I have a Christmas cactus that looks like it's dying. I have a plant meter...

Asked August 4, 2017, 11:04 AM EDT

I have a Christmas cactus that looks like it's dying. I have a plant meter reader for testing if it is dry. I don't think I over water it. Should I be cutting it back? How much sun does it need? My plant needs help. Thanks

Rice County Minnesota

1 Response

Christmas cactus live in the rain forest and need high humidity. The soil should be well-drained potting soil that is kept relatively moist most of the year. Holiday cacti require good drainage and aeration for healthy root growth. Place plants in a sink to drain when watering and remove any excess water from saucers and decorative pots. Allow soil to dry out between watering. Note that plants will not grow well in heavy, wet soils and excess water may result in dropping flower buds, wilting and ultimately root rot.Fertilize the plant monthly between April and October with a complete houseplant fertilizer. They do best in bright but filtered light.

Here is an article from the University of Minnesota on holiday cacti which may help you identify the problem:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/houseplants/holiday-cacti/