmful to the plant.  This is probably not the cause of the current problem. Wrinkled leaves are usually a sign of moisture problems.  Too much or not enough water can cause these symptoms.  Evaluate the growing conditions.  Changes in light and temperature can change the plants watering requirements.  Always water the soil thoroughly so the excess drains out the bottom.  Pour off excess water.  Wait until the soil is just slightly moist (when flowering) and top few inches are slightly dry (when out of bloom) before watering again.  Adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Also check to see if the plant is potbound.  If the water runs right through the soil and out the bottom, new growth is stunted or roots are growing out the drainage holes it may be time to transplant.  Move the plant to a slightly larger pot.  Use a sterile potting mix.  You will then need to adjust your watering schedule. 

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