How Long Do Christmas Cacti Live? (Average Lifetime)

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Christmas cacti are a unique type of cactus that grow indoors as houseplants and do not require very much in terms of care or attention. 

They grow best in filtered light and regular water. Most can survive with very little maintenance, so long as they are not accidentally overwatered or exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This means that they can be left undisturbed and carefree for several months. However, Christmas cacti need particular growing conditions to thrive and develop to their full potential. 

If you consider purchasing a Christmas cactus for your home, you should know how long it can live.

So, How long do Christmas cacti live? Christmas cactus can live up to 100 years when properly tended. The average life span for a Christmas cactus is about 12 to 15 years.

Christmas Cactus  Average Lifespan

Let’s get started!

How long can a Christmas cactus live without water?

Christmas Cactus can survive without water for more than 1 month.

However, it can survive more getting dried as an end result. It needs to be revived with proper watering and care.

Christmas-Cactus image

It is not advisable to not water Christmas Cactus for more than  2 weeks. This is because the Chrismas Cactus is a tropical plant and not a desert plant. It is very much different from other dessert Cactus plants that can live for 2 years without water.

Can a Christmas cactus get too old?

Christmas cactus are prone to developing various fungal and bacterial infections as they age. The most significant one is Botrytis, which can cause the Christmas cactus to wilt and die. 

To avoid this, you should ensure that your cactus has at least one set of leaves that remain green throughout the year. This can prevent your cactus from getting too old. 

If your cactus does get too old, it can be rejuvenated by cutting away damaged and dead portions of the plant. You can also use this time to repot your plant, moving it to a larger container.

How do you rejuvenate and take care of an old Christmas cactus?

Cutting away damaged and dead portions of the plant is the best way to rejuvenate an old Christmas cactus. 

You can also use this time to repot your plant, moving it to a larger container. If you want to take better care of an old cactus, you should report it every two years. Plants grown in pots need more frequent repotting than those in soil. 


To report a Christmas cactus:

  • Remove the bottom half of the soil and carefully remove and dispose of the old pot.
  • Fill the pot with fresh potting soil, place the plant in the soil, and gently press the ground around the plant’s roots.
  • Put the lid on the pot and water thoroughly. You can fertilize your plant with a weak solution of fertilizers (water-soluble only) every spring.

What is the oldest Christmas cactus?

The oldest Christmas cactus reported in the scientific literature was actually 111 years old.

How to estimate a Christmas Cactus’ age?

Christmas cacti usually do not live longer than 15 years. If you want to know how old your cactus is, you can easily do so by looking at the base (the root).

The base will be broader and flusher the older your cactus gets. Another way to estimate the age of your cactus is to look at the size of the spines—the more giant the spines, the older the cactus.

Red flowered Christmas Cactus Plant


Let’s conclude the post on how long does a Christmas Cactus last!

Christmas cacti are hardy and easy to take care of if you have the right growing conditions. Christmas cacti do not require much care or attention and can survive exposure to shallow temperatures, making them an ideal houseplant. 

They are also one of the few cactus species that can grow indoors. If you live in a cold climate where the temperature dips below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you should consider moving your cactus to a warmer location.

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