Q: My mom has a Christmas cactus on which the ends are green with just a few flower buds. The bottom of each branch is all brown. Is there something wrong with the plant?
A: This is normal behavior for a Christmas cactus. As the plant ages, stems become woody and new growth and flowers appear only at the ends of branches. The weight of green growth will sometimes pull the woody stems out of the crown.
Prepare a saucer of wet sand. Insert individual green leaf segments half-way into the sand. Put the saucer in a warm window. After four weeks each segment will make roots. the segments can be translated into the original container.
You can also shorten some of the woody branches down to 2 inches long. Many times they will re-sprout at this point and give new green leaves.