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House Plants/christmas cactus and repotting


I have a cc I would guess is at least 15 years old I think it is older then that. Part of it was my great grandmothers, then my grandmother had it when she passed, then it was my mothers when she passed now it is mine. I have had it at least 12 years and have not changed the pot or dirt afraid to kill the plant. It still gets flowers and is green and growing like crazy it is 3 times the size since I first got it. Do I need to repot or put new dirt in it or just let it stay the way it is? The dirt is very hard that is in it but it does keep growing and getting flowers two times a year at Christmas and again in feb. Thank you for any help you give me if I do need to change it I will be bringing it to a flower shop to get it done lol don't want to kill it good with flowers and all but this one not going to even try it I want it to stay alive it means a lot to me it is old and was my great grandmothers and my grandmothers then my mothers now mine so a family plant handed down.

Hi Roberta,

I have good news for you. The reason your holiday cactus has done so well is because you have NOT repotted it!

There is this common myth that plants need to be repotted or have their soil replenished periodically. That simply is not true, especially with older flowering plants like yours. If you repot, you will disrupt the blooming cycle and there is a very good chance you will inadvertently damage the roots and also inadvertently keep the roots too moist, which leads to root rot.

If you bring it to a flower shop, they will probably repot it, charge you for the repotting and you will ultimately lose the plant. Florists know how to sell plants but they usually are not so good about caring for them.

I have written an article on caring for holiday flowering plants, including Christmas Cactus, but you do not need it. Obviously, your plant is flourishing and flowering regularly, so let's not try to "fix" it by changing anything. If you feel compelled to do something, you could fertilize it at half strength once every month or so, but only when it is growing vigorously. Like most plants, it uses nutrients in very minute quantities.

Congratulations and continued success with your holiday cactus.

I have also written a detailed article on repotting that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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