Let’s face it. Most all of us sometimes forget to water our indoor plants. But you shouldn’t be too hasty to throw it out! There could be life in there… and you might can revive that neglected plant. Like that Christmas Cactus from last year that you forgot about all summer long. Can you revive a neglected Christmas Cactus? Let’s see what we can do with it.
I’m guilty. As much as I love plants and growing things, I don’t do well with houseplants. I love houseplants, but ones that are virtually carefree are my go to. I just know how I am. But every once in a while I give in to the urge and buy a pretty blooming houseplant.
It doesn’t take long before I remember WHY I don’t have a bunch of houseplants.
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In fact, you might like to read about how to revive an overwintered wandering jew also.
So. If your Christmas Cactus looks anything like mine, let’s see if we can bring it back to life, instead of having to buy a new one.
FIRST: Water the plant
Watering the plant is the first step to reviving it. Be sure you have something under it to catch the overrun and water it good! When water runs out the bottom, pour it back into the plant, making sure it is watered thoroughly.
SECOND: Inspect the plant
Take a good look at the plant. Inspect each and every leaf and stem. If it’s crunchy, throw it in the compost pile.
If it is soft and pliable, LEAVE IT.
If part is crunchy and dry and part is soft and pliable, pinch off the dry crunchy part, leaving the soft pliable part.
THIRD: Inspect the dirt
Now let’s look at the dirt. Is it hard and crunchy on top? Use a spoon or a small hand trowel to remove the top layer. If the dirt is better underneath, add some new potting soil to the top. If it’s no better underneath, see Step 4.
Or is it soft and crumbly? That’s good! Just leave it as is.
FOURTH: Repot if needed
In step 3, if the dirt seems hard, you should probably repot your plant. You don’t have to change pots, but you can if you want.
Using your spoon or small trowel, carefully scoop out your plant, leaving a good amount of dirt around the roots. You will hopefully have several pieces to dig out.
Empty the dirt from your existing pot into your compost pile. Refill the existing pot, or your new pot, with good fresh potting soil.
Place your scoops of Christmas Cactus that you removed earlier into the new potting soil.
FIFTH: Water plant and new potting soil
LAST: Place near a window
Indirect light is best. Bright sunlight can burn the leaves.
- If a leaf breaks off, PLANT IT! Just stick it into the moist dirt. You can start a whole new plant this way.
- If you see a leaf that is not in the dirt and it has tiny “hairs,” those are roots. PLANT IT! You can start a whole new plant this way too!
- Most people, including me, call all these plants Christmas Cactus, but actually some are Easter Cactus, and some are Thanksgiving Cactus. You can find out which you have in this article from World of Succulents, and also in this post from Crazy Organic Mama.
Okay… now that we’ve given our poor neglected cactus some much needed TLC… we simply CANNOT forget to water it. Keep the soil slightly moist. So, that’s probably every 3-4 days or so, depending on your home temps and conditions. You can even set your flower pot on a tray of wet pebbles to increase humidity, which the plant likes.
Once your plant starts growing again, you might like to read Advice for Christmas Cactus Care for more detailed care tips.
PIN the image below to your favorite gardening board, because, if you are like me, you KNOW you will need it sooner or later!