What Does A Christmas Cactus Need To Grow Well?
A Christmas cactus needs a good mix of organic matter, like composted leaves, straw, wood chips, peat moss and other plant food. You must have a good amount of nutrients in your soil to keep your plants healthy. They will grow well if they get enough water and air too. If you don’t provide them with all these things then they won’t survive long term!
Christmas Cacti Are Easy To Grow And Will Be Happy On Your Home Or Yard!
They are easy to grow and will be happy on your home or yard. They require little care so you can easily take care of them. They will love the sun and fresh air. There are many varieties of Christmas cacti available in the market today which means there are lots of different kinds of plants suitable for growing in your garden or backyard. You can choose from the most popular ones such as Christmas tree cacti, desert cacti, succulents and even tropicals.
How Do I Choose Which Kind Of Christmas Cactus Is Best For My Needs?
You can buy any kind of Christmas cactus at the local nursery store. Some are very expensive while others are cheap but not necessarily better quality. If you are looking for a cactus for your garden then look for one that has short and fat stems with thick rounded pads. These kinds of cacti have more flowers than tall and thin plants which only have one or two blossoms. A short Christmas cactus will be cheaper to buy and you won’t need as much room in your garden either.
You must also decide if you want to grow your Christmas cacti indoors or outdoors. The sky is the limit when it comes to choosing from so many different kinds of ornaments for your Christmas cacti. You can grow beautiful flowers, grasses and even little toys on your Christmas cacti!
Can I Repot My Christmas Cactus If It Grows Too Large?
You may want to repot your Christmas cactus each year into a bigger pot. Just be sure that the new container you get has good drainage. You can also trim off the top few inches of the root ball and throw that away. Just be sure to remove any dead roots before you plant it in the new pot.
You can also keep your Christmas cacti in the same pot and just add new succulent soil each year for a big beautiful plant! Be sure to prune off any dead or dying stems before you add fresh soil. This will ensure the health of your plant!
What Do I Need To Know About Fertilizing My Christmas Cactus?
Fertilize your Christmas cacti once a month during its growing season, which is usually March through September. Just use a standard 10-10-10 fertilizer at half the rate on the package instructions. Don’t over do it because this can burn your plants!
You can also use succulent food that is made just for cacti and other succulents. Follow the instructions on the package for how often and how much to apply.
Where Should I Put My Christmas Cactus And How Bright Should The Lighting Be?
Christmas cacti like bright light but not direct sunlight which will burn its skin! You can put it on a windowsill that does get sunlight but make sure to put it somewhere where it won’t get too hot or too cold. A few hours of direct sunlight a day is plenty. If you place it in a window that does not receive any sunlight then you can put it closer to the window, about 2 feet away, but make sure the light is bright enough.
During the winter months when there is less light available you can move your Christmas cacti closer to the windows until it starts to get brighter outside and then move it back again. Follow this routine and your Christmas cacti should thrive!
What Do I Need To Know About Watering My Christmas Cactus?
Water your Christmas cacti when the soil is dry about an inch deep. Check the soil often and don’t wait until it is too late because this can cause your plants to become severely damaged or even die altogether. Most Christmas cacti like their soil to be a little on the dry side so don’t water as much as you would with other plants. If your Christmas cacti has white patches on its skin then you are watering it too much.
As I mentioned above, make sure that all of the soil is dry before you water again. If you have a clay pot you may want to water just the soil and not the plant so as to prevent root rot from occurring. It’s better to water your plant a little at a time than to drown it!
Can I Put My Christmas Cactus Outside For The Summer?
Yes, but only during the summer months. You can put it out as early as April if you live in a climate that doesn’t experience much frost. Be sure to harden off your Christmas cacti first by placing it outside in the sun for a few hours each day until it is acclimated to the great outdoors.
Bring it back inside when nighttime temperatures drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t want to risk frostbite!
Can My Christmas Cactus Go Back Inside For The Winter?
Yes, your Christmas cacti can go back inside but only if the temperature is at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t place it anywhere that the temperature will consistently drop below that mark. You can store it in a shed, garage or on a covered porch.
Sources & references used in this article:
The influence of watering, shading, and nitrogen levels on the growth of container-grown Schlumbergera x buckleyi by MI Spurway, MB Thomas – The International …, 1992 – researcharchive.lincoln.ac.nz
Control of Basal Stem and Root Rot of Christmas Cactus Caused by Pythiwm aphanidermatum and Phytophthora parasitica by JF Knauss – Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society, 1975 – journals.flvc.org
Nutrition of container-grown Christmas cacti by MI Spurway, MB Thomas – Journal of plant nutrition, 2001 – Taylor & Francis
Plant growth factors. Light by D Whiting, M Roll, L Vickerman – Gardening series. Colorado …, 2003 – mountainscholar.org
Influence of temperature, water stress and BA on vegetative and reproductive growth of Schlumbergera truncata by RD Heins, AM Armitage, WH Carlson – HortScience, 1981 – plantgrower.org
IN VITRO STUDIES IN CHRISTMAS CACTUS [Schlumbergera truncata (Haw.) Moran.] by N DEEKSHA RAJ – krishikosh.egranth.ac.in