Caring for Christmas Cactus Christmas cactus thrives in bright, but indirect sunlight. ", article in order to review the information throughout the year, since a marked twelve month calendar is included to assist the reader in determining when and when not to water and fertilize. So called because they flower from late November to late January, they give a wonderful Christmas display or are an ideal Christmas gift. 50 to 60% humidity is the ultimate goal. LIGHT I, "This article was very well laid out with step-by-step instructions, also having pictures of the different problems, "Thank you for detailing the months to water, then dry in October, followed with water in November to produce. A Christmas cactus is a tropical cactus, not a desert cactus. Christmas Cactus Care. That being said, too much direct sunlight can burn its leaves, so keep the Christmas cactus in an appropriate area to avoid this. [1] X Research source Move an indoors plant outdoors in summer to a shady location. This will ensure the plant forms buds easier and eventually it blooms around Christmas. If you reside in the Southern Hemisphere, you may have more difficulty finding this plant around Christmas time, and they'll need more controlled conditions in order to bloom during the holidays. From September and October, the Christmas Cactus should be kept in a cool room where temperatures will remain around 50-55°F (10-12°C), give or take a few degrees. Your help was great. For tips on how to make sure your Christmas cactus blooms in time for Christmas, read on! Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. I'm in growing season 11 and just noticed a couple of buds today. Make sure that you don’t drop blooms early by following the advice below. Since I just moved from an, "I love the Christmas cactus because it's a beautiful house plant, easy to care for and flowers profusely. The article also helped me out with this. How to Care for a Christmas Cactus. Mist leaves as well as watering the soil. For tips on how to make sure your Christmas cactus blooms in time for Christmas, read on! Be sure to turn plants at regular intervals while encouraging new growth. If you are growing the cactus indoors or in a cooler environment, you should water every week. ", it looks like I'm doing the right things. Christmas cacti tend to flower in a cold and relatively dark environment. Treat the cuttings as mature plants. ", live up north and my plants are fairly new. Since then I've re-potted it, watered it (overly) and certainly never given it it's "time in the dark." The plant is so easy to propagate, which makes it a nice plant to share with others. ", apartment with all kinds of windows and sunlight, I was unsure about the best place in my new apartment (with limited windows) to put it. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. I'll be reading your other instructions as well.". If you're using fast-draining soil like the article says, then you should water from the top and let the water trickle down. Why are the leaves on my Christmas cactus limp? Once the Christmas cactus has ceased all flowering (usually by fall), or about six to eight weeks before you want the plant to rebloom, you should allow the plant to begin its dormancy cycle by cutting back on Christmas cactus moisture and reducing both light and temperature. It all depends on the soil you are using. Christmas cacti are some of the easiest house plants to care for. Don't expose the plant to freezing temperatures. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Thank you for these wonderful points and suggestions! New growth will still appear – and that is when watering should be resumed. When watering, thoroughly water the plant. Now I know better. Watering. But it can depend on whether the plant is indoors or outdoors as well as the amount of sun, water, and humidity it is exposed too. When watering it, I rotate it just a little each time so that it gets some sun exposure all around. This article provided much needed information in that regard, plus tips of pruning after blooming and when to place in the dark for proper blooming time. Christmas cactus moisture is important as well. How many times a year does a Christmas cactus bloom? After reading, "This was helpful. Feed one last time in the season (October or November) to encourage Christmas blooming. Maybe when they grow more they will improve. While there are a few key Christmas Cactus care requirements, the Christmas cactus is generally one of the easiest houseplants to care for. All you need to know. I'm going to continue reading your tips regular to refresh me and hopefully keep my cactus for years. Keep the plant in a well-lit location (like near a window) away from direct sunlight – too much heat and light can stunt growth and burn the leaves. This article was co-authored by Maggie Moran. I've had to make a few changes. It's worth the few extra dollars since it will