Ask a Question forum: Saving an inherited Christmas cactus...

Views: 335, Replies: 4 » Jump to the end
Name: Julie
Eugene, Oregon (Zone 8a)
Container Gardener
Image
JulieInEugene
May 1, 2017 10:58 PM CST
The main stem of a mature Christmas cactus split sometime between replanting last fall and trying to do so again now. It was very healthy looking and a proficient bloomer all winter. But it's owner hasn't been able to take much care of it recently and it has become dry and fragile. She noticed the broken stem while trying to transplant today. I have no idea what to try to save it. It means a lot to her because she inherited it from her mother who inherited it from her mother. Thank you for any suggestions!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
May 2, 2017 9:31 AM CST
Hi Julie,

I think we need some photographs.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Julie
Eugene, Oregon (Zone 8a)
Container Gardener
Image
JulieInEugene
May 2, 2017 6:04 PM CST
Thumb of 2017-05-02/JulieInEugene/07818e


Thumb of 2017-05-02/JulieInEugene/2ea1d0


Thumb of 2017-05-03/JulieInEugene/43660e

These are the pix of the wounded Christmas cactus. It's been living in this drainless pot since last year. I would break the pot off and try to replant and possibly save it that way. Any other ideas?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
May 2, 2017 7:56 PM CST
Oh, I just read what you added at the end after the photos. Now I'm confused. Did she repot into the same pot (without drainage)?? How long has the plant lived in the drainless pot? Did the trouble start at about the same time as the repot into this drainless pot?

I suspect this is actually a Thanksgiving Cactus but either way, the genus is Schlumbergera. They are epiphytes - in their native habitat, they attach themselves to trees or rocks (no soil). Their native environment is shady and humid.

What that means is that this plant needs fast draining, very porous growing medium and high humidity. The problem with your friend's plant is that the moisture is being held against the roots (because it can't drain) and the roots are rotting.

The only hope is to try to re-root the healthy sections. Take it out of the pot and look for some healthy roots and re-pot those in an unglazed terra cotta pot with drainage. Use a potting soil especially formulated for cactus and add a good amount of perlite (about 1/3 of the volume).

For the parts with no roots, you have two options (I would try both). For both these options, get rid of all the dried parts of the plant and just keep the branches that are pretty and green. Let any pieces with cut stem sit on the counter for a day or two to 'scab' over.

Option 1: Plant them in the same potting mix you used for the stems that had roots. Bury at least one leaf section and keep the potting medium barely damp (Not wet).

Option 2: Put the cuttings in a jar of water. Add a drop of peroxide. Keep the water clean - when you change it, add a drop of peroxide.

Keep us posted.




Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Julie
Eugene, Oregon (Zone 8a)
Container Gardener
Image
JulieInEugene
May 2, 2017 9:39 PM CST
Thank you so much!! At least there's some hope now. I will pass on the info so we can try to save her plant. And will try to report good news soon. Thank You! Crossing Fingers!

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by ge1836 and is called "Hosta Kroosa Regal"