How To Grow A Bigger Christmas Cactus

The Christmas Cactus joins Norfolk Island pine trees and poinsettias as plants beloved during the winter season. While it may seem like an unusual holiday plant, the Christmas Cactus, also called holiday cactus, is flush with bold blooms, making it a welcome sight in the middle of winter. The fleshy segmented stems of the plant are flattened leaves and slightly serrated on each side. In late fall or early winter, tubular flowers bloom on the ends of each stem.

Christmas Cactus

How to Plant and Propagate a Christmas Cactus

There are three common holiday cacti, each named after the time of year they start to bloom: Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus and Easter cactus. Each holiday cactus typically blooms closest to the holiday that it’s named after. However, most of the “Christmas cacti” sold today are actually. Thanksgiving cacti, which tend to bloom from November through February and therefore pass unnoticed as Christmas cacti.

Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus and Easter cactus

Unlike its desert cousins, the Christmas cactus is tropical. Easy to grow, hardy, and glorious to behold, here’s everything you need to know to keep them alive and to thrive. The Christmas cactus is a tropical succulent preferring cooler weather and indirect lighting. Avoid direct sunlight. The optimum temperature is between 60 to 80 degrees. The best time to propagate is when the plant is healthy, usually right after blooming.
The Christmas cactus is easily propagated by cutting a short Y-shaped segment from the stem tips. Make certain, however, that the cutting is taken from healthy plant foliage only. Plant the segment approximately a quarter of its length deep in slightly sandy soil. Moisten it evenly and place the cutting in a well-lit area, staying away from any direct sunlight.

Christmas Cactus

To root cuttings for new plants, cut back shoots from the tips, cut at the second joint of each tip. let it callous over for a few days. The cutting should show signs of growth within a few weeks, at which time the plant can be transferred to another container, if desired, with a looser potting soil mix of compost, loam and sand. The plant is happiest with a soil pH balance of 5.5 to 6.2.

Christmas Cactus

How to Care for a Christmas Cactus

A lack of water and dramatic temperature swings can cause flower buds to drop more rapidly. Taking care of a Christmas cactus is a little trickier than most other desert-loving cacti that are drought resistant. The Christmas cactus is a tropical rainforest native and needs regular water to remain healthy.
Christmas cactus plants need bright, indirect sun. Water when the top surface feels dry, and never let them sit in water. Christmas cacti prefer daytime temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees, and evening temperatures of 55 to 65 degrees.

Only water your Christmas cactus when it really needs it to avoid root rot.

After Flowering

The blooms of Christmas cacti and its relatives are triggered by the cooler temperatures and longer nights of fall , tend to bloom from early winter to mid-winter.
If your cactus is not blooming, it may be receiving too much light or too-high temperatures. Here are some tips to encourage yours to produce flowers!

Christmas cactus bloom

To trigger blooming, nights need to be at least 14 hours long and days between 8 to 10 hours for at least six weeks. If you have strong indoor lighting that’s on at night, you may need to cover your cactus or move it to an area that’s exposed to the natural light cycle.Flower buds form best when the plant is kept in temperatures between 50 and 60°F (10 and 15°C).You can kickstart the budding process by exposing the plant to temperatures of about 45°F (7°C) for several nights in a row.Make sure that you are consistent with watering while the plant is in flower. If the plant dries out too much, it may drop its buds. If the cactus sheds its buds one winter, don’t worry: it should bloom the following year!
In the video below, you can see How to Care for Christmas Cactus 🌵🎄 ? Thank you for visiting our website! We hope you found something that sparked interest on our website

Video resource : Garden Answer

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