10 Tips On How To Revive A Christmas Cactus

It is the time of year when we bring out our beloved Christmas cacti to take pride in homes worldwide. A Christmas cactus is a popular holiday plant known for its stunning beauty and unique blooms. This South American cactus, commonly grown indoors as a houseplant, has flattened stems with distinct segments and can boast beautiful red, pink, or white blooms.

Unfortunately, as with any other living organism, it can become stressed or even die if not properly taken care of. The good news is that you can easily revive your beloved Christmas cactus with a little effort and knowledge. But how can we ensure these cacti remain beautiful and healthy throughout their season? Don’t worry; this article is all about answers on how to revive a Christmas cactus.

how to revive a christmas cactus

What Does a Dying Christmas Cactus Look Like?

It can struggle if your Christmas cactus is not getting enough light, water, or the right temperature. Typically, the first signs that something is wrong with a Christmas cactus are wilting and dryness of the foliage. The stems may turn brown and become brittle as well. Leaves will also drop off more easily than usual. In extreme cases, the entire plant can collapse.

How To Revive A Christmas Cactus

A Christmas cactus can die mainly because of too much water, too little light, and incorrect temperature. Here are ten tips on how you can easily revive your dying Christmas Cactus this holiday season to save your dying Christmas Cactus!

1. Start by carefully checking the soil. The soil should be damp but not soggy. If the soil is too wet, let it dry out a bit before you water the plant again.

2. Make sure your Christmas cactus gets enough light and at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Provide bright indirect light throughout the day to keep your cactus healthy and happy.

3. Water your cactus frequently, but don’t overwater it. Let the top inch or two of soil dry out before you water again, and never let the plant sit in standing water.

4. Maintain a consistent temperature for your Christmas cactus – ideally between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Adjust your thermostat accordingly.

5. Humidity is important for a Christmas cactus. Place the plant in a room with high humidity near a humidifier or other houseplants.

6. Feed your cactus a balanced fertilizer at least once every two months or more often during the spring and summer when plants are actively growing.

7. Prune off dead or dying stems and leaves to promote new growth. If parts of the plant have wilted or turned brown, prune away the dead parts with sharp scissors to help encourage better growth.

8. Repot your Christmas cactus to help replenish the soil, which usually becomes depleted after several years of growth.

9. Inspect your Christmas cactus for signs of pests or disease. If you find any, address the issue immediately with an insecticide or fungicide appropriate for cacti and succulents.

10. Be sure to keep your cactus away from drafts, such as open windows in cold climates, as this can compel the plant to become stressed and die.

These simple tips can help ensure that your Christmas cactus survives and thrives during the holiday season and beyond! With proper care, you can look forward to seeing beautiful blooms from your Christmas cactus for years to come. So give it a try and show off your green thumb this holiday season!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can a Christmas cactus go without being watered?

A Christmas cactus can usually go up to two weeks without being watered. However, checking the soil for moisture is important before watering the plant again. If the top inch or so of soil is dry, it’s time to water your cactus.

Overwatering can lead to root rot, so make sure not to give your cactus too much water. The ideal amount of water for a Christmas cactus is enough to keep the soil damp but not soggy.

How do I know if my Christmas cactus needs water?

how do i know if my christmas cactus needs water

The best way to know if your Christmas cactus needs water is to check the soil. If the top inch so of soil in the pot feels dry, it’s time to give your plant a drink. You can also look for signs of wilting or discoloration on the foliage – if this happens, it’s time to water your cactus.

It’s also important to be aware of the temperature and humidity in the room where your plant is located, as these can influence how often you need to water it. Too little light or excessive heat can cause a Christmas cactus to dry out quickly.

Finally, if your Christmas cactus has been root bound for a while, it may need to be repotted to replenish the soil.

How do you rehydrate Christmas cactus?

If your Christmas cactus looks wilted or dry, rehydrate it by slowly and carefully watering the soil. It’s important to give the plant enough water to moisten the entire root system without going overboard.

Allow excess water to drain out of the pot after each watering and ensure that the container has adequate drainage holes. If your cactus is severely wilted, you might need to soak it in a bucket of lukewarm water.

Once the soil is completely soaked, let it sit for 15 minutes before draining and returning it to the pot. Do not fertilize during this time, as this can burn new roots.

After watering, ensure your cactus is in a well-lit area with temperatures between 55- and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, continue watering, as usual, to help your Christmas cactus recover.

Should I let my Christmas cactus dry out?

No, letting your Christmas cactus dry out is generally not advised. While it may be able to go up to two weeks without water, this should only be done, if necessary, as too much drying can damage the roots and cause the plant to become stressed.

The soil of a Christmas cactus needs to remain slightly moist, so make sure to water your cactus when the top inch of the soil feels dry. It is important not to overwater plants, as this will result in root rot.

Check the soil regularly and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. If you’re ever in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and give your cactus a little bit of extra water.

What does a Christmas cactus look like when overwatered?

what does a christmas cactus look like when overwatered

The foliage may appear limp, discolored, or wilted when a Christmas cactus is overwatered. The leaves and stems may look waterlogged due to too much moisture in the soil. This can lead to root rot, which causes the plants’ roots to become brown and mushy.

Additionally, you may notice signs of fungus, such as yellow or white spots on the leaves. These symptoms can also be caused by other issues, such as too little light or too much fertilizer, so it’s important to assess all possible causes before watering your cactus again.

If you think your Christmas cactus might have been overwatered, you should act quickly to save it.

Why is my Christmas cactus limp and shriveled?

If your Christmas cactus is limp and shriveled, it is probably due to a lack of water. This plant needs regular watering for its foliage to remain lush and vibrant. Without enough moisture, the stems and leaves will wilt and droop.

If you think this might be the cause of the problem, you should try rehydrating your cactus by slowly and carefully watering the soil. If the plant still doesn’t seem to improve, it may be due to other issues, such as too little light or heat.

Can a wilted Christmas cactus be saved?

Yes, a wilted Christmas cactus can usually be saved with the right care. Start by assessing the cause of the problem and making any necessary changes to the environment or watering schedule.

If you think the plant might have been underwatered, it’s important to act quickly to save it. Try rehydrating your cactus by slowly and carefully watering the soil, allowing the excess water to drain out of the pot.

Additionally, ensure that your cactus is in a well-lit area with temperatures between 55- and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. With proper care, your cactus should look better in no time.

What is the lifespan of a Christmas cactus?

The lifespan of a Christmas cactus can vary depending on the care it receives. Generally, these plants can live for up to 20 years with proper care and maintenance.

To ensure that your cactus can reach its full potential, provide it with enough water, light, and fertilizer. Additionally, you should avoid over-watering, as this can damage the roots and lead to root rot. With the right care and attention, your Christmas cactus should be able to thrive for many years to come.


Christmas cacti can be a great addition to any home. With proper care, these plants can live for up to 20 years and provide your space with lush greenery and vibrant blooms throughout the year. To ensure that your Christmas cactus stays healthy, make sure to water it regularly and adjust your watering schedule when needed.

Keep an eye out for signs of overwatering, such as wilting and discoloration, and avoid overwatering in order to prevent root rot. With the right care and maintenance, you can enjoy a healthy Christmas cactus in your home for many years to come.