Leaves Dropping From Christmas Cactus Outdoors

Filed Under: Cactus and Succulents · Keywords: Leaves, Dropping, Christmas Cactus, Outdoors · 3880 Views
I just put my cactus outdoors, hanging on the porch, as I do every year. Some animal has been biting off leaves every day and just leaving them on the rail or ground. Would a squirrel do this? If so why suddenly this year after many years of hanging them out and in the same place?


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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Helene-The leaves of this plant hold a fair amount of water. Water evaporation from this plants leaves is far less than other plants leaves. Not sure what animal might be chewing your plants leaves, but it is most likely a smaller sized one. He, she, or they may be doing this to acquire water when thirsty. This is probably why the leaves are left and not eaten. The other possibility is that this animal is very knowlegable about this plant and knows after blooming in the spring or early summer the plant should be pruned by pinching off sections at the joints to promote branching. Just kidding. Not sure what animals you have in your area. Possibly a squirrel, bird or other animal that is able to get to your hanging plant. Why this year is also hard to answer. It may be that the animal is new to your area or one that has just discovered a way to get a drink. I have two cats that would tear up a plant just to get me riled up.

I'm sure this hasn't helped to answer your question, but will continue to search for an animal that may have a liking for the Christmas cactus for some reason.

John)


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Looking for animals that may be interested in the Christmas cactus I found that squirrels and other small rodents get much of their water from dew and moisture from plant vegetation such as succulents. The Christmas Cactus are succulent plants and when you cut or break off a stem you may notice a little bit of liquid or a clear gel leaking from the wound. Maybe a thirsty or playful squirrel. Just a thought.

8 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
That makes sense. It's been on the dry side here in mid-Georgia so wildlife is looking for anything they can get a drink from. Might be a good idea to set out water bowls. Our squirrels drink from our bird baths but we set out some plastic pot saucers filled with water for the rabbits and other creatures.

8 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
By the way, John. Beth and I are taking your advice with the sprinkler that chases away raccoons and other pests. Between the herons, an owl, and a raccoon, they have eaten all of our colorful goldfish in the garden pond. Only fish that are left is Black Mollies and dark grey goldfish. Hopefully the sprinkler does the trick.

8 years ago ·
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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Now that you mention it; we used to get a heron or egret, not really sure what they are, in our yard once in a while from the near by golf course. My neighbors get them, but I haven't seen one in our yard for over a year or so. Maybe its the sprinklers. I no longer have koi in the pond as the raccoons feasted on them. The Koi were bad at pulling up the pond plants anyways so I don't miss them. I just keep a few mosquitoe fish. I still haven't seen a raccoon in my yard for probably three years now, but see them around the neighborhood. Hope this works keeping your pond clear of these critters.

8 years ago ·
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Answer #2 · Gardenality.com's Answer · You sure it's an animal biting off and dropping the leaves? Could be a change in soil moisture, light or humidity or all of these factors that are causing the leaves to drop?)


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Helene Zaleski

Helene Zaleski · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Still in a quandary. Have had normal amount of rain so they shouldn't be too thirsty. And, there are no tooth marks or claw marks on the leaves. Sometimes it is one leaf and sometimes it's four still attached to each other. And the search goes on..

8 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Hopefully it will stop dropping the leaves. If not, you might want to move it back indoors.

8 years ago ·
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Answer #3 · Helene Zaleski's Answer · Thanks Brent....I will certainly give that consideration.)



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