Christmas cactus plant care guide

Christmas Cactus Plant: The Complete Growth And Care Guide (2021)

We love that there is a plant or plants for each season. as each season comes to an end, there are plants that bloom in them and others that come with the following season.

Even the holidays get to have their plant. Do you have a plant that comes to mind when you think of the holidays? We do too! THE CHRISTMAS CACTUS.

We cannot deny that we love the presence of the Christmas cactus during this season; They are popularly known and grown for how their beauty adds to the interior and exterior of the home. In this Christmas cactus care guide, we’ll cover everything from propagation requirements to Plant care.

Read this: Anthurium Plant: The Complete Growth And Care Guide (2021)

The Christmas Cactus Plant Background

Common nameChristmas cactus
Botanical nameSchlumbergera
Soil typeWell-draining soil
Soil pH5.5 to 6.2
Temperature70 to 80 degrees F
LightBright, indirect light

The Christmas cactus is known as a unique type of cactus, it blooms during the winter and it is native to Brazil, it is part of a group of plants commonly known as “holiday cacti”, the other members of this family are thanksgiving and Easter cactus, all of which got their names as a result of the holidays, the plants are similar, however, they possess some slight differences.

Christmas cactus plant care guide
Image: Jackson & Perkins. Buy from them.

The Christmas cactus plant comes in bright pink, orange, white and red flowers, they can also come in any combination of these colors. The Christmas cactus plant got its name because it is known to bloom close to the Christmas holidays.

Although the Christmas cacti are an easy plant to grow, it still needs a little attention.

Contrary to a lot of people’s beliefs, the Christmas cactus is an easy plant to grow. It is assumed by many that the plant will love warm conditions, however, this is not so because the plant is from the humid rainforest of Brazil. The Christmas cactus is a perennial and this means that it can live for many years, even 100!

Have you been gifted a Christmas cactus? Do you intend to purchase one? Find out all you need to grow the Christmas cactus in your home here!

It is important that you feed your Christmas cactus, however, make sure you are familiar with the feeding adjustments of each season. You should also make sure the fertilizer is diluted before applying it to the plant.

Quick Tip

Christmas Cactus Plant Propagation Requirements

Want to propagate the Christmas cactus plant? Make sure these things are in order.

1. Light

In the Christmas cactus’ native habitat, they were seen growing under trees and in covered places, this indicates that this beautiful plant does not enjoy direct light. Instead, the cactus thrives well in bright indirect light. Bright light can burn them and very low light will impede their growth, your cactus plant wants a balance in its lighting.

Christmas Cactus
Image: Pacific Royal. Buy from them.

2. Humidity

Contrary to other members of the cactus family that are grown in an Arid Environment, the Christmas cactus wants a humid environment to be happy, if grown in a heated home or environment, you will have to provide options for humidity for your plant.

You could place your plant on a peddle tray, or mist it occasionally. A humidifier for houseplants is also not a bad idea.

3. Temperature

We can describe the Christmas cactus as being choosy when it deciding the perfect temperature. During the growing months, the cactus enjoys being at 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, however, when the buds are out, it enjoys 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. the plant should be kept far from drafts of any sort.

4. Water

The Christmas cactus enjoys being kept moist but dry. Water the plant thoroughly, however, make sure the water drains and doesn’t sit in the soil. Be sure the plant gets dry in between watering. You can check by sticking your finger 2 inch into the soil check. The Christmas cactus tends to consume more water during its flowering months.

5. Soil

The plant does not care much about the type of soil it grows in, it can adapt to any condition, and you can make use of a general potting mix. However, what is most important to the cacti is how well draining the soil is. The plant enjoys a soil pH between 5.5 and 6.2 for proper growth.

6. Fertilizer

The cactus should be fed with water-soluble fertilizer during the spring and summer. However, when the buds are formed, you should rest from feeding them, until it blooms. You must dilute your fertilizer to avoid damages or problems for your plant.

Christmas cactus plant care guide

7. Pruning

This dear plant does not require pruning, however, when the plants become old, they can get leggy. Prune the tips and get rid of damaged or old leaves, this will give the plant a healthy look and enhance new growths. Pruning also encourages the plant to produce more flowers.  

Christmas Cactus Plant Propagation

Propagating your cactus is an easy one, the simplest method of propagating the Christmas cactus is by stem cutting. Follow the step below to propagate your plant.  

  • Select a healthy plant and make a Y-shaped cutting from the stem tip.
  • The cutting you made must have at least two to three nodes or joining segments.
  • Let the cutting dry for some hours, to avoid stem rot that could develop as a result of too much moisture.
  • Afterward, place the segment halfway into your soil mix, preferably, a mix of soil and moist peat, and keep the pot in a place where it can get bright, indirect light
  • Water the plant gently for a while, so your plant doesn’t develop rot.
  • After 3 weeks, your plant should have developed its rooting system and you will begin to see the tip of the leaves turn reddish. This is a sign that your plant is growing.
  • When your cutting has established its root, move the plant to a pot of quality potting soil, you could add some organic matters for nutrient and porosity.
  • Water your plant frequently and feed them.

Christmas Cactus: How To Care For Your Christmas Cactus Plant

  • Christmas cactus does not like to be stressed. If your plant has been exposed to some sort of stress, it will drop its bloom. This could also be stress relating to a change in its care or growth routine.
  • The plant may be susceptible to mealy bugs, it is advised that you should cut off the infected area before it hit other parts, then re-pot elsewhere.
  • Your plant could suffer from root rot if the soil is soggy or over-watered.
  • Alongside light, your cactus requires ample darkness, at least 12 to 14 hours for it to develop its flower bud. This can be achieved by placing the cactus in a room where the doors stay closed at night.

Final Thoughts 

Cactus is a delight to see, they are less stressful when you begin to grow them. The Cactus’ only problem might concern watering. Watering with tap water can cause a lot of harm than you think to your plant.

Read next: Bunny Ear Cactus Plant: The Complete Growth And Care Guide