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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
Hey there, I’m Morgan, a houseplant enthusiast from sunny Charleston, South Carolina. Growing up surrounded by my mom’s lush orchids and African violets, I discovered the magic of bringing nature indoors. Thanks to the pandemic, I delved deeper into houseplants, discovering their power to uplift moods and transform spaces. I’m here to spill all my secrets, helping you pick the perfect houseplant – and make it happy. Let’s keep your plants alive, together! 😊