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I'm an utter houseplant idiot. I thought a Christmas cactus could withstand direct sunlight and put it on my deck for all of last summer. When I brought it in, it was horribly sunburned and many of the "leaves" are withered.
I've had it indoors all winter and have been watering more regularly (it bloomed like crazy despite its condition). Is there hope for it (it looks terrible)? Or should I try to take cuttings from the few healthy looking branches? Or can I severely prune it and hope for regrowth? And how exactly does one prune this plant?
Hardiness Zone: 5b
By Shelby from Chicago, IL
I have a Christmas Cactus that is 15 years old. Through trial and error (mostly error) I have managed to keep it alive. It is a cactus, so the potting soil should be for cacti. The fertilizer also. It's not hard to find..any WalMart will do. Too much water and direct sunlight can kill the plant. You can repot good healthy pieces directly into potting soil or in water till roots appear. Also making sure that in spring it is repotted so it does not get crowded. They also need to have pretty even temps throughout the year. I also mist them once or twice a month all year long to keep the fronds clean. I hope this helps. Happy planting
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Hardiness Zone: 6a
Auntdebbie224 from Newtown Square, PA
I just finished an experiment with my Christmas cactus. I broke off a section and put the end in water. About a week or so later it grew roots. I would try taking what is left and soaking it, plant it in soil, then keeping it indoors.
By Linda in the kitchen
I think since the roots weren't damaged, they can grow back. Just keep them away from the squirrels. (10/08/2008)
These things are very hardy, take some new cutting to start, and what's left will come back in time. Mine got sprayed with baking soda water. It looked dead for months, I kept watering and they came back. Good luck. (10/09/2008)
The cactus will be fine if the roots are still intact. Just water it as you normally do and be patient. When it has recovered, you can break off a piece where it forms a new section of growth and root it in water. Mine is currently about 25 years old. (10/09/2008)
Yes, they should be fine. My cats bite mine and they just keep growing. I would move them inside away from the squirrels. You probably won't get any flowers this winter. (10/09/2008)
By Loretta B.