Why Is My Christmas Cactus Red

In USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12, Schlumbergera bridgesii, widely known as the Christmas Cactus, performs best indoors but also flourishes in sheltered outdoor situations. A mature Christmas cactus normally experiences few issues, while some could experience reddened leaves as a result of poor growing circumstances, diseases, or poor maintenance.

Cultural Stress

Christmas cactus frequently produces red foliage due to cultural stress, especially if it is exposed to direct sunlight in the summer or does not get enough water. This cactus thrives in light shade throughout the hotter months because it is a plant native to tropical forests. It does, however, like full sunlight in the winter and needs a little bit more water than most other cacti do. So once the soil feels dry 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the surface, it needs to be watered. Examine the light exposure of an established Christmas Cactus if its foliage turns reddish but otherwise seems healthy. If required, relocate it. Similarly, alter the soil’s moisture content and avoid letting it go too long without watering.

Root Infections

By restricting the amount of oxygen that roots can absorb and by weakening their tissue, overwatering harms them. Overwatering frequently results in root rot. Mushy tissue, wilting, and pink or reddish discolorations on the leaves are the hallmarks of Christmas Cactus. An unpleasant odor in the soil is another indicator of root rot. An injured plant needs to be replanted in new, unused potting soil and allowed to dry out for two to three weeks. Trim away the severely harmed leaves and gradually bring the plant back to a regular watering schedule by allowing the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil to become dry in between waterings. Pruning blades should be cleaned with rubbing alcohol before and after use to disinfect them.

Pathogen Infestations

If Christmas Cacti are propagated from sick plants or are potted in polluted soil, they may become infested with Cactus Cyst (Cactodera cacti). Cactus Cyst is a nematode that predominantly affects the roots but can also manifest as a wide range of symptoms in the foliage. Common signs include stunted growth, wilting, and reddish discolorations; however, the most telltale symptom is observed on the roots as tiny, pearl-like lumps. Cactus Cyst treatment is challenging and rarely effective, thus prevention is essential. To prevent contact with contaminated soil, first put the plant in fresh, sterilized soil in an unused pot and raise it off the ground. If a plant becomes infested, get rid of it to prevent the infection from spreading.

Nutrient Deficiency

Weeding and reddened or purple-tinged leaves are two typical signs of magnesium insufficiency, a common disease in Christmas Cacti. It mainly happens in the wintertime when feeding and watering are restricted and nutrient uptake by the plant is slowed down by the chilly weather. The cactus thrives in winter at temperatures between 55 and 65 F. (13 to 18 C). With Epsom salts, a magnesium deficit can be treated. A supplement feeding of 1 teaspoon of Epsom salts dissolved in 1 gallon (3.8 l) of water is typically helpful. Spray the tops and undersides of the foliage with the mixture after pouring it into a spray bottle. Every two weeks, reapply the mixture to the foliage until it takes on its natural hue.

Why is the color red on my Christmas cactus?

Christmas cacti frequently suffer from a magnesium deficit, which manifests as drooping and foliage that is stained red or purple. It mainly happens in the wintertime when feeding and watering are restricted and nutrient uptake by the plant is slowed down by the chilly weather. Wintertime temperatures between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for the cactus. With Epsom salts, a magnesium deficit can be treated. 8 heaping tablespoons of Epsom salts should be dissolved in 2 1/2 liters of water together with 1–2 drops of dishwashing liquid. Spray the tops and undersides of the foliage with the mixture after pouring it into a spray bottle. Every two weeks, reapply the mixture to the foliage until it takes on its natural hue.

A Christmas cactus with a woody stem may not experience any problems at all; as these plants become older, the stems become more resembling wood.

How should red Christmas cactus leaves be cared for?

Your Christmas cactus’ fresh colors are likely the result of something happening to the plant’s roots, more often than not. There are a few distinct issues that might impact the roots and colour the plant’s leaves crimson.

Some people may experience a root infection as the reason of their issue, while others may experience it as a result of the cactus being root-bound to its container.