probably be sitting in that soil for a long time. Repotting helps promote growth and a healthy root system. An alternative is one part potting soil, two parts peat moss or compost, and one part sharp sand or perlite. ", helped. I lived in Florida for many years and had no problems. Thank you! Also, it's a perfect location for spray-misting the cacti. It can bloom multiple times per year. Keep Your Plant Alive All Season. ", illustrations for Christmas cactus. Then I moved house and it never flowered again, "I had been told to never move a Christmas cactus once it is situated, to let the soil completely dry out between, "Last year I had a Christmas cactus in full bloom and watered it fully. All the blooms dropped, and I knew then. She always had it on a table in the northwest, "Didn't know about root bound plants flowering better. In about four to six weeks, the cuttings should have rooted and will begin to show some new growth. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. This article has given some clues as to watering and caring for it. Fertilize your Christmas cactus every month in the growing season or from mid spring to early autumn. Christmas Cactus, also known as Thanksgiving or holiday cactus. Christmas Cactus Care. The Christmas cactus plant is rather fragile in that it only blooms for a few short weeks a year. In addition, fertilize the plant with a monthly application of a magnesium sulfate solution at a ratio of 1 teaspoon to 1 gallon of water, but don’t apply the same week you add the plant food. Give your Christmas Cactus bright but indirect light. The rule of thumb is. Gratefully, it is in an east window and has not been over watered. This article received 223 testimonials and 96% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. The plant is recognizable by its segmented stem and the brightly colored blooms that appear at the ends of them. Aim to water your plants regularly. ", plant that produces gold flowers, very pretty. I live in high altitude, and it is very low in humidity. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 4,689,517 times. Christmas cactus is not only easy to care for but propagates easily too, making it an exceptional candidate for holiday gift giving. I also needed info on humidity, as my house gets pretty dry in the winter. Place a tray of water next to it to create humidity. "I learned so much. The Christmas cactus should never be placed near a door that opens and closes to the outside. You can even pass it down through generations. Sign up for our newsletter. Approved. Blossom drop: If your Christmas cactus is exposed to any type of stress, the plant will likely drop its blossoms. Your plant is a living thing like you, so it deserves the best. Allow Christmas cactus moisture levels to drop and dry out some between watering intervals, but never completely, and never let the plant sit in water, as this will lead to root and stem rot. ", (almost 8 years ago). Set the cactus in bright but indirect light, such as near a window, moving it to a shady spot outside for the summer. I live in Kansas and have put my cactus outside. Generally, it should be fertilized 2-4 times a year with a 20-20-20 feed, but stop feeding about a month before the buds appear (this usually means stopping by the end of October). Darker potting soil typically absorbs and holds onto water longer. ", watering. Placing a tray of pebbles filled with water beneath the Christmas cactus container is a good way to add more humidity to the home. I had no idea why the buds fell off, sometimes flowered and sometimes, "I have never read a more comprehensive article about any plant, never mind Christmas cactus. Only water when the soil feels dry about an inch below the surface. Use about 1/2 teaspoon of liquid fertilizer, such as a 0-10-10 blend and do not fertilize once the plant begins to flower. They grow quickly, and should take in about two or three weeks. When replanting or repotting, use new, fresh soil. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. ", one before - this was the first article I looked at. Try to repot in a container that is 1–1.5 inches larger than the current one it's living in. Your Christmas cactus may not be a Christmas cactus at all. The only other time you should cease watering is after the plant blooms. Make certain, however, that the cutting is taken from healthy plant foliage only. You did everything right. Applying a mild houseplant fertilizer solution every other week is also acceptable. They'll burn in direct sunlight, so if it's indoors near a west or south-facing window, make sure it's filtered with a sheer curtain. Maggie Moran is a Professional Gardener in Pennsylvania. Because this plant is thermo-photoperiodic, it will set buds when day length is about equal to night length and when the temperature drops to 50 to 60 degrees F for several weeks.

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