Christmas Cactus

How to grow and care for your Christmas cactus


Soil Temperature Light WateringFertilizing Re-pottingEncouraging BloomsCaring for a Budding PlantPruning Propagation  •  Bud Drop  •  Growing Outdoor

How to care for your Christmas CactusChristmas Cactus are in the genus Schlumbergera and can bloom in shades of red, pink, peach and white. They seem to thrive on a certain amount of neglect which makes them good for beginners. They are very long lived and can grow to be over 100 years old. I've seen huge woody plants that have been passed down through the generations.

With the following tips, you too can grow your own indoor Christmas Cactus.



Soil

If you are good about not over-watering, regular potting soil is just fine for these plants, otherwise you may go with a mixture of one part potting soil, one part peat moss and one part sand.

Temperature

Christmas Cactus like to be on the cool side especially when it's time for them to form buds. Keep temperatures between 55 degrees and 65 degrees at night and below 70 during the day for best results. Keep away from heat vents and cold drafts. Do not expose your plants to frost as they can not survive these types of temperatures.

Light

Christmas Cactus prefer bright filtered light for the majority of the year. Intense light during spring and summer months will likely burn the leaves, so I usually move mine to a window that has a sheer curtain in front of it. Then in October I move it to a south facing window with no curtain. Refrain from using fluorescent lights for long periods of time as Christmas Cactus require 14 hours of darkness to form buds.

Watering

Christmas Cactus like to be on the dry side, especially when they are not blooming. You may not need to water your plant but twice a month during late winter through early autumn. It will depend on the type of soil and humidity, but in general, they don't need a lot of water unless they are setting buds. Check the top inch or two of the potting soil and if it feels dry, water the pot until water runs out the bottom and then remove any water that remains in the saucer. Leaving a plant sitting in water will eventually rot the roots and kill the plant. Despite their common name of cactus, Christmas Cactus cannot go without water for long periods of time, so if you notice that the tips of the plant are starting to shrivel, water the plant. It may take a few days for the plant to perk back up, but it should.

Fertilizing

Christmas Cactus don't need a lot of fertilizer. In fact, too much nitrogen will prevent buds from forming, so fertilize only once a month with an all-purpose water soluble fertilizer from Spring through Summer. To be honest I don't fertilize mine very often. I may put a little compost tea on them in the summer when I have leftovers from the garden and the potting soil I use has a slow release fertilizer in it, so adding more fertilizer hasn't been necessary.

Back to Top

Dahlia Tubers

Save money by storing your dahlia tubers over winter instead of buying new each spring.
Read more...

Forcing Bulbs in Pots

Bring the outdoors indoors by saving some bulbs to force in pots this winter.
Read more...


The information contained in this web site is strictly the opinion of the administrators and does not offer any warranties based on the information contained in these pages. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in or linked to this web site.

Our site contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase a product after clicking on one of these links, we will be paid a small commission. These commissions help to keep our site free to use.

All photographs are the property of www.gardensandcrafts.com and cannot be reproduced in any way without written permission from the administrators of this site.

Copyright © 2005-2016 D&G Gardens and Crafts 5 Chester Lane, Pennellville, NY 13132. All rights reserved.
Website Designed by Dorothy Baltz