Why Is My Hatiora Gaertneri Dying?
There are a few potential reasons why your Hatiora Gaertneri plant might be dying.
Although the Easter cactus requires a lot of water during its active development period, it may still be overwatered.
If the plant receives too much (or too little) water, it will shed stem segments and flower buds. Easter cactus requires more water from summer to autumn, when it is actively developing.
In the winter, use less water. After the petals fade in late spring, don’t water for a month.
After blooming, the Easter cactus requires a month of dry repose. Many new growers make the mistake of missing this rest period and instead continuing to water as normal.
Don’t do it! Allow your plant to rest to keep it coming back year after year (for up to six years).
Underwatering can cause Hatiora gaertneri to die for a few reasons. First, if the roots of the plant are not receiving enough water, they will begin to dry out and die.
This can happen if the plant is not watered frequently enough or the soil is not absorbing water properly.
Second, if the leaves of the plant are not receiving enough water, they will begin to wilt and die. This can happen if the plant is not being watered frequently enough or if the air around the plant is too dry.
Finally, if the plant is not receiving enough water, it will not be able to produce the food it needs to survive.
Too Low Humidity
Easter cactus requires high humidity, especially from summer through fall. Shriveled stems and curled or dried-out leaves might indicate a lack of moisture in the air. Here are several methods for increasing humidity (and hence the health of your plant):
Humidity Tray – Set your plant in a shallow tray with stones and water. The moisture in the air increases as the water evaporates.
Simply keep the water line below the stones so that the bottom of the pot does not sit in water. For additional details, see my post How to Make a Humidity Tray for Houseplants.
Regular Misting – Mist your Easter cactus regularly using a spray bottle filled with room temperature water set to the “mist” setting.
The frequency of misting is determined by how dry the air in your home is. If your air is really dry, you may need to spray every day. If your air is somewhat dry, sprinkling a few times each week should be enough.
Houseplant Humidifier – If you have central heating in the winter or live in a dry region, consider installing a humidifier in the room near your Easter cactus.
Because I live in the desert, I try to keep a humidifier running at all times to keep my plants happy.
It’s OK if you don’t have access to a humidifier. With a simple spray bottle and/or homemade humidity tray, you can still enhance the moisture in the air.
Too Much Direct Sunlight
Too much sunshine is another reason your Easter cactus might be dying. This tropical evergreen prefers strong indirect light but not direct sunlight.
If it will be exposed to the scorching afternoon sun from the south or west-facing window, move it a few feet back.
Place your cactus in an area that receives brilliant filtered light during the month of rest when you aren’t watering it. It still needs sunshine but not much moisture.
The best position at this time of year is a north-facing or east-facing window with thin drapes to filter the light.
Too Cold Temperature
If the water, sunshine, and humidity levels are all OK, the next thing to check is the temperature. Easter cactus enjoys temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius) during the day and 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 21 degrees Celsius) at night.
During this time, you might wish to keep them in a cold garage or shed or near a cool window.
Temperatures should not fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) from November to January and should not fall below 60 degrees Fahrenheit the rest of the year.
If temperatures dip too low, the Easter cactus may shed flower buds and/or stems. Although the plant may live without chilly nights in the winter, it may not blossom in the spring.
Easter cactus flowers are driven by warmth rather than light, unlike several other winter-flowering cacti.
Overfertilization can cause Hatiora Gaertneri to die for a few reasons. First, too much fertilizer can lead to the plant absorbing too many nutrients, which can cause it to become overwhelmed and die.
Second, overfertilization can also lead to the build-up of harmful chemicals in the soil, which can then be absorbed by the plant and cause it to die.
Finally, overfertilization can also lead to the plant’s roots becoming suffocated by the excess fertilizer, which can ultimately kill the plant.
Pests And Diseases Infestation
One of the main reasons pests and diseases can infest and cause the death of Hatiora gaertneri plants is improper care.
If the plant is not given the proper amount of water, sunlight, and nutrients, it becomes stressed and more susceptible to pests and diseases.
Furthermore, if the plant is not kept clean and free of debris, this can also lead to an infestation. Regularly cleaning the leaves and stems of the plant, as well as removing any dead or dying leaves, can help to prevent pests and diseases from taking hold.
Why Is My Hatiora Gaertneri Leaves Wrinkled?
