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Why is my Thanksgiving cactus yellowing?

Are you having trouble with your holiday cactus? Here are the top causes of Thanksgiving cactus yellowing, how to fix it, and how to prevent it!

The Thanksgiving cactus, or Schlumbergera truncata, is a unique house plant known for thriving in tropical climates, much like its Christmas cactus counterpart.

Native to Brazil, this cactus species loves growing in highly humid places beneath the canopy of rainforests.

Thanksgiving cacti are easily recognizable for their flat green stems, also called cladodes, and they typically boast lovely flower buds at the end of their stems in vibrant colors such as pink, red, white, and purple.

While Thanksgiving cacti share similar care requirements with their Christmas cousins, they too are low-maintenance houseplants that enjoy consistency and care.

However, if you notice your Thanksgiving cactus turning yellow, you might be concerned.

As a plant parent, it’s natural not to know the cause or what to do, but rest assured, in most cases, this issue is reversible and won’t be fatal for your plant.

why is my thanksgiving cactus yellowing?

Why is my Thanksgiving cactus yellowing?

Here are some of the reasons that may cause yellowing leaves and problems with your Thanksgiving cactus:

1. Inappropriate Sunlight Exposure

Similar to the Christmas cactus, the Thanksgiving cactus requires indirect, bright light. Exposure to direct sunlight can cause its leaves to turn yellow.

To ensure your Thanksgiving cactus thrives, place it in an area with bright and indirect light. North and west-facing windows are good options that avoid excessive direct sunlight exposure.

2. Underwatering

Contrary to common misconception, Thanksgiving cacti, like their Christmas counterparts, enjoy a more humid environment.

Yellowing leaves may indicate insufficient moisture.

Water your plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch, ensuring it stays consistently moist but not soggy.

thanksgiving cactus in a plastic pot

3. Overwatering

Overwatering can lead to root rot, a potentially fatal issue for your Thanksgiving cactus.

Avoid a strict watering schedule and instead check the soil’s moisture level regularly.

Ensure your plant is in a pot with adequate drainage holes and well-draining soil.

4. Lacking Nutrients

Nitrogen deficiency can lead to yellowing leaves.

To prevent yellowing caused by nutrient deficiencies, repot your Thanksgiving cactus using a suitable soil mix when you get it.

Feed your plant with a high-quality liquid fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer, following the package instructions during the growing season.

Some suggest that Thanksgiving cacti benefit from magnesium; if so, you can dilute one teaspoon of Epsom salt in one gallon of water and feed it once a month in spring and summer.

thanksgiving cactus with red purple tips

5. Drainage Issues

Proper drainage is crucial for Thanksgiving cacti. Choose a pot with ample drainage holes to allow excess moisture to escape and prevent yellowing.

6. Pests and Diseases

Carefully inspect your plant for signs of disease or pests, as overly moist soil in an unsuitable pot can attract insects.

If you notice any issues, take immediate action to isolate the affected plant and explore remedies to address the specific problem.

Any more questions about yellowing Thanksgiving cactus?

Thanks for reading!

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