Skip to Content

3 Reasons Why The Leaves On Your Christmas Cactus Are Turning Limp And How To Fix It

3 Reasons Why The Leaves On Your Christmas Cactus Are Turning Limp And How To Fix It

Sharing is caring!

It may be disheartening for a gardener to notice unhealthy changes in their plants. The holiday season is just around the corner and the plant we definitely want to look its best is the Christmas cactus. 

One of the issues that can occur in these plants is limp leaves. It certainly affects the appearance of the plant but it’s more important to know the dangers for the plant’s health. 

Limpness can come with drooping or wrinkling and that’s exactly what can help us determine the cause. 

In this article, I’ll show you the 3 possible reasons why the leaves on your Christmas cactus are turning limp and how to fix this issue.

Let’s get started!

1. Your Plant Is Overwatered

Well, incorrect watering schedules and techniques lead to various issues in all plants. For the Christmas cactus, too much water in the soil can cause the leaves to turn limp.

How to tell if overwatering is the culprit for this change in your Christmas cactus? The easiest way is to take a look at the soil and determine the soil moisture content.

For instance, if the soil is dark and mushy and you haven’t irrigated it for a while, the culprit is most likely overwatering. 

In most cases, water is pooling around the base of the plant because the soil can’t absorb all the excess water.

If the problem isn’t treated when you notice limpness, the leaves of your Christmas cactus can turn yellow and the plant is in danger of root rot disease.

How To Fix And Prevent Overwatering In Christmas Cactus

If the leaves on your Christmas cactus are limp but there isn’t any yellowing or wilting, you can fix the issue by allowing the plant to drain well

You can leave the plant in bright indirect light and skip watering until the soil is entirely dry

Don’t put your Christmas cactus in full sun to drain faster because it will damage it further.

If your holiday cactus displays other changes, such as yellowing or a foul odor, the best solution is to repot the plant.

The best prevention method is to create a perfect watering schedule for your Christmas cactus. Irrigate when you notice the growing substrate is dry to the touch and allow water to drain well. 

2. Or Underwatered

Another reason for limp Christmas cactus leaves can be underwatering. Dehydrated plants also display shriveling and wrinkling depending on how long the plant was left without water. 

Again, the easiest way to identify watering issues is by determining the soil moisture content. In the case of underwatering, the soil of your Christmas cactus will be entirely dry, light brown, and may crumble when you touch it

Underwatering isn’t as dangerous as overwatering but that doesn’t mean you can leave your plant in that condition. The sooner you fix the issue, the faster your Christmas cactus will display new and lush growth. 

How To Fix An Underwatered Christmas Cactus

You can quickly fix the issue by giving your Christmas cactus a good soak. You might want to water the plant a bit more often than usual until it’s fully hydrated. 

Make sure to irrigate your Christmas cactus more frequently during the growing season because the plant needs a lot of energy and strength to produce new growth.

3. Your Christmas Cactus Is Rootbound

Plants may struggle with absorbing water if the root system is too large and doesn’t have more space to grow.

If the leaves of your Christmas cactus turn limp all of a sudden, you should check the root system.

How To Fix A Rootbound Christmas Cactus

The best and only solution is to repot your Christmas cactus. First, you need to take your holiday cactus out of its current pot and remove as much soil from around the roots as possible.

You should detangle the roots but exercise caution because you can damage the roots with just a little force. Once all the roots are exposed, inspect them for pests or diseases.

When selecting a new container for your Christmas cactus, make sure it’s about 2 inches larger in diameter than the current one. Also consider replenishing the potting soil to give your holiday cactus new nutrients.

If you want more of these plants, you can divide the root ball and plant each section separately. 

You should also prune your Christmas cactus if there is any discolored, diseased, or damaged growth

With all these tips and tricks, you’ll fix limp leaves in your holiday cactus and it will be lush, healthy, and ready to glow for Christmas!