The Easter cactus (Hatiora gaertneri) resembles the more popular Christmas cactus, however, it blooms in April rather than winter.
Pink to vivid crimson blooms emerge from the tips of flat, leafy green stems.
If the plant is not properly cared for, the “leaves” might get wrinkled. The following are the causes of Hatiora Gaertneri wrinkling.
The major reason of Easter cactus shriveling and wrinkling is a lack of water. For the majority of the year, this plant requires moderate watering. Follow these watering suggestions for the best results:
Allow the soil to dry out for a month after the flowers have faded in the spring. Keep the soil continuously moist throughout the summer and early fall.
Allow the soil to dry almost completely between waterings in the winter. Water your Easter cactus when the top of the potting soil becomes dry to a depth of 1 inch after the drying season in spring (and all the way until winter) (2.5 cm).
Every day, insert your finger into the soil to test for soil moisture.
If the Easter cactus begins to drop leaves, this is another symptom that it is underwatered. This is almost certainly your problem if you have wrinkled leaves and shedding.
Low humidity is another cause of wrinkled Easter cactus leaves (too little moisture in the air). This plant thrives under excessive humidity. It might be difficult to maintain adequate humidity levels if you live in a dry environment or have a centrally heated house in the winter.
Here are some suggestions for boosting the humidity around your Easter cactus:
- Mist a few times each week (every two or three days) with a spray bottle filled with room temperature water and set on mist. You might also use a handheld mister. However, a spray bottle is easier to use and less expensive, in my opinion.
- Place your cactus in a shallow, watertight tray full of pebbles and water. Just make sure the water doesn’t touch the pot’s bottom. For additional details, see my post on how to create a handmade humidity tray.
- Place a high-quality houseplant humidifier near your Easter cactus in the room. This is normally only required during the winter months when central heating is used.
Too Much Direct Sunlight
To flourish and blossom, Easter cactus need bright, filtered light. Direct sunshine, on the other hand, can produce sunburn.
Too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves of a Hatiora gaertneri to become wrinkled. This is due to the plant’s leaves being unable to properly photosynthesize when they are exposed to too much sunlight.
When the leaves cannot photosynthesize, they cannot produce the energy they need to grow and thrive. This can cause the leaves to become wrinkled and damaged.
An Easter cactus thrives in an east-facing window that receives strong, indirect light and chilly early sun. If you must position it in a window facing west or south, consider shading the light with sheer, gauzy drapes.
A north-facing window will not supply enough light for your plant to grow, but fake plant lights can help.
Easter cactus thrives nicely when exposed to artificial light for 10 – 12 hours every day. Offer 12 – 14 hours of darkness each night to trigger blooming in the winter.
Is Hatiora Gaertneri Perennial?
Hatiora Gaertneri is a Cactaceae family perennial cactus endemic to Southeastern Brazil and found in tropical rainforest settings.
This species and closely related hybrids are usually referred to as Easter or Whitsun Cactus and are commonly planted as decorative houseplants.
This species has undergone substantial reclassification throughout time; it was formerly classified as belonging to many distinct genera, including Hatiora and Rhipsalis, and has had numerous name revisions.
Following recent genetic investigations, it has been returned to the genus Schlumbergera, where it was previously assigned.
It is commonly seen growing on trees and is hence classified as epiphytic or lithophytic if discovered growing on rocks. It has a branching habit and matures into a pendant, leafless, woody-based shrub with age.
How Fast Does Hatiora Gaertneri Grow?
Hatiora Gaertneri is a low-maintenance plant that tolerates neglect. This plant enjoys partial shade (as do other epiphytic cacti) and demands plenty of summer water (more than other cacti), but let the soil dry somewhat between waterings.
These woodland cactus grow quickly and survive a long time.
It grows best in dry, tropical, or subtropical areas and requires bright but indirect light. In hot climes, shade is occasionally given. Extra light in the early spring encourages budding.
Is Hatiora Gaertneri Easy To Maintain?
Hatiora gaertneri (or Schlumbergera gaertneri as it is currently called) is an epiphytic cactus that produces exceedingly lovely blooms, so much so that it has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (RHS).
It is an excellent aesthetic value plant that is also reasonably easy to maintain. In truth, while you must be mindful of irrigation, a few simple techniques will ensure that your cactus grows healthily.