How to Care for Christmas Cactus

This article will tell you everything you need to know about Christmas Cactus and how to care for them.

Christmas Cactus, also known as Schlumbergera in Latin, is an epiphytic cactus that blooms between November and January. It’s an attractive plant to have around the holidays.

As we answer all your questions about these stunning flowering plants, please join us.

Is Christmas Cactus like Sun or Shade?

Christmas Cactus or “Schlumbergera”, to use its Latin botanical title, loves indirect sunlight. If it is indoors, a sunny area is best, especially near an east-facing windowsill.

If you have to plant it outdoors, find a shaded spot such as under a tree. It’s not a cold weather plant so too much sunlight can cause it to burn.

What is the Best Place to Put a Christmas Cactus?

A sunny, bright room is the best place to grow a Christmas tree. This is a tropical plant and not a desert cactus so it does not like being too hot or too dry.

If you live in a warmer area, your Christmas cactus can be kept outside as long as it is not directly exposed to sunlight.

When is it OK to Put a Christmas Cactus in the Dark?

Are you a Christmas cactus owner and want it to bloom in time for the holidays? This may require you to do it yourself. Move it to a dark area overnight six to eight weeks prior to Christmas. Keep in mind that the place must be at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. A garage or closet would work well.

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It should be kept in darkness for no less than twelve hours each 24 hours. Then, move it into the sun again. Some people suggest that it is left in the dark for as much as 16 hours. This will ensure that you have beautiful blooms for Christmas.

Is it OK to Put My Christmas Cactus Outside?

You can leave your Christmas cactus outdoors. However, it all depends on the climate in your area. This means that your Schlumbergera potted Schlumbergera can enjoy the summer outdoors in many locations. Make sure your Schlumbergera is kept cool and dry in a shaded area.

Bring it indoors in the Fall. To bloom, it needs to be kept at night at around 60°F.

What is the Coldest Temperature a Christmas Cactus can withstand?

To produce beautiful pink/purple flowers, a Christmas cactus must be kept at 60-65 degrees. Although it can survive, but not thrive, it will not be able to withstand temperatures below 50 degrees for long periods. Frost can kill it, so bring your cactus indoors in the Fall if it has spent the summer outside.

How often do you water a Christmas cactus?

Schlumbergera is a tropical plant and doesn’t like being too dry. When the soil is dry to the touch, water them. Allow any excess water to drain on the saucer underneath the plant pot and then empty it. The Christmas cactus doesn’t like “wet feet”.

Are You Watering a Christmas Cactus from the Top Or Bottom?

Water a Christmas cactus by watering from the top into the soil. Root rot can be a problem for this plant. It should be watered from the top.

How can you tell if a Christmas cactus is overwatered?

A Christmas cactus that has been overwatered may begin to lose its leaves or develop brown spots. Overwatering can lead to root rot and stem rot. Too much humidity can also cause Botrytis Blight, a form of gray mold.

How do I keep my Christmas Cactus Blooming?

How do you encourage your Christmas cactus to bloom by using the 50/50 dark/light method?

There is no secret or big trick to keeping your holiday cactus thriving. The main thing to do to keep it blooming is to care for it. It is sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity so make sure it has a place to call home during winter.

It should be kept in indirect sunlight (e.g., in an east-facing window) and watered when it feels dry. It can be misted occasionally to keep it moist. The ideal room should be kept at 60 degrees, or less, with no large fluctuations. If your Schlumbergera is not in bloom, you can treat it with potassium-rich fertilizer every fortnight.

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What Causes a Christmas Cactus to Bloom?

The Schlumbergera requires the same short-day cycle as we discussed earlier to produce its beautiful flowers. Keep it in total darkness for 12-16 hours every 24-hour period. Then, return it to its semi-sunny spot in between. It needs to be kept at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

This may seem like a very fussy bedtime routine to a plant. We promise you that beautiful blooms will be the reward.

How Many Times a Year Does a Christmas Cactus Bloom

A Christmas cactus that flowers between November and January each year, hence its name. There have been some plants that have had a second bloom later in winter. However, this is only possible if the right conditions exist.

Do I need to fertilize my Christmas cactus while it is still blooming?

It’s best to not fertilize a holiday cactus that is blooming. Save it for when it has finished flowering. It is best to feed your plant during its growing season (from spring through fall).

Are You Deadheading Christmas Cactus?

Deadheading Christmas cactus by yourself will make the flowers last longer and encourage new growth.

How do you trim a Christmas cactus?

You can tidy up your Christmas cactus at the start of summer. You can trim the longer stems to make it look neater for next season.

What size Christmas Cactus can it grow?

A Christmas cactus that is well-loved can live for many years and can grow to a good size. Hanging branches can grow to a length of up to three feet. It’s time to move it to a higher place or to get a hanging basket.

What Can You Feed a Christmas Cactus?

Keep an eye out for a fertilizer that contains potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorous. You should feed your cactus with it once or twice per month during its growing season. It is easier to feed fertilizers that dissolve in water. It can also be given Epsom salts (more on this later).

Are Christmas Cactus like Coffee Grounds?

A coffee-loving Christmas cactus can enjoy a cup of coffee every day. The coffee grounds provide a good source of potassium and nitrogen that the cactus requires to stay healthy.

You shouldn’t use the ground immediately. Moist grounds can become moldy so dry them out first. You can give your plant the coffee ration by either mixing the ground with the water or scattering them on top of the soil. This is the best way to fertilize your cactus. It should be done no more than once every two weeks.

Is Epsom Salt Good For Christmas Cactus?

Your Christmas cactus will appreciate Epsom Salt. This is a great way to ensure your plant receives all the magnesium it requires to grow and bloom. Add the salt to water in a 1 teaspoon salt per gallon water ratio. It doesn’t need fertilizer or food in the Fall.

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How Long Can Christmas Cactus Last?

The oldest Christmas cactus ever recorded lived for 111 years! While most don’t live as long, some cactus can survive for up to three decades if they are well cared for.

You can also propagate them, which will allow you to share your plant with family and friends. This guide will show you how to propagate Christmas cactus. This is a beautiful gift idea that’s easy to do.

Why is My Christmas Cactus Limp

It could be that it has had either too much or too small water. If it seems dry, which you should know if has been watered regularly, you can start to water it again. Water it slowly and increase the frequency.

Root rot can be caused by overwatering, which can also cause droopiness. Repot it in good-quality compost to revive it. The third reason could be too much sun. Try moving the plant to a shaded location to see if it starts to thrive.

Why is my Christmas Cactus turning purple?

Sunburn can cause your cactus to turn purple around the edges. Move it to a shaded spot. The ideal is an east- or west-facing window.

What kind of soil does a Christmas cactus need?

To prevent your Christmas cactus from rotting, it needs well-draining and aerated soil. A mixture of regular potting soil with sandy could be used (two parts to one).

Clay pots are good for Christmas cactus.

Clay pots make a great Christmas gift for cactus lovers. Clay pots are porous and absorb water. They also provide good air circulation. They are also a great value for money. They look great with bright pink or purple flowers.

A word of caution: Clay will shatter if it is dropped. This is something to think about as you start your winter cycle.

Are Christmas Cactus Poisonous to Cats & Dogs

Christmas cactus isn’t poisonous to your dog or cat. It is a great substitute for poinsettia which is a holiday favorite.

Conclusion

This is it. Our essential guide to Christmas cactus care. This article will help you take care of your cactus so that you can enjoy the beautiful blooms each holiday season.

The best part is that Christmas cacti are great gifts for family and friends over the holidays. They will also bring winter color into their homes.

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