Christmas Cactus care – everything you need to know
This post will tell you all about taking care of a Christmas cactus! Christmas cacti are known for their beautiful blooms in the winter months. These plants, which belong to the genus Schlumbergera truncata, are relatively easy to care for.
What is a Christmas Cactus?
A Christmas cactus is a succulent plant that blooms in the winter months. It gets its name because it usually flowers around December but can bloom anytime between November and January. This flowering plant has become popular among gardeners who want to enjoy the beauty of flowers without having to wait for springtime. With the Christmas cactus care knowledge, you can now grow your own Christmas cactus!
While they are a popular holiday cactus, they can be alive all year round with the proper Christmas cactus care. Their cheerful red, pink, and white blooms add a touch of color to any winter decor. While they may be called “Christmas cacti,” these plants can be enjoyed all year long.
They are also known as the Thanksgiving cactus. They’re also a popular houseplant during the holiday season. It has thick spiny leaves that are green on top and pink underneath.
The flowers have long petals that are yellow-orange with red streaks along each side. They come in many different colors so they can match your décor for this time of year.
Simple Ways of Christmas Cactus Care
Christmas cactus is often seen as a symbol of the season and has been used to celebrate the winter holidays for many years. Most people don’t know how to care for this plant. There are some simple ways to take care of your Christmas Cactus, so it lasts throughout the new year!
Here we will cover: How much water should be given, what kind of soil, light requirements, fertilizing needs, repotting frequency, and more!
1. Consider the temperature
Remember that this type of cactus is more suitable for temperatures ranging from 60-70 degrees. Also, you need to maintain high levels of humidity.
How to keep humidity high:
- Fill a container with water
- Arrange a tray of pebbles on the container
- Place the container under the Christmas cactus container
2. Choose the right type of soil.
It’s important to keep the soil slightly moist during the cactus’ growth development in summer and spring. Plus, it’s crucial to know the best type of soil for your Christmas cactus. A quality soil rich in nutrients and humus is the most appropriate soil for the ultimate Christmas cactus care. You may also need pesticides against fungus gnats.
3. Keep the light at bay.
For the best Christmas cactus care, keep your cactus in a position where they are east-facing the window. This way, they can receive adequate sunlight.
However, if you want your Christmas cactus to rebloom, here’s what you need to do:
- During fall, when all the cactus’ flowers have bloomed and stopped flowering, reduce both light and moisture exposure.
- Reduce watering and ensure your plant receives 12-14 hours of darkness.
- The average temperature should be set at 50-55 F.
- You can do these 6 – 8 weeks before you want them to be ready for their bloom time.
TIP: While they easily adapt to low light conditions, they will produce flower buds faster if exposed to brighter sunlight. However, keeping them overly exposed can burn their leaves. Keep the sun exposure moderate.
4. Maintain your watering frequency
While your Christmas cactus is blooming, you should keep the soil equally moist. Thus, sprinkling it frequently is a must. For the ultimate Christmas cactus care, you need to water it thoroughly. Especially during its growth in summer and spring.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Keep reduced moisture levels
- You can keep the soil dried a bit in between watering intervals
- Never let your cactus sit in water. This will lead to stem segments and root rot.
5. Fertilization is essential
Apply mild plant fertilizer at least every other week for the best Christmas cactus care. We recommend using high-potassium fertilizers once you see buds forming.
6. Repotting is needed
Each year you should re-pot your cactus after flowering. This way, they can grow and bloom faster for the next cycle.
Christmas Cactus Care Tricks and Tips
Inviting guests over during the holidays is always a stressful event, but when you have to worry about whether or not your Christmas cactus will make it through the visit, things can get tense. Luckily, there are a few tricks and tips that you can follow to keep your cactus healthy and happy throughout the holiday season!
- Keep the surrounding environment humid.
- Water your Christmas cactus only when the soil is dry to the touch.
- Plant them in quality sand soil.
- It’s natural when your cactus loses some buds, don’t panic!
- In the daytime, maintain the temperature at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. While in the nighttime, keep it from 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep your plants away from heat sources like a heating vent or a fireplace for the best Christmas cactus care.
- Inadequate watering can lead to your cactus’ wilting.
- Excessive watering can cause stem and root rotting.
- Don’t forget to choose pots with drainage holes to prevent your Christmas cactus from drowning.
- During winter, place the plant in an area where it can get 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist and never let the air become too dry.
To summarize, the best way to care for a Christmas cactus is by watering them regularly and keeping them in an area with plenty of light. They will need at least 8 hours of sunlight each day but can be given more if possible. You should also ensure that their soil has been watered thoroughly before you water again, so they don’t get root rot.
In addition, all these plants have thorns which may pose a risk when touching them or moving them around your home – just use caution! Lastly, many people ask what type of potting mix is best for this plant because sometimes there are pre-made mixes available, or else you might want to buy some specifically designed for succulent plants.