Woody Coating on Easter Cactus Leaves

(Question)

I have a very old Easter Cactus. Many of its leaves have developed a woody coating. I have tried to propagate new plants, but eventually they also get it. How can I get rid of it?

 

 

(Answer)

Having had a cactus for many decades myself, I think its admirable for you to have kept a cactus alive and well into its old age. As cacti age it is a natural process for them to become woody. If you have any gnarly long stems that are tangled or unsightly you can prune them out.  Pinch the stem off at a joint. New leaves will sprout and rejuvenate parts of the plant.  If your plant is too big or heavy to manage, you can plant 3 segment long cuttings to create new plants- although, as you say, these will eventually become woody with age. We all get a bit woody, if we are fortunate enough to live to be very old, so don’t think of your cactus as ugly. Admire it as the reliably flowering Brazilian beauty that puts on a spectacular show each year, for many decades.