My Christmas cactus will bloom for many more years due to, "A very well written article that covered all of my questions in a concise and informative manner.I should get more, "Loved this article. These two things are particularly important if you want your cactus to bloom. If it’s dry, then you know that the time has come to water it. Why? Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. 👉If you are completely new to gardening or just need a reminder, here is a free Indoor Plant Care for Beginners in a form of a mini course for you.👈. It will take some time for the cutting to bloom though (probably 2-3 years). Wanted to find out how much watering, "What a great article! ", apartment with all kinds of windows and sunlight, I was unsure about the best place in my new apartment (with limited windows) to put it. The tips grow darker as each day passes, until a bud forms. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Water the plant when the top third portion of the soil begins to dry out. Feel free to share it with us below! Even though it is called “cactus”, this one’s a tropical, not a desert plant. Just be sure not to give it a pot that's too big; the Christmas Cactus flowers best when it's pot-bound. Feel the soil with your fingers; if it feels dry, it's time to … "I bought my Christmas cactus just before Christmas and it's still looking well. Likewise, keep it away from heating ducts or near the fireplace or drafty areas. Since the Christmas cactus is a tropical cactus, it requires frequent and thorough watering. Learn here how to water Christmas cactus… This procedure should last about six to eight weeks. Check out some good grow lights, they might be of help! Mist leaves as well as watering the soil. Avoid standing it in water, as it will succumb to root rot. I was wondering when to repot, "I inherited the cactus which belonged to my grandmother, which my mother has taken care of for many years. ", frost, then bring them in and they bloom between thanksgiving and Christmas. Mind the coldness and drafts, because they can harm the buds and cause them to drop. ", have 4 Holiday Cacti in the guest bathroom in the tub. Here is where it becomes tricky. The article also helped me out with this. ", (almost 8 years ago). We could call this procedure “sending the plant into dormancy and coaxing it out when the time comes”. Also, I have never fertilized it, and will begin that as suggested after blooming and resting. This article has been viewed 4,725,799 times. Watering Christmas cactus is a little different from watering other cactuses. Being similar to succulents in terms of maintenance, it’s not a demanding one to take care of as long as you know what to do. A Christmas cactus prefers moist, but not saturated soil. You can use a really simple trick to check whether it’s the right time to water your plant: Check the top inch of the soil. Caring for this plant can be a bit tricky as you need to take care not to overwater or underwater it: A Christmas cactus is a tropical cactus, not a desert cactus. Keep it in indirect light during the day, but place it in total darkness at least 12 to 14 hours. Soak the plant until water is running out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the container. If you are growing the cactus indoors or in a cooler environment, you should water every week. Water the dirt and leaves whenever the top inch of soil gets dry, and stop watering in October to get ready for the bloom. This is when the budding starts. Here are some of the most common tips for all of you who are interested in growing Schlumbergera bridesii. Christmas Cactus Care – Watering. It all depends on the soil you are using. This article has been viewed 4,725,799 times. Overly dry soil results in buds dropping, and then the plant wilts. For example, keep it away from drafts from fireplaces and heat vents, and place it in a well-lit location. The rule of thumb is. I have a, "Confirmed what I've been doing for the last 25 years. It is best to keep in a normal house temperature range, about 65 to 75°F (18 to 20°C). By using our site, you agree to our. Whether called Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter and labelled as Schlumbergera or Rhipsalidopsis, each variety gets the same care and can be encouraged to bloom on schedule with the special tips provided here.. They are growing very well but not blooming as well. Thanks to this article, I have good information to successfully grow my plants. Thank you for these wonderful points and suggestions! Gratefully, it is in an east window and has not been over watered. This article helped me to determine that I was not watering it enough. It helps unneeded water drain faster and therefore it is less likely that you will hurt your beloved plant. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. If that happens, the roots of the plant will rot easier. In summer, when temperatures are high, Christmas cactus can be watered abundantly, including spraying water on the leaves. “How to water Christmas cactus” comes as one of the burning questions for all those who own succulents or plants similar to them. A Christmas cactus is a tropical cactus, not a desert cactus. Again, please, do not just use any fertilizer. I believe I know why now, thank you! The recommended moisture reading may depend on the manufacturer of the meter. