Christmas Cactus Turning Red

The Christmas cactus, also known as the Holiday cactus, is a popular houseplant. The plant blooms around Christmas time, hence its name. But one problem that many people have with their Christmas cactus is that the leaves start to turn red. 

If your Christmas cactus leaves are turning red, don’t worry! There are a few possible reasons why this is happening, and there are also some things you can do to treat it. In this article, we’ll explore some of the reasons why your Christmas cactus is turning red, as well as how to treat and prevent this from happening.

Why Is My Christmas Cactus Turning Red?

The Christmas cactus is a popular holiday plant known for its beautiful red flowers. However, sometimes the Christmas cactus can turn red before it blooms and might even lose its leaves. According to Garden for Indoor, a cactus turning red is a sign of stress. Here are 5 stress factors that may cause your Christmas cactus to turn red:

1. Temperature Stress

The Christmas cactus is native to Brazil, which means they prefer warm temperatures. If the temperature drops too low below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant may turn red in an attempt to generate heat.

2. Light Stress 

Too much or too little light can also cause the Christmas cactus to turn red. The plant prefers bright, indirect sunlight. If it’s placed in a spot that’s too sunny, the leaves may turn red. On the other hand, if the plant isn’t getting enough light, it may start to turn red.

3. Nutrient Stress

Christmas cactus requires nourishment to develop, just like any other plant. The plant may begin to turn red if it isn’t receiving enough nutrients. This can happen if the plant is not getting enough water or if the soil isn’t nutrient-rich.

4. Water Stress

Similar to how too much or too little light can cause a plant to turn red, so can too much or too little water. The Christmas cactus needs to be kept properly moist but not drenched because it is a succulent.

5. Pest Stress

Pests can also cause the plant to turn red. If your plant is infested with pests, it may start to turn red as a sign of stress. This is because the pests are robbing the plant of its nutrients.

6. Transplant Stress

Transplanting can also be a stressful experience for the plant. If you just transplanted your Christmas cactus and it’s turning red, it may be adjusting to its new environment.

7.  Soil Stress 

Another possibility is that the soil isn’t draining well enough. This could be caused by the plant being in a pot that’s too small or by using potting soil that’s too heavy. 

If your Christmas cactus is turning red, it’s best to try and figure out what the stress factor is. Once you’ve determined the cause, you can take steps to fix the problem.

Schlumbergera flower on a white background, close-up

How Do You Treat Red Leaves On Christmas Cactus?

Gardening Know How mentioned in their article that Christmas cactus care is easy, and they are typically resistant to disease and pests. However, if your Christmas cactus is turning red, it could be a sign of stress or disease. Here are 7 ways to treat red leaves on Christmas cactus.

Check The Temperature

As we mentioned before, temperature stress is one of the reasons why your Christmas cactus turn red. Be sure to check the room temperature where your plant is located. If it’s too cold, move the plant to a warmer location.

Check the Light

The Christmas cactus light should be bright but indirect. If the plant is in a spot that’s too sunny, move it to a shadier location. On the other hand, if the plant isn’t getting enough light, move it to a brighter spot.

 Check the Nutrients  

If you think your Christmas cactus isn’t getting enough nutrients, try fertilizing it with a cactus fertilizer. Fertilizers that are high in phosphorus are perfect for Christmas cacti. Plant Care Today listed some of the best fertilizers for Christmas cactus.

Check the Water  

As we mentioned earlier, Christmas cactus are succulents and need to be kept evenly moist but not soggy.  Make sure you’re not over or under-watering the plant. Here’s how to water a Christmas cactus according to Gardener report:

– Allow the topsoil to dry out before watering

– Water deeply and then allow the plant to drain

– Water your Christmas cactus with room temperature water

Check for Pests 

Inspect your plant regularly for any signs of pests. If you do find any pests, treat them accordingly. Succulent Plant Care mentioned some easy pest treatments for succulents, like the Christmas cactus. These are neem oil, soap, and rubbing alcohol.

Check the Transplant  

Your Christmas cactus may just be adjusting to its new home if you recently transplanted it, and it is now turning red. Give it some time to adapt, and it ought to begin to turn green once more.

