Are you searching for the method to grow a Christmas cactus? Are you trying to take care of your Christmas cactus so that it survives for a long time? If so then definitely give this article a read as we have listed different ways to grow and care for your plant.
Schlumbergera, also known as Christmas cactus in the northern Hemisphere is a genus of small cacti with a number of six to nine species that grows in the coastal mountains in south-eastern part of Brazil. In Brazil, the cactus species is known as Flor de Maio or May flower.
These plants usually grow in shady areas with high humidity and look different from their desert species. These cactus can be found growing on trees or rocks. Most species of Christmas cactus have leaf-like stem pads joined with one another.
From the tips and joints of the stems flowers blooms from the part called areoles. Only two species of Schlumbergera have cylindrical stems similar to cactus. Cactus flowers different colors flowers like read, pink, orange, purple, white or yellow depending on different species.
How To Grow Christmas Cactus?
Start by re-potting your Christmas cactus when trying to make you cactus survive from season to season. If you have bought home a new Christmas cactus then you don’t need to re-pot the cactus for some years. This plant usually blooms better when kept in a pot for a long time.
But if your Christmas cactus is few years old then re-pot it in pot that is an inch or two bigger than the pot it was planted in. The pots should have drainage holes along with well-draining potting soil.
When your cactus grows extra branches and cannot support its own weight then prune your plant. Cut the section of your cactus stem where its joint at the segment. Try pruning your cactus after it has already bloomed and save the cut pieces to grow a new plant.
How You Can Propagate Christmas Cactus?
Here’s how you can propagate a new Christmas cactus.
- Prune your cactus plant and keep the piece you prunes aside.
- Next plant these pruned Christmas cactus parts in to the soil with a well-draining pot.
- Place the pot in a place where it gets bright light.
- Keep the soil lightly moist so that the cactus can grow quickly.
If you follow this process within a few weeks you will see your cactus has grown roots.
If you want your new cactus some boost for it to grow, dip the base of the plant in to rooting hormones before potting it in the soil. Usually cutting cactus does fine without needing rooting hormones.
How you Can Care For Your Christmas Cactus?
Christmas cactus are plants that need bright but indirect light to grow well. When kept in direct sunlight the cactus stems burns so keep the plant in slightly shaded areas in your garden. If you are keeping these plants indoor place them near the south-facing window covered with light curtain to avoid the direct glare of the sun.
These plants loves humid climate so if you keep them indoor during winter place them near other plants or in a tray of pebbles. Water these plants if you see the top layer dry but do not over water and make the soil soggy.
65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit are perfect daytime temperatures for this plant and 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit are perfect evening temperatures.
How To Bloom Christmas Cactus?
One of the most common questions searched on the internet after people buy plant is how to bloom it. To make sure your Christmas cactus blooms during the spring season you will need to fertilize your cactus monthly from June to August. Fertilize your plant with a well-balanced houseplant fertilizers but at half-strength.
You can keep the plant outdoor during summer but bring it indoors before it gets cold. cactus are mostly considered short-day plants meaning they need long uninterrupted periods of darkness during night to grow buds. At least 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit is needed for the plants to grow buds in complete darkness of minimum six weeks.
You can move your cactus in a closet during the daytime or you can keep your cactus in a spare room which doesn’t get used much. If you start caring for the plant from late summer and give it proper dark space to grow bud chances are during the holiday season you will get to see your cactus plants bloom beautiful pink or red flowers.
How Much Or How Often To Water Your Christmas Plant?
You need to water your Christmas cactus depending on the environment you live in or inside your house. An easy way to water this plant is by checking its soil an inch or two if it feels dry then water it at the roots.
After you have watered the plant drain out the excess water and don’t let the cactus sit in water. That is why high-draining pots are used for this cactus plant. When the cactus sits in the water it starts to rot.
How Much Light Does Christmas Cactus Need?
Christmas Cactus loves indirect bright light but when kept under direct sunlight the plant’s foliage burns.
What Kind of Fertilizer Should You Use For Christmas Cactus?
You should use well-balanced blooming houseplant fertilizers in ratio 20-10-20 or 20-20-20 on you Christmas Cactus. Once you get to see buds on your plant fertilize the plants every two weeks. If you fertilize the cactus from spring to summer monthly then you will see beautiful flowers bloom during the holiday season.
Is Christmas Cactus Toxic To Pets?
As per ASPCA, it is not toxic to pets but when eaten in large quantities it can upset the stomach. Place the cactus away from small children and pets so that they don’t nibble on your plant.
Why Are the Leaves on My Christmas Cactus Limp?
If you cactus leaves are looking limp, wrinkly or droopy then you might have under-watered you plant. Water your plant frequently but keeping in mind to not to let the soil become soggy.
Let us know if this article was able to solve your queries about Christmas cactus. What results did you get after following these care tips for your plants.