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. However, if it is facing west or south, you should reduce the light. This article was co-authored by Maggie Moran. This article was full of information on all levels. Unlike most desert cacti, this variety cannot tolerate completely dry soil. It is not, but it acts similar to them, meaning it stores the liquid in the leaves, but you need to water it. When replanting or repotting, use new, fresh soil. Watering is an important first step in reviving your Christmas cactus. The only other time you should cease watering is after the plant blooms. ", helped. With fertilizer, you strengthen the fragile joints preventing them from breaking apart. The ideal level is around 50-60% and if you are close to that, your plant will grow fine. Maggie Moran is a Professional Gardener in Pennsylvania. Then from April to September, which is the main growing season, you should increase the watering of your Christmas cactus and start feeding it with a liquid houseplant feed. In addition to this, mist the leaves. Move an indoors plant outdoors in summer to a shady location. Use come device or curtains for the purpose. Not having had, "The information in this article has taught me so much. if you want to justify its name, there’s a certain procedure you need to follow in order to have those breath-taking flowers right during the holiday season. On the other hand, too much or too often watering leads to spots appearing on the leaves. Maggie Moran is a Professional Gardener in Pennsylvania. The Christmas cactus is largely an easy-to-care-for plant. Because this plant is thermo-photoperiodic, it will set buds when day length is about equal to night length and when the temperature drops to 50 to 60 degrees F for several weeks. Lower the temperature to 50 to 55 °F until the buds form, then increase light, temperature, and humidity for the rest of the bloom. Fertilizing is important to keep the plant in good condition; the joints are fragile and can break apart if the plant descends into poor health. The cactus will only grow to the circumference of its pot. The ideal time is after the blooming ends. It's worth the few extra dollars since it will probably be sitting in that soil for a long time. ", live up north and my plants are fairly new. Plants should be blooming for the holidays if cool treatments are started by early November. Christmas Cactus Watering Check them weekly and see if they are due for a watering. I used to plant my cacti just any soil that I could find in a shop before, but then I discovered this Espoma soil mixture that works much better with cacti and succulents. Find out how to water Christmas cactus, how to make it bloom and much more. When it comes to the cactus being dehydrated, the leaves shrink because the plant does not have enough water to store in its reserves and, when it is forced to consume it, its stems shrink. Unlike most desert cacti, this variety cannot tolerate completely dry soil. If the buds form too early, you can lower the temperature to stunt them. During the growing season maintain temperature of 18-20°C (65-69°F) if … Also, it's a perfect location for spray-misting the cacti. All in all, I hope my brief guide on taking care of this one was useful to you. During the fall and winter months, the plants should be watered less frequently in order to promote blooming. But do not rush with repotting as this one doesn’t mind crowded roots. Typically, it will bloom in November or December and again in February. Under no circumstances should water remain in the saucer or planter. So, ensuring that the soil is kept evenly moist when buds are forming will encourage your … All the blooms dropped, and I knew then. I live in Kansas and have put my cactus outside. The most important is to combine it with the one that will hold the water and allow the basket to fit down into it. General rule goes like this – do not overwater or underwater it, both options are harmful to the plant. It’s also important to note that Christmas cactus isn’t drought tolerant. I’ve learned this lesson the harder way. Generally, it should be fertilized 2-4 times a year with a 20-20-20 feed, but stop feeding about a month before the buds appear (this usually means stopping by the end of October). Any sudden changes in temperature, light and watering will damage the Christmas Cactus. What does this mean? Contact Us | Privacy Policy | About Author |Plant Selection Quiz | Write for us |Become an affiliate | Shop |Copyright © 2020 IndoorGardenNook. ", Arizona where it's very dry and hot. ", it looks like I'm doing the right things. At this time, cease watering for about 6 weeks to allow the plant to rest. While properly watering your Christmas cactus is important, it's also important for it to live in the correct environment. ", I also didn't know that you shouldn't water for about a month after blooming, or that you need to place segment in the soil rather than water to get the roots to grow! Christmas cactus is a popular tropical houseplant offering bold, colorful blooms. This article received 224 testimonials and 96% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. “How to water Christmas cactus” comes as one of the burning questions for all those who own succulents or plants similar to them. A month prior to Christmas you will be able to watch the tips of the leaves beginning to grow. Houseplant Repotting: Christmas Cactus: Christmas Cactus (Thanksgiving, Holiday) are long-lasting, attractive succulents. This can be done easily by moving to a cooler room ; The growing season