Prune Christmas Cactus. Pruning is easy and keeps them healthy, bushy and in check. Got a Christmas Cactus that is outgrowing its space? Prune it!
Step by step how to prune Christmas Cactus. This information also applies to your Thanksgiving Cactus, if you want to know the difference go to this post, Christmas Cactus or Thanksgiving Cactus, how can you tell?
In this post I will use the term Christmas cactus but I will be displaying on a Thanksgiving Cactus. Most plants in stores and garden centers are Thanksgiving Cactus but sold as Christmas Cactus, so we will just fly with that.
In this post is a video where I demo pruning one of my plants and what I do with the pieces I prune off.
If you are pruning to reduce the plants size then you can prune back by a third each year. This will also create a bushier plant with more places for blooms to develop.
This cactus below is my example. I have most of my cactus in smaller sized pots that fit on my window sills, making it easy to keep many colors. I have 5 different colors at present.
It is getting a bit tall for this pot. Mostly because the pot is plastic thus a lighter weight and the plant is becoming top heavy. This makes the plant want to tip over.
(I now try to only pot up my Christmas/Thanksgiving cactus in Terra Cotta Pots for a few reasons, click here for why I love Terra Cotta pots)
When to Prune Christmas Cactus
So as not to lose blooms the best time to prune your Christmas cactus is right after it is done blooming. This varies by plant. Most all of mine have stopped blooming but one. It has tiny buds on it again, this is the first week of March and it has been blooming since November. The buds are so tiny that if I have not looked close I would’ve missed them.
You can prune on up through late Spring and not lose next years flowers.
How to Prune
Grasp the segment you wish to prune down and use your thumbnail to separate it at the juncture. Some say to just twist the segment but mine are pretty hearty and tough and need my thumbnail to create a clean snap.
Now that you have all these pieces trimmed off your Christmas Cactus what to do with them. You can chuck them into your compost pile or you can Root them for more plants.
Some do this directly in soil but I have found the method I use is easier and more successful. I have read that you need at least 4 leaves on the segment you wish to root but I have found that not absolutely correct. I have rooted ones that only have 2 leaf segments.
Enjoy the video!
Want to see how I pot them up once they have rooted? Click here for video of that
Potting Up Rooted Cuttings