What Causes My Large Christmas Cactus Branches To Rot?

Question: I’ve had a Christmas cactus plant for years – it always grows nicely until about August. Then large branches rot at joints near the main plant and fall. Although I root these branches and start new plants, I’d rather they didn’t fall off. What can be done to prevent this?

large blooming Christmas CactusPin

Answer: At about the time you run into trouble with your Christmas cactus, its growth is soft, and the buds are forming.

It is at this time that the plant must be treated like a cactus. Set it in a cool, airy place and don’t give it any water for a month. Then start watering again, sparingly.

Such treatment ripens the soft growth and prevents it from decaying. It also helps to set the buds and seems to help prevent bud drop.