Overwatered Christmas Cactus Care – How to save Overwatered Cactus?

Many of you may not know that overwatering poses more danger than underwatering the plants! Trust me, I am saying this from my experience in gardening.

Here I have shared the rule of thumb for watering Christmas Cactus: Water the cactus when the soil is completely dry to the touch; otherwise, there is a risk of rotting.

If you have concerns about saving and caring for an overwatered cactus, then this article will provide all possible solutions.

A few more details about the Christmas Cactus

The Christmas Cactus is a long-lived plant that can survive for up to 100 years when you take care of it properly. This plant can be like an inheritance or a legacy that can be passed on from generation to generation. It is a gorgeous plant that can be popularly seen on holidays due to its festive feel.

It is an easy plant to maintain with gorgeous pink blooms and appealing leaves. This plant is so ornamental that it can enhance the beauty of any corner of the house. Christmas Cactus as the name suggests is a cactus with the botanical name Schlumbergera bridgesii, which is a winter-flowering houseplant that is very easy to plant and propagate.

This plant prefers bright but indirect sunlight. Full or harsh sun can cause leaf burn. This plant needs watering only when the topsoil or top surface is completely dry. Letting this plant sit in a saucer or plate full of water may damage or might even kill the plant. This plant only needs very little maintenance, and the two main points are temperature control and watering.

Even though requiring minimal care, this plant tends to die eventually facing a few common problems if not taken care of. Let us know what problems are faced by cacti or succulents which are houseplants.

What are the main problems faced by cactus or succulents that are indoor plants?

1.) Underwatering:

Underwatering does not provide enough or sufficient water that is required for plant growth. Underwatering can also be caused if the plant is exposed to harsh sunlight for a longer time and eventually dries out when also not watered.

Signs of an underwatered plant:

  • Drooping leaves that look lifeless.
  • Huge cracks in the soil.
  • Brownish-yellow and dry leaves that eventually curl up.

A quick solution to revive an underwatered plant:

If the plant leaves are a little dry and just started to curl up, then the plant can be revived by watering it enough unless the topsoil is again wet and moist. The plant may take a longer time than usual to recover but can be sustained.

2.) Overwatering:

Overwatering is the most common cause of plant death or slower plant growth. A heavily watered plant needs good drainage or else it can rot from waterlogging. The roots of such waterlogged plants may die or rot as they are unable to absorb enough oxygen to function. Waterlogging cuts the air supply to roots which may result in a damaged plant that can eventually die.

Signs of an overwatered plant:

  • The soil is always wet and moist.
  • The soil is a house to pests and insects.
  • The leaves turn into yellowish shades of green.
  • The stems start decaying and turn soggy and soft.

Quick solutions to revive an overwatered plant:

  • Changing the location of the plant to a shady area.
  • Changing the pot and cleaning the roots.
  • Potting the damaged plant into well-drained soil.
  • Only water after the topsoil completely dries out.
  • Treating the plant with a fungicide.

Now, let us know about restoring or saving an Overwatered Christmas Cactus in detail.

How to save Overwatered Christmas Cactus?

Overwatered Christmas Cactus yields to root rotting and may die due to the same. To save an overwatered Christmas Cactus pothos one should immediately discard the excess water which is collected below the plant pot in the plate or saucer.

After removing the water, one should immediately remove the plant from the existing pot or container and rinse off the roots with thorough or running water. After removing the fungus or rot from the plant roots, it’s time to remove the soggy branches or stems which have started to go soft and eventually rot.

After doing this, let the plant completely dry out for a day or two on a countertop or in a space that gets mild sunlight. After checking the plant the next morning one can plant it into the pot or container again. Let the soil completely dry out and then only begin watering again.

After reviving the plant once, these plants cannot survive another attack of overwatering and rotting, hence make sure to only water the plant after the layer of topsoil is completely dry.

Now, let us know about the Overwatered Christmas Cactus care tips and a few ways to restore or revive the Overwatered Christmas Cactus plant.

Overwatered Christmas Cactus Care Tips

In case of extreme damage, one can propagate this plant by simply,

Choose a stem that is healthy and young, from the damaged or overwatered Christmas cactus existing plant, and allow it to root in a glass of water for as long as the roots start to develop again.

Once the roots start to re-develop, transfer this into a new container or pot with part clay, part potting soil and part shredded dry leaves with compost in the ratio of 1:1:1 for good drainage.

After potting, the rooted stem, make sure that the plant receives full good sunlight at least for some time before its blooming period, and then move the pot to a shady dark spot where the plant can start with the flowering process. Also, one should avoid watering the plant completely, or water the plant only when it’s completely dry.

Christmas cactus care:

The following are some basic requirements you need to follow to grow a Christmas cactus plant: 

Bright indirect light:

The Christmas cactus prefers to grow in bright indirect light but avoids direct sunlight as that could harm the leaves and make them turn red or get unusual spots on the leaves of the plant. the right location for placing the pot is in an east, or west-facing window

Regular watering:

You need to supply the plant with water frequently during the growth season mainly in spring and summer before water make sure the top inches of the soil are dry and there is less chance of overwatering the plants. Make sure that water doesn’t remains at the bottom of the pot it could cause root rot.

Warm temperature:

You need to maintain the temperature for growing Christmas cactus that ranges between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and need to have humidity that ranges from 50 to 60 percent. To boost the humidity level you can place the plant with room temperature water beside or use mist to maintain the humidity of the plant. Avoid keeping the plant at temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit and below 50 degrees Fahrenheit as that would kill the plant. 

Fertilizing:

They need nutrients to grow quicker and bigger in size so you need to apply a well-balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer 10-10-10 once in a month during the growing season such as spring and summer. After applying the fertilizer you can mix 1 teaspoon per gallon of water a week in them. 

Encourage blooming:

Avoid fertilizing the plant and watering when fall begins. You can place the plant in a cool place for 12 to 13 hours of darkness in order to grow flower buds. 

Important Takeaways

  • The Christmas Cactus is a long-lived plant that can survive for up to 100 years if taken proper care of. It is a gorgeous plant that can be popularly seen on holidays due to its festive feel.
  • Even though it requires minimal care, this plant tends to die eventually after facing a few common problems like overwatering.
  • Overwatered Christmas Cactus yields to root rotting and may die due to overwatering.
  • After reviving the plant once, these plants cannot survive another attack of overwatering and rotting, hence make sure to only water the plant after the layer of topsoil is completely dry.
  • In case of extreme damage, one can propagate this plant by simply cutting a healthy and young stem from the existing overwatered Christmas cactus and repotting it.

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