Christmas Cactus Care

Christmas Cactus Care

Christmas Cactus Care Next to poinsettias, I’d say the Christmas cactus would have to be the next most popular of the winter holiday blooming plants. No worries about getting stabbed by this type of cactus. Christmas cactuses do not have thorns, unlike desert loving cactus.

Christmas cactuses are native to tropical rainforests and require frequent and thorough watering during their active growth periods in the spring and summer months to stay beautiful and healthy. You usually find this beauty blooming around the holidays, hence the name.

The Christmas cactus can be happy growing indoors as well as outdoors. During warm weather, Christmas cactuses are very happy to be outdoors. During the really hot months of summer, give it afternoon shade and water it enough to keep the soil slightly damp, but never let it sit in water.

As fall temperatures begin to drop into the low 50s, it’s usually a good time to move your Christmas cactus indoors and let it get acclimated to the indoor conditions. Keep the plant away from drafty windows and doors as well as heater and air-conditioner vents. These conditions can dry the plants out and cause the air temperatures to fluctuate too much.

This cactus is happiest with temperatures kept between 60 and 80 degrees. It also appreciates humidity and moisture. Indoors, you can place a saucer filled with pebbles and water under the plant and the evaporation will moisten the air.

Christmas cactuses like to be slightly crowded in their containers. Usually they need to be repotted every three to four years into slightly larger pots. Repot after a blooming cycle ends and flowers have wilted in the late winter or early spring.

It’s fun to take cuttings and share these with your friends and family. To do this, you will cut from the tips of a branch. Take a two- to three-jointed segments from the mother plant. Allow this to dry for a few hours before potting it in a moist, loose potting mix. Next, stick the cutting about a quarter of its length below the soil’s surface. Place the pot in a well-lit area and water very sparingly for the first couple of weeks with liquid seaweed fertilizer. After this, feed it at least once or twice a month to keep it beautiful, blooming and healthy for many years to come.

Until next time, let’s try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

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