Christmas Cactus Turning Purple

Location: Gainesville, FL

Question: My sister's Christmas cactus leaves are beginning to turn purple. What can she do to make them green again?

Answer: The plant may be suffering from a nutrient deficiency. If she has not fertilized your plant, have her do so with a dilute fertilizer solution. The plant may also need repotting; use a good quality potting soil -- or even a soilless seed-starting mix, though these mixes tend to dry out quickly. (Only repot if your plant has gone 2 or 3 years without repotting; if it is new this year, skip this step.) Christmas cacti also do not like the dry air found in the winter in most houses. Try standing the pot on atray of pebbles; fill the tray with water to increase humidity around the pot. (The pot should not be sitting in water.) Also, the plant should be watered with tepid (not cold) water. Hope this helps!

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