Taking care of a Christmas cactus plant is not difficult, but knowing signs when you’ve overwatered or underwatered your plant can be tricky. When your Christmas cactus leaves are limp, it can be a sign that you are overwatering your plant, while drooping leaves can be a sign of an underwatered cactus. However, there are more signs we want to discuss.

Signs of an Underwatered Christmas Cactus Plant

Underwatering a Christmas cactus plant can cause the plant to become severely stressed and show signs of dehydration. This type of stress often leads to stunted growth, brown and wilting leaves, and brown stems.

Some signs that your Christmas cactus may be underwatered include:

Dry Soil

The first sign of underwatering is usually dry soil. To test your soil’s moisture level, stick your finger in the soil. If it feels dry to the touch, it’s a sign that you must water your Christmas cactus.

Wilting Leaves

Wilting or drooping leaves can occur when the plant has gone too long without water, and its roots cannot absorb enough moisture from the air around them. When you notice this symptom, water your Christmas cactus to regain strength.

Shriveled Stem

If the stems look shriveled, you may be under-watering your cactus.

Signs of an Overwatered Christmas Cactus Plant

Overwatering a Christmas cactus can lead to root rot, nutrient deficiencies, and eventually, death of the overwatered plant if not corrected.

Here are some common signs your Christmas cacti have too much moisture:

Soggy Soil

If the potting soil feels overly wet or the cactus sits in standing water, it’s a sign that you are overwatering your Christmas cactus and need to adjust how often you water it.

Limp Leaves

Another sign of overwatering is limp leaves. This happens when too much water has been applied to the plant, and its roots cannot absorb so much. As soon as you notice this symptom, reduce watering for your Christmas cactus so it can remain healthy and vibrant.

Mushy Stems & Roots

Suppose your Christmas cactus isn’t receiving enough air circulation or has been consistently overwatered. In that case, it may show signs of mushy stems and roots, eventually leading to root rot if not corrected immediately. It’s important to monitor closely how often you water your cacti and ensure that they’re getting enough air circulation.

Watering a Christmas Cactus

woman sprays green christmas cactus leaves

To keep your Christmas cactus happy, mist the leaves of your cactus with a spray bottle daily. When the soil is completely dry, water the base of the plant (every two weeks). When watering a Christmas Cactus, water from the bottom up. Put the pot in a dish or tray filled with just enough water so that when the soil absorbs moisture from the bottom, it comes out of the drainage holes at the pot’s base. Leave for about 20 minutes, then remove any excess moisture in the tray so your cactus is not left in wet soil. Do not let your cactus sit in standing water. Overly wet soil, especially in the colder months, could lead to root rot.

Revive an Overwatered or Underwatered Christmas Cactus

To revive an overwatered Christmas cactus, you should first let the soil dry out before watering again – avoid repotting until dryness has been achieved. Reduce the watering frequency and use only lukewarm water when watering again; also, make sure that your pot has good drainage holes so that excess water can escape more easily.

To revive an underwatered Christmas cactus, slowly increase its water intake, but don’t overdo it all at once – start with small doses of water every other day until your plant looks revived and green again. You should also ensure adequate humidity for your plant – misting with a spray bottle every other day helps! Additionally, if the plant is underwatered for too long, repotting into fresh soil may be necessary to give your holiday cactus a second chance at life.

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