There’s a significant likelihood that you have been overwatering your cactus if it has an infected root. Given how much water a typical cactus can hold, it is rather simple to overwater your cactus, making this kind of issue both common and manageable.

You need to do your hardest to get rid of the infection in order to fix this problem.

In order for the plant to start healing itself, you must first move it to a fresh bowl with brand-new soil. In the case of these cacti, you should wait two to three weeks before watering a plant with infected roots.

You can work on trimming away the plant’s damaged areas while you’re doing this. You will gradually resume watering your cactus on a regular basis so that it can recuperate and flourish once again.

When the Christmas cactus becomes rootbound, this is another common reason why the leaves become red. The phrase “rootbound” might not be entirely recognizable to you if you are new to gardening.

Essentially, it refers to a situation in which the roots have molded to fit the shape of the container they are in since they do not have enough room to spread out farther. The creation of all the advantageous qualities of owning a plant will be slowed down when this occurs since the roots will become crowded and tangled.

If you are not intending to plant the cactus in the ground, your first step in this situation should be to attempt and find a larger container for it. After that, you should strive to remove as much dirt as you can while still keeping the root.

It will be simpler for those roots to take hold and begin to flourish once more as a result. After accomplishing this, you can return the plant to its preferred environment.

Why is the color of my cactus changing?

Cactus are tough plants that are used to harsh conditions. Your cactus may, however, start to become red if certain environmental stressors are present.

This is a symptom that something is wrong with your plant, yet it does not necessarily mean it is harmful. The good news is that you can restore your plant’s original color by altering its care and getting rid of the stressor.

When stressed by alterations in the environment, such as too much heat, too much sun, or a lack of water, cacti will turn red. In addition to these, pathogenic infections and root infections can also cause the color of your cactus to change to red.

The treatments offered will assist the plant in returning to its original color because the red signifies that the plant’s natural defense systems are in use.

Why are my Christmas cactus’s leaves becoming pink?

Here are a few additional Christmas cactus issues that are not diseases. Usually, these issues can be resolved quickly by making a few environmental changes or taking better care of your Christmas cacti.


One of three problems could be the cause of your Christmas cactus’ withering or seeming limpness. If you leave the issue unattended, it can develop into root or stem rot, so you’ll want to recognize it and fix it right once.

The soil can be too dry, too moist, or too root-bound. Use the process of elimination to identify the issue after probing the soil with your finger to a depth of about one inch.

Solution: Let the soil dry if it is only slightly damp before watering it once again. In order to avoid root or stem rot, it is best to promptly remove the plant from wet soil and repot it in dry soil.

If after watering there is no change, the cactus may be highly root-bound. Holiday cacti do enjoy having their roots bound, but eventually this becomes too restrictive for them to remain healthy. Try repotting your plant into a new pot with a drainage hole that is one size larger and filled with cactus soil if it begins to grow but then wilts back within a few days or if it doesn’t grow after watering.


Your Christmas cactus may be receiving too much sun or not enough water if its leaves are turning red or pink.

Move your Christmas cactus back if it is right near to a window that receives direct sunlight during the day. Although they can tolerate some sun, they prefer indirect light. Additionally, check the soil; if it is dry to one inch below the surface, water it more frequently. Water the Christmas cactus when the soil feels dry to the touch.


There could be a number of reasons why your Christmas cactus doesn’t bloom. The Christmas cactus like to be somewhat rootbound, prefers stable temperatures, wants to be left alone, and requires extended periods of darkness in the fall to begin its flowering cycle. If you’ve just brought a little plant home, be patient. The older a Christmas cactus gets, the more probable and lavishly it will bloom.

The following actions can help your Christmas cactus blossom in time for the holiday.

Midway through October, reduce watering and only water when the soil is dry to about an inch deep.

For 6-8 weeks, give it 12-14 hours of darkness at night and indirect light during the day.

