Christmas Cactus- what to do about white fuzz on the stems?

by Charlene
My beautiful Christmas Cactus is about 10 years old, big , full, hearty and mostly healthy.
Periodically I get white fuzz on the stems. I've read to spray it with an amount of peroxide to water. It does go away for a while but seems to come back. Does anyone have a suggestion to rid my plant permanently, of this ? I'd hate to loose this beauty. icon
Thank you in advance.
q christmas cactus
  11 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 21, 2017
    You have to re-pot it in cactus soil Insects lay eggs and no matter how much you treat it they will return unless the soil is changed.

  • BillieandRob Linhart BillieandRob Linhart on Jun 21, 2017
    If you live in a dry climate, make sure a source of humidity like a shallow tray of water is kept nearby. The plant will not tolerate dry soil and requires regular watering (done at the base of the plant). Conversely, too much water will cause leaves to spot and fall off. Allow the top layer of soil to dry completely before watering. This might help.

  • John Loiselle John Loiselle on Jun 21, 2017
    I had this on a older plant.I repotted it to give it a new bed,I was told that salts appear on soil and plants from continuous watering containing natural salts.I put out my household plants and spray them with a fruit spray, their blend contains an anti fungal agent, My christmas cactus is same age, but has decided to bloom in summer ,and again in october,any suggestions on how to standardize blooming time.Bonne Chance.

  • Alradborn Alradborn on Jun 21, 2017
    White fuzz could be a few things. But appears healthy enough. I personally wouldn't transplant it, if it isn't pot bound. When it is not in bloom spray foliage with insectidal soap or soapy spray(underside as well)

  • Charlene Charlene on Jun 21, 2017
    Thank you for the feed back. I am going to transplant my 'baby' into cactus soil. I'm in South Florida and of course it's hot and humid. 👍🏼

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Jun 21, 2017
    white fuzz could be mealy bug . I use 21 guage needles to get into tight spaces and some Dawn in warm water with a small amount of alcohol. You might also want to change the soil as mealies get into it and feed on the roots. If it is a large plant, you may need help holding onto it while doing this.

  • Pat Pat on Jun 21, 2017
    Would systemic bug killer work? I use this for my other indoor plants that have been outside for the summer. Do it two weeks before brining them inside. This is if you have mealy bugs?

  • BrokeCrazyLady BrokeCrazyLady on Jun 21, 2017
    I suggest you hold off on watering before you replant and do it while the plant is a bit limp. If the plant is firm, you are much more likely to break off branches and leaves. If you do break off any pieces, remember that they will root again if given the chance (You can send them to me ;) )

  • Charlene Charlene on Jul 09, 2017
    Thank you Broke Crazy Lady.

  • Martha Martha on Jul 13, 2018

    Were you able to remedy this problem and if so, how? My Christmas Cactus has just developed this same problem and it’s leaves are breaking off. My plant is very large, also.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Apr 13, 2021


    Could be the plant is not getting enough air around it, or needs repotting!