Christmas Cactus to much sun?

hobbes812(7)April 24, 2008

The Christmas cactus I have came with two care tags. So following the advice of one, I put my cactus out in full sun last summer. It went from a beautiful, healthy plant to a gray, wilted, sickly looking thing. (The plant was not out in full sun all summer.) After summer was over and the plant was brought in for the winter, I inquired at one of the local places for advice. It was suggested to me to put it in the basement, away from just about all light and keep it watered. That sounded to brutal to do so I moved it to a window with partial light, watering it as needed, no change. Now it has been moved to another window with more light, still watering as needed, a few leaves look better but not much improvement. Any suggestions on how to bring it back.


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dufflebag2002(Calif. 91607)

Put it in the shade and see if it works for you. That is where the Huntington Grows theirs. Not deep shape. These grow in trees in the forest. If sun doesn't work perhaps shade will, why do you insist that you must grow it in the sun. My nursery also grows theirs on the shade side of their building.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 12:23AM
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milwdave(Zone5 Milwaukee)

I would never put a holiday cactus in full sun. It's too brutal for them. Some sun in the winter is fine as the light is less intense but in summer it's just too much.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 6:08AM
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I keep mine (I have several) on my covered back porch in the summer. Then in the winter I put them into my cool garage (45 to 55 degrees), they get brightness there but not sun. Never put them into the direct sun. They like to be coolish in the winter, helps them bloom. At the bottom of this article it says to put them in darkness to bloom. I have never had to do this, I think the cooler temps bring on the blooms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christmas cactus care

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 2:22PM
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Mine get bright, indirect light all summer. NO sun at all.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 8:33PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I agree, no direct sun, especially spring/summer sun. I have mine under a palm tree. It gets 90% shade and about an hour of early morning partial sun( the sun that comes through inbetween the palm fronds). They really seem to like this type of light. Bright, indirect light like posted above. Good Luck and hope it recovers...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 8:53PM
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Ok so I've taken your advice and moved it out of the window and into the bedroom. It's kind of near a window but does not get direct sunlight. I had to toss one whole branch of the plant because it was just dead. I'll give it a chance to come back and if not I'll just try and root the better looking sections.
I'll keep y'all updated.
Thanks for all the help!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 9:16PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I suspect it's a drainage problem, not a light problem. Your earlier description is why, 'gray, wilted, sickly looking thing'. Excess sun, direct sun or slight sunburn just make the leaf segments reddish or red-purplish, doesn't affect them otherwise.

Half of mine has grown like that for yrs., it was hanging at the edge of a west window. Half in direct sun, half out: the direct sun part reddened & that was the side which bloomed, never bloomed on the shadier side.

If it were mine, I'd unpot it, check its roots & change its mix (I like AV mix w/ added perlite), maybe pot it down a size.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 10:26PM
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wynative(z5 WY)

My Mom was gave a pink one in 1973 - it bloomed non-stop for 32 years! It had atleast 2 blooms on it all year round and about Dec. or Jan. would really put on a show.

My Mom passed away 3 years ago and I took the plant - it was huge! I treated it the same as she did: Full Sun, water once a week and Job Spikes. Well.... the dang thing was just acting just like yours, Hobbes! I did everything I could think of, along with everything the local flower people and a few off of here said - nope she just wasn't happy :( Last week I gave her to my oldest sister to see if she could make it happier than I did....

But! Late December I puchased a Double Pink one that was in terrible shape from lack of water! She is doing AWSOME! Bloom, Bloom, Bloom and putting on new leaves everywhere!

IMO sometimes it doesn't matter what you do - plants are like spoiled children - they don't like change no matter how nice you are to them LOL


    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 10:44AM
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Sorry to say it but I've lost my cactus. I moved it upstairs into our bedroom to where it would get partial sunlight but I guess it was to far gone. I hated loosing this plant because it was just a beautiful plant when it bloomed.
Thanks to everyone for your help and suggestions.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 1:25PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Sorry Hobbes, wishing better luck next time.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 7:43PM
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Thanks Pirate_Girl. My neighbor has a huge Christmas cactus in his house and I'm hoping that I can get a clipping off of his to replace mine. He has one of those "I never touch it" cactus so hopefully I won't kill that one. lol!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:36PM
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