Close the blinds at night if the room has windows. You can gently cover the plant with a dark cloth or bag if there is still a lot of ambient light present even with the blinds and curtains drawn. If you’re going to cover the plant with a blanket or sheet, make a frame around it or even set it between two kitchen chairs to prevent breaking.

Return to watering after the buds begin to open and the soil seems dry.


If the flower buds on your Christmas cactus develop but all fall off before the plant blooms, what will happen? In that circumstances, it might be brought on by abrupt changes in temperature, humidity, light, or overwatering or by being moved.

You’ll just need to be patient if you recently moved your Christmas cactus to a new location, home, or room. Because they dislike abrupt environmental changes and prefer solitude, it will ultimately produce fresh buds and blossoms once more.

Your cactus may lose its buds if it has received too much water. Before watering, let the soil dry if it’s wet. Repot it into barely moist cactus soil right away if the soil is waterlogged to prevent root rot. It might still lose its buds, but ultimately it should grow new ones.

Your Christmas cactus may have lost its buds if the humidity in your home changed unexpectedly (for example, if you just turned on the heating). This is because it needs higher humidity. You can either set your Christmas cactus on a pebble tray or run a humidifier in the space.


The same common houseplant pests that affect other houseplants can infest Christmas cacti. Isolate your plant and treat the infestation with your selected solution if you notice any signs of an infestation.

How can an overwatered Christmas cactus be identified?

Any cactus that has been left to sit in a saucer of water is probably less healthy. The Christmas cactus plant will manifest clear signs of suffering if it is overwatered. To avoid moisture gnats and preserve the roots from decaying, you should always dump the extra water from the saucer if it hasn’t dried in a day.

One of the first signs of overwatering on a Christmas cactus are limp leaves that begin to fall off, just in case you forgot to do this. The stems and branches will thereafter become mushy and spongy. In severe situations, the stem can entirely rot off and the symptoms will include a bad smell.

Prevention is easy to do. To avoid overwatering Christmas cactus, use a soil moisture meter.

What does a Christmas cactus look like when it is dying?

An examination of the roots of a Christmas cactus will reveal the presence of root rot despite the plant’s withered, limp, and sagging growth.

Gently remove the plant from its container. The roots of a cactus that has rot will have blackened tips. Rotten Christmas cactus roots will be sticky with black or brown decomposition, depending on the extent of the illness.

It’s imperative to take quick action if you find that your Christmas cactus is rotting. Once it has spread, the only cure for the deadly disease rot is to destroy the plant and start over. You can grow a new plant from a leaf if the plant’s healthy portion allows for it.

The pinking of a succulent: what does it mean?

You might get really concerned if the succulent in your home turns pink because you think it might be dying.

In reaction to environmental conditions, succulents turn pink. It typically takes quite a bit of stress for some of the hardiest and most durable houseplants to change the color of their foliage.

You must keep in mind that succulents adapt to their settings, and when these environments or their care undergo unexpected changes, they will react since they do not handle sudden change well.

The most frequent stressors that lead to the pinking of succulents include excessive or insufficient sunlight, incorrect watering, root rot, temperature shifts, and nutrient deficiencies.

Too much sunlight

One of the most frequent causes of your succulent turning pink is because it is suddenly exposed to more light than it has ever experienced, which causes sunburn.

The foliage will turn pink as a result of this sunburn. Succulents that have been kept indoors for months and are suddenly moved to the outdoor garden frequently experience this. The succulent plant may experience some shock when exposed to the bright light on its leaves.

If your succulent is positioned too close to a glass window, the glass will magnify the sun’s rays before they reach the leaf of the plant, which is another way it can get sunburned. Plants placed in windows facing the south frequently do this.


Transfer your plant to a new location where it may only receive indirect light for six hours each day, such as a patio or one foot away from a west-facing window, to correct this discolouration brought on by too much sunlight.

If you intend to move an indoor plant to your outside garden, acclimate the plant gradually by progressively increasing the amount of time it spends in the light each day. Up until the plant has completely adapted to its new environment, keep up the acclimatization.

