Woody Christmas Cactus: Fixing A Christmas Cactus With Woody Stems

woody christmas cactus
Image by RubyGoes

By Teo Spengler

Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) is a popular winter-flowering houseplant that usually blooms over the holidays at the end of the calendar year. Varieties offer flowers in many different shades. Native to Brazil, Christmas cacti are epiphytes that grow in tree branches in rain forests. Since their stems hang down, they are perfect plants for hanging baskets.

If a stem of your mature Christmas cactus is getting woody, it doesn’t mean that anything is amiss. That means that there is no reason to try fixing a Christmas cactus with woody stems. Read on for more information about woody Christmas cactus.

Woody Christmas Cactus Stems

Advertisement

A Christmas cactus that is cared for properly will last a long time, a quarter century or even longer. Ideal Christmas cactus growing conditions include light shade in summer and full sunlight during fall and winter. Too much sun in summer pales or yellows the plants.

Christmas cactus plants generally grow large with age. As the plant gets older and bigger, and the base of the stems get woody. There is no need to think about fixing a Christmas cactus with woody stems. This is a perfectly natural condition and woody Christmas stems indicate a healthy plant.

Care of Old Christmas Cactus

If you buy or inherit an old Christmas cactus, it is likely a large plant. Proper care of old Christmas cactus includes cutting back overgrown branches and, sometimes, repotting the plant.

One of the first steps in care of old Christmas cactus is a good trim of the branches. When the branches become too long and heavy, they are likely to break off, so it’s better if you trim instead. This is especially true if the leaves look shriveled, thin or limp at the ends.

Trim the branches back by clipping at the segment joints. For overgrown cactus, cut each branch back by at least a third and up to three-quarters of its length. If a branch of the Christmas cactus is getting woody at the base, you can even cut it all the way back to the woody section. New green sections will grow from the wood.

Print This Article
This article was last updated on
Did you find this helpful?
Share it with your friends!

Additional Help & Information

Didn't find the answer to your question? Ask one of our friendly gardening experts.

Do you know anything about gardening? Help answer someone's gardening question.

Read more articles about Christmas Cactus.

Search for more information

Use the search box below to find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: