Schlumbergera Truncata (Thanksgiving) and Spring (Easter) Cactus problems

Asked August 14, 2019, 8:03 PM EDT

Hi, I have several small Cacti and they are not doing well. First, they started with brown spots that looked like Mite damage but even with a high power magnifying glass, I never saw one Mite. I sprayed several of them with Alcohol a few times and I'm not quite sure if it helped or not. I put several of the problem plants outside for the Summer and they are doing better but now I have one with new growth but it has developed red spots on the older clades. Previously, the plant was exposed to too much sun indoors and turned red. They are now outside with minimum sunlight on a covered porch. I'm thinking they could have a virus? Also, I had what I think was a Fungal issue. See pictures attached to see the Fungal, Mite damage and the red spots. Thanks, Cathy

Lackawanna County Pennsylvania

3 Responses

The main problems with growing cactus come from water. It can get too humid outside during rainy weather. The lesions I see in your photos could be from water droplets on the leaves. It's good to keep the top growth dry. Here is a link to an article about caring for a holiday cactus.

There were never water droplets on these clades. Like I said, they were all indoors when these issues started except for the red spots...The top growth is and has been kept dry.
I sent 3 different pictures of 3 separate issues I believe. Can you please look at each picture and attempt to give me a diagnosis on each? Thank you

There are a couple of viruses and bacteria diseases that can cause the signs you are seeing on your cacti. Penn State has a fact sheet that is intended for greenhouse growers at, These diseases have to be diagnosed by a plant clinic since we have no way to test for them at this hotline. You can send your samples to the Penn State plant clinic by following the instructions at this web address. If you want help, you can take the samples to your local Penn State Extension and have them sent in.