If you give your succulent a few days to adjust to increasing amounts of light, it won’t suffer from sun damage and you should be able to keep its green hue.

Not enough light

When a succulent receives less light than it requires daily, this might also cause it to turn pink.

When certain succulent plants are under stress from insufficient light, such as some cacti, anthocyanins are produced. The pinkish color of the plant’s leaves is caused by the combination of the purple pigment anthocyanin and the green pigment chlorophyll.

Keep in mind that succulents require sunshine to survive and operate normally. They cannot undertake photosynthesis without it, which prevents them from growing their own food.

The yellowing of a succulent that isn’t getting enough light can be easily remedied. Simply move it to a location where it will have access to the constant, brilliant indirect light that it requires.


Your succulent is receiving too much water, which is another cause of its pinking.

This might be the case if you water it more frequently than you should or if you give it more water than it requires each time. In any case, this causes overwatering, which causes root rot.

The condition known as root rot is brought on by a plant’s roots spending an extended period of time drowning in damp soil. The decaying dead roots will start to attract opportunistic infections like fungus and bacteria. As a result of these diseases, the rot will spread more quickly and eventually kill the entire plant.

The leaves on your plant may become yellow, pink, red, or brown and become soft and mushy to the touch as a sign that it is overwatered.

The wrong potting mix might also contribute to overwatering. Succulents want potting soil that is porous and airy so that water and air may easily pass through it. Additionally, if the pot you use doesn’t have drainage holes at the bottom, this can also result in an accumulation of water that can cause root rot.

You must immediately stop watering your succulent if you notice that it may be turning pink from overwatering.

Take the plant out of the pot, then wash the roots to remove as much of the old soil as you can. So as not to harm the delicate roots, go slowly. Examine all of the roots, and using sterile scissors, remove any areas that have gone brown or black.

After that, place the plant on a clean piece of paper towel and let it air dry for a few hours.

Prepare a fresh container with drainage holes at the bottom, and fill it two-thirds with new succulent-specific potting soil.

After putting the plant in the middle of the dirt, add more potting soil to fill the container up. Gently tap the ground close to the plant’s roots.

The soil won’t need any additional moisture; it’s already damp. Before watering the newly potted plant, wait at least a week.

Check the top two inches of soil with your finger before watering your plant to prevent overwatering. If the soil is humid, wait one or two days before examining it again. If the soil is dry, water it.


Although it may not be as harmful as overwatering, underwatering can nonetheless result in your succulent turning pink.

A succulent’s foliage will first turn pink, then purple, and then turn brown if it does not receive enough water. The leaves will wrinkle and get crispy as they dry out.

Fortunately, a succulent that has been underwater is much simpler to cure than one that has been overwatered.

To restore the succulent to health, you will need to wet and dry it. Water the plant five times with water that is equal to the volume of the pot when the soil is completely dry.

After watering the soil, wait until the top two inches feel dry to the touch before watering it again.

A succulent only has to be watered on a regular basis when the soil is dry. By doing this, you can prevent your plant from being both overwatered and underwatered.

Changes in temperature

Your succulent may also be becoming pink since you are subjecting it to temperatures that are far higher than they are accustomed to.

This might be because the plant is in direct, unfiltered sunlight, it’s next to a radiator, or it’s located where a heater is blowing heated air directly at it.

The plant will release anthocyanin as a result of the heat stress, which is, as previously said, a purplish pigment that takes on a pink hue when combined with chlorophyll in the plant.

Your succulent may have tissue damage as a result of excessive heat, which may impair photosynthesis and produce more discoloration.

The plant will also experience temperature stress and develop pink discolouration if it is placed in an area where it will be hit by cold air, such as next to an air conditioner or a door or window that allows in cold drafts.

Simply move your plant to a location where it won’t be exposed to extremes of heat or cold to correct any discolouration brought on by temperature variations.

A room that is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for keeping an indoor succulent.