My Easter Cactus didn't bloom last year. I was hoping this year it would. It didn't seem to be thriving so I recently moved it to a window sill which provides more light and cooler temperatures. I noticed that some of the leaf tips are dropping off and some of the older leaves and stems are discolored...(photos enclosed). The plant doesn't look awful, but not very happy, either. Do you think the plant is diseased, adjusting to a new environment, or maybe just getting older like the rest of us? Perhaps all of the above? Thank you.
Charles County Maryland
We think your plant looks pretty good, especially for this time of year. We don't see any signs of insects pests or diseases.
We think you are on the right track though to move the plant into more light.
These plants are actually jungle cacti. So they like medium light, humidity, and moisture. Our weak winter direct sun is fine, and a medium light/partly shaded window in spring, summer and fall is ideal. (They enjoy spending late spring through summer outdoors in a shady spot).
In our dry, forced indoor heating, it's hard to keep them as moist as they like. Except just after flowering when they need a little rest, water well as often as necessary to keep the potting mixture moist but don't let the pot sit in water. Never let their soil dry out completely. You can mist spray them or set them on a saucer of moist pebbles. They don't like hard water with a high calcium content.
Ever fertilize? Except during the rest period after flowering, when water is lessened, you can fertilize them year round with a high-potassium tomato-type fertilizer. Finally, if you've not repotted recently, (it's suggested yearly (people rarely do this) to clean the pot and replant with a jungle cacti soil (3 parts peat-based potting mixture with addition of one part perlite or coarse sand), which helps them stay moist without becoming waterlogged.)
Thank you so much for your response. Your answer was chock full of useful information. I have several Christmas cactus that do well and bloom every year but I'm not as familiar with the Easter cactus, although I understand their requirements are a little different.
Thank you again,