The Christmas cactus is an easy to grow house plant with a little understanding of its needs. This is a guide about caring for a Christmas cactus.
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Here are questions related to Caring for a Christmas Cactus.
My Christmas cactus blooms, but is not growing taller or fuller. It is just staying the same size. How can I increase plant growth? What kind of fertilizer should I use?
Hardiness Zone: 6b
By Gayle from Rochester, NY
I use Miracle Gro liquid fertilizer on my Christmas Cactus about once a month and not too much. I mix up a Tbsp. in a gallon of water and just put a small amount on each plant.
How do I separate a Christmas Cactus that is root bound?
By Marcia from Spokane Valley, WA
Thank You for the easy instructions I appreciate it. I had done a Google search and it didn't not give me the help You have.
My xmas cactus is wilted and the leaves are really flat. It got too much water so I transplanted it into fresh dry soil.
Even though they are cactus, they still need some water. If you transplanted into completely dry soil, it's probably thirsty!
I'm an utter houseplant idiot. I thought a Christmas cactus could withstand direct sunlight and put it on my deck for all of last summer. When I brought it in, it was horribly sunburned and many of the "leaves" are withered.
I've had it indoors all winter and have been watering more regularly (it bloomed like crazy despite its condition). Is there hope for it (it looks terrible)? Or should I try to take cuttings from the few healthy looking branches? Or can I severely prune it and hope for regrowth? And how exactly does one prune this plant?
Hardiness Zone: 5b
By Shelby from Chicago, IL
Hi, sorry about your Christmas Cactus but you can still salvage it actually you can produce a new plant just by taking one of the new leafs and just repotting it. I have done this and it works. I have one and every time a branch falls off I stick it back in the dirt and in a couple of weeks it will start to grow new branches.
Don't over water only when dry and put it on a porch in the summer away from direct sunlight we live in Florida and that's where mine are in the summer. winter months they come in doors and when they are in bloom never move the plant the buds will start to fall off if you do. I hope this is helpful.
I need to know how to replant a Christmas cactus that needs to be trimmed.
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Vicki from Conneaut
Hi Vicki, I grow epiphyllums (commonly called orchid cactus) and I think the care is the same as Christmas cactus. If you want to cut off some of the fronds, you can actually let them sit (out of the sun, but just laying on a table, etc.) for a few days until the cut end seals and plant them for a new plant. Then just pot up the old plant in a slightly larger pot using 1/2 orchid bark (medium will do) and potting soil. Since it is a succulent, don't water it much for the first two weeks, especially the new cuttings. Good luck!
What causes buds to fall off a Christmas cactus without opening?
By Billie B from Garland, TX
The causes could be:
turning the pot as the buds will try to bend to one side to receive more light and fall off, leaves with petiole can follow the light but buds have no petiole and will fall off.
watering too soon. It is better to wait until the buds turn into flowers.
watering with cold water.
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After the blossoms fade, the plant isn't much to look at. But a little extra care will help bring it back to full bloom next year.
While the Christmas cactus can adapt to low light, more abundant blooms are produced on plants that have been exposed to high light intensity. Keep your plants in a sunny location indoors. Plants can be moved outdoors in summer, but keep them in a shady or semi-shady location. Too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves. When it's time to bring the plants back inside in the fall, slowly adjust the plants to life indoors by gradually increasing the number of hours they spend indoors each day.
Well-drained soil is a must for Christmas cactus. Use a commercially packaged potting mix for succulent plants or mix your own by combining two parts plain potting soil with one part clean sand or vermiculite.
Pruning your Christmas cactus after blooming will encourage the plant to branch out. Remove a few sections of each stem by pinching them off with your fingers or cutting with a sharp knife. These sections can be rooted in moist vermiculite to propagate new plants. Christmas cactus will bloom if given long uninterrupted dark periods. Begin the dark treatments in about mid-October to have plants in full bloom by the holidays. Christmas cactus will also bloom if they are subjected to cool temperatures of about 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Plants will be ready for the holidays if the cool treatments are started by early November."
The idea is once it starts to get buds on it, "don't move" it. They don't like to be moved when the budding starts. I water mine once a week it is in a well draining pot. I also give mine a shower once a month in the tub. That counts for a watering.
Do not fertilize in the spring. Fertilize once a month from summer to winter. When it starts to bloom, stop fertilizing it.
Good luck, it will survive I just know it.
Also, remember they do not direct sunlight in summer, that's when leaves will turn yellow some and may wilt. They are from the succulent family, hence don't like over watering. Soil will become moldy and you are inviting plant insects to feast on them. Also, always use a light soil fertile mix when transplanting and try and keep it loose every once and awhile. At this point, I would suggest that you take a clipping also from the plant. You do that by snapping off a piece or two where it is jointed. Put that in a clear container filled with water in a sunny spot until you see visible roots. Change water in container every once in a while. It really doesn't take long to root new ones. You can arrange them so they will begging to hang over nicely. They also like to have a hair cut when they become huge. You can make a ton of new plants from the clippings. Once they are rooted, just plant them in new pots by sticking the rooted part in soil.
Once you have established plants, there is a product called Bloom or Peter's that works on all kinds of blooming plants.
Post your own tips here.