Christmas Cactus Wrinkled and Shriveled Leaves: Reasons+Fix

If you’ve noticed your Christmas cactus looking all wrinkled, you’re not alone. It happens, and it’s essential to know why.

In this quick read, we’ll explore the reasons behind your cactus’s leaf wrinkles and how to fix them.

Christmas Cactus Wrinkled

Let’s get your festive plant back in top shape!

Reasons Why Your Christmas Cactus Look Wrinkled

1. Watering Your Christmas Cactus Inadequately

Water is a vital element in the growth and health of any plant. It keeps the plant hydrated, helps the plant to grow, and provides oxygen so that the plant can breathe. 

Without water, a Christmas cactus will quickly lose its green color and begin to wither rapidly. You should water your cactus with pure water regularly, but only enough to moisten the soil. 

Make sure you do not over-water your plants, as this will create damp conditions which can lead to root rot and ultimately death. 

To avoid your Christmas cactus wrinkled, water it enough to keep the soil soggy, but not enough to saturate the soil.

2. Temperature Issue

Christmas cacti naturally grow on the branches of trees in the wild, usually at high elevations. Because of this, they are accustomed to cool temperatures year-round that range from 45 ºF at night to 70 ºF during the day

The temperature that this plant is exposed to can have an impact on its overall health and growth. 

If you expose this plant to high temperatures for an extended period of time, it will begin to wilt and droop until it eventually begins to die. 

If your Christmas cactus gets too cold, it can also drop its leaves and become malformed. To help the Christmas Cactus avoid temperature issues, keep it in a slightly shady spot with room to move

This will allow the plant to receive enough light while also keeping it protected from harsh sunlight. 

It is best if you keep it under a table or desk where there is not a lot of direct Sun but enough that it does not have shadows.

3. Repotting Your Christmas Cactus

Repotting your Christmas cactus is a great way to keep an eye on the health of your plant. Repotting is easy, and it can be performed at any time of the year. 

If you have been neglecting the care of your plant, repotting will give it a new lease of life by bringing about new growth and better performance. 

When repotting, be sure to use clean soil as it will be much easier to water and grow with.

4. Pest infestation on Christmas Cactus

Because of the unique growth habits of your Christmas cactus, it is at risk of attracting pest insects, especially on the branches. 

Insects like spider mites and mealy bugs invade the plant and live there. 

If they multiply too much, they will completely undermine the health and vitality of the cactus. Therefore, it is best to keep the cactus in a kind and safe environment where they will not have access to you or your other plants and flowers.

5. Inadequate lighting

The Christmas cactus thrives in warm, bright areas, but not too bright. It is best if it receives indirect light as direct sunlight can be too bright and will quickly damage the leaves and flowers of this plant. 

If you notice your Christmas cactus wrinkled, it is likely that it received insufficient lighting over a period of time and will need to reacclimate itself to the correct environment. 

Keep your plant in an area of your home where there is natural light from a window or doorway. 

Although this will not provide the ideal level of light, it will help your plant to recover until you are able to move it back into a brighter environment.

How to prevent the wrinkling of the leaves of the Christmas cactus?

1. Providing Adequate Watering

Water is the most basic way to prevent your Christmas cactus from drooping and wrinkling. 

Watering your plant on a regular basis will not only keep it hydrated but will also provide oxygen and ensure that no pockets of moisture can accumulate in the soil and damage your cactus. 

Make sure you water your cactus well enough that the soil is kept moist but not to the point that it becomes soggy.

2. Temperature and Humidity Control

Heat and humidity will cause the Christmas cactus to drop its leaves, lose its color, and become malformed. 

In order to prevent this, make sure that you keep your plant in a cool environment with plenty of space for it to move and breathe. 

Furthermore, make sure that the temperature is not too cold or too hot and that the plant has enough ventilation so it can breathe properly

3. Keeping Christmas Cactus away from Bugs

Wipe away any bugs or pests on your cactus quickly before they can spread their eggs to other parts of the plant. 

The best way to quickly rid the plant of pests is by using a soft-bristled brush. 

However, you should use extreme caution when cleaning your Christmas cactus as you do not know whether any bugs are still on the plant. 

To avoid spreading the bugs to other parts of your plant, take care before and after the process to avoid spreading any bugs to other parts of your home.

4. Proper Feeding

You can also keep your cactus healthy by feeding it with liquid nutrition every few months. Use an organic plain liquid fertilizer mixed with water, not a chemical one. 

Not only will this ensure that you are providing the plant with the best nutritional support, but it will prevent any risky chemical exposure that can cause damage to the plant’s tender skin.

5. Providing Adequate Lighting

If the Christmas cactus is kept at an inadequate level of light, it will begin to drop its leaves and become malformed. 

Make sure that your plant is in an area where it can receive indirect natural light but not too much direct sun. If it receives too little light, it will eventually begin to droop, lose its leaves, and may even die.

The Christmas cactus is one of the most beautiful and popular specimens of succulents found in homes and offices. This beautiful plant can be a wonderful gift, but it requires a lot of care, patience, and support to ensure that it remains in good condition. 

Not only will it brighten up your space with its colorful appearance but if cared for properly, it can also last for many years to come.

Was this Page helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!