Best Christmas Cactus Care Tips. I have several holiday cactus including Christmas cactus and the care is the same. I share how I get loads of blooms and healthy plants year round!
My best Christmas cactus care tips. I have both the Thanksgiving and Christmas Cactus plants and I treat them the same.
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Nothing beats holiday cactus for bright winter blooms in your home. I share how I keep mine healthy for tons of blooms! And years of enjoyment.
The best thing for any plant whether indoors or out is the right soil.
Plant your Christmas cactus in a light-weight, free-draining soil, such as a succulent, cactus mix or African violet mix. Make sure to use a pot with drainage holes.
Water thoroughly and regularly, letting the top inch of soil dry out between watering.
Feed during active growing season. Late Winter – Late Summer.
The plants I kept outside needed water more often, just like my other potted plants.
For best performance it is important not to underwater these plants or let them sit in water.
Feed Your Christmas Cactus
When do you feed your Christmas cactus?
The so called experts tell you to stop feeding in late summer then begin again after they start to put on new growth in late winter.
Personally I feed year round every other week with a balanced fertilizer. I do make it a bit weaker in winter as I do all my house plants.
Balanced means when the NPK numbers read like this, 2-2-2 or 20-20-20. Some recommend Cactus food but since these are not cactus that isn’t the best.
Christmas cactus flowers best when slightly pot bound or crowded and doesn’t usually need repotting. (Once every three years at the very most.)
If you do re pot your cactus, do so when it’s not blooming.
About Oct. 1 set your Christmas cactus in a room where you never turn the lights on at night.
For the flower buds to set, Christmas cacti need 12 – 14 hours of continuous darkness per day.
After the flower buds have set, the plants can withstand light at night. Cool night temperatures also encourage bloom but they don’t like it below 50 degrees F.
Keeping your Christmas cactus plants in an indirect sun yet bright location indoors is the key to prolonged blooms.
During the summer put them outside in a shady spot. Mine are on my side porch and I kept some in my greenhouse all summer.
I have found that all my Christmas/Thanksgiving cactus I keep outside during the summer bloom much heavier and more reliably than the ones I leave in my home.
I have also noted that the Christmas cactus plants I have in windows that get bright light as opposed to a northern facing window will bloom much more prolifically.
Christmas cactus will blossom longer when exposed to only cool temperatures while in bloom.
Big changes in temperature can cause the cactus blossoms to drop before they open. Optimal temp for Christmas cacti is 68-70 degrees F.
The Christmas and Thanksgiving cactus love humidity.
These epiphytes are tropical plants not desert plants and they thrive in humid conditions.
Mist or place pot on stones with water beneath to create humid environment if you live in dry climate.
Another big bonus, these things can last forever!
Well, maybe not forever but taken care of properly then can last decades. I have a friend who has one that is over 50 years old and it is still going strong.
Now that is a house plant!
Enjoy your Christmas/Thankgiving cactus!
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