Check the Soil

As we mentioned above, another possibility is that the soil isn’t draining well enough. To check, stick your finger an inch or two into the soil. If it feels wet, wait a day or two before watering again.

Trying to determine why your Christmas cactus is turning red can be tricky. However, by following the tips above, you should be able to figure out the cause and take steps to fix the problem.

How to Prevent Christmas Cactus Leaves From Turning Red

To prevent your Christmas cactus leaves from turning red, it’s important to give the plant the proper care it needs. Here are some tips on how to do that:

1. Place the Pot in a Warm Spot

As we mentioned before, the Christmas cactus is native to Brazil and prefers warm temperatures. To prevent the plant from turning red, make sure to place it in a warm spot in your home where the temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Give Plenty of Bright, Indirect Sunlight

Christmas cactus also prefer bright, indirect sunlight. To prevent the plant from turning red, make sure to place it in a spot where it will get bright, indirect sunlight.

3. Fertilize Regularly

Another important Christmas cactus care tip is to fertilize the plant regularly. This will ensure that the plant is getting the nutrients it needs to grow. You can use a cactus fertilizer or any all-purpose fertilizer.

4. Evenly Distribute Water

Make sure to water your Christmas cactus evenly, but don’t overwater it. Allow the soil to dry out in between waterings. It’s also important to ensure the pot has good drainage, so the plant doesn’t sit in water.

5. Examine the Plant for Pests

The last thing to remember is to routinely examine your Christmas cactus for bugs. You should deal with any bugs you find on the plant the right way. Either an insecticide or a natural pest control technique can do the job.

6. Prune It Regularly

Pruning your Christmas cactus is also important in order to keep it healthy and keep it from turning red. You should prune the plant every few months to remove any dead or dying leaves. This new growth might be less likely to turn red.

7. Get Professional Help

If you’re still having trouble preventing your Christmas cactus leaves from turning red, then you may need to get professional help. A professional can diagnose the problem and give you specific advice on how to fix it. They can also help you choose the right fertilizers and pest control products for your plant.

By following these tips, you should be able to prevent your Christmas cactus leaves from turning red. Just remember to give the plant the proper care it needs, and you’ll be able to enjoy its beautiful blooms for years to come!

Should I Cut Red Leaves Off Christmas Cactus?

If you see red leaves on your Christmas cactus, don’t panic. This is actually quite common and is usually nothing to worry about. However, if the red leaves are accompanied by other problems, such as wilting or yellowing leaves, then it might be a good idea to cut them off.

Cutting off the red leaves will not kill the plant and will actually help it to focus its energy on the healthier leaves. To do this, simply cut off the red leaves at the base with a sharp knife or scissors. Be sure to dispose of the leaves safely so that they don’t attract pests. Wikihow has a detailed guide on how to prune Christmas cactus.

Lastly, don’t forget to give your plant some extra love and attention. It might be feeling a little stressed after losing its leaves. Water it evenly and keep it in a bright, warm spot. Then surely, your Christmas cactus will soon be back to its best and will be gracing your home with its beautiful blooms.


Why Is My New Christmas Cactus Growth Red?

As stated by World of Succulents, cultural stress is one potential reason for your new Christmas cactus growth to turn red. Maybe your pot is too small, you’re not watering enough, or it’s not receiving the right type of light. If your plant is experiencing any type of stress, it’s common for new growth to turn red.

​​Why Are the New Leaves on My Christmas Cactus Red?

The Practical Planter has studied and explained this issue. They say that the reason for the new hues on your Christmas cactus is that there is a problem with the plant’s roots. The roots of the plant may have been harmed by a few factors, which color the leaves red. 


The Christmas cactus is a popular houseplant that blooms around Christmas time. If its leaves turn red, it is because of stress caused by several factors such as temperature, light, nutrients, water, and pests. But don’t worry – there are ways to treat and prevent it, as we mentioned in this article. 

And if you’re thinking of Cutting the red eaves off your Christmas cactus, it’s not a bad idea, as long as the plant is otherwise healthy. So, don’t freak out too much if you notice red leaves on your Christmas cactus. Just follow the tips above, and you’ll be able to fix the problem in no time! 

We hope this article helped you out, and feel free to share it with anyone who might find it useful. Thanks for reading!

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