is from April-September; increase the watering and start feeding with a houseplant liquid feed. It loves moist soil but it doesn’t like it wet and soggy. I bought the wrong plant food; it produced excellent petals, but no blossoms. You can, but you should use a houseplant fertilizer with a 20-20-20 ratio and it should be applied monthly during the spring and summer. Can I give coffee to my Christmas cactus? Treat the cuttings as mature plants. Use a combination of 3 parts potting soil to one-part sand for the potting medium. Is it better to water from the top, or place it in a bowl of water and let soak for a while? Be sure to turn plants at regular intervals while encouraging new growth. In about four to six weeks, the cuttings should have rooted and will begin to show some new growth. The plant is so easy to propagate, which makes it a nice plant to share with others. Moreover, those which are kept indoors require a different approach from those that are outdoors in a dry and hot climate. I don't need to turn the light on in there. If you're using fast-draining soil like the article says, then you should water from the top and let the water trickle down. I also needed info on humidity, as my house gets pretty dry in the winter. Your help was great. During the summer you should keep it in a shadier location and maintain some normal temperature, about 18 to 20 °C or 65 to 75 °F. She’s a biologist specialized in flora and is also a passionate indoor gardener. Put it in the closet, for example, and cover it with a dark cloth for additional protection against the light. Indoor Christmas Cactus Care When the top inch of soil in the compartment feels dry to the touch, splash the dirt until water goes through the pot’s drainage gaps. Very informative and specific. https://www.lowes.com/n/how-to/caring-for-a-christmas-cactus, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Since then I've re-potted it, watered it (overly) and certainly never given it it's "time in the dark." If water runs through the plant to a liner or saucer below, be sure to empty it away from the plant. Of course, it has to be a pure black coffee, no cream no sugar. I am sure and grateful this plant of mine is going to bloom in full glory again, thanks to the people who wrote the article. Too much watering will cause spots from white rot to appear on the leaves, and the leaves will likely fall off. To prevent its leaves from becoming limp, you must ensure that the root ball remains dry. But if it's in a south or west-facing window, diffuse the light with semi-transparent curtains or some other light-diffusing device. Your plant may be getting too much light or not enough water. If this starts happening, water the plant less and add some fertilizer to the pot. For tips on how to make sure your Christmas cactus blooms in time for Christmas, read on! So glad for all the information, thanks! It is not good for the plants. This means it doesn’t tolerate soil which is completely dry. You can even pass it down through generations. Each plant is a story for itself and it requires different conditions to grow properly, even if they are of the same kind. "I purchased a Christmas Cactus last December and had placed it in our kitchen window, where it did well, but began, "It is currently 110 degrees - 4% humidity. They grow quickly, and should take in about two or three weeks. Allowing water to remain in the bottom can cause the roots to actually rot away. How often you will fertilize it depends on many conditions. This article provided much needed information in that regard, plus tips of pruning after blooming and when to place in the dark for proper blooming time. I was just trying to, "I am a biology teacher, and enjoy growing flowering house plants. If the soil gets too dry, the flowers buds will drop, and the plant will wilt. You do this for two reasons, either to reduce its size or to make it grow more fully. Looking forward to getting my Christmas Cactus to bloom for X-mas. This bad watering of the Christmas cactus can be both by excess and by default. ", 2 to move it because it is so large. Throughout the fall and winter, feed the desert plant month to month. It's a wonder they have even lived! Water when the top inch or so of soil is completely dry to the touch. Although Christmas cacti are a humidity loving plant, their roots cannot sit in water. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. In fact, the Christmas cactus name in derived from the fact that it rarely likes to actually be watered. A Christmas cactus prefers temperatures between 15˚C to 21˚C (60˚F to 70˚F). Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Free delivery, usually takes 4-13 days. I mane mistakes, trust me. If you let the plant act naturally, it will bloom at any time. Christmas Cactus is a beautiful plant that can bloom year after year; you will want to keep it even after the holidays pass. To keep your plant looking nice, deadheading should be done. Seeing examples is the best way for me to learn. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Thanks! When a plant grows in such conditions, you should water it every few days, particularly if it’s been in the sun. This is an excellent site and I have recommended it to many of my friends. Extreme temperature change or drafts can make flower buds fall off the plant before they've even had a chance … Why are the leaves on my Christmas cactus limp? For tips on how to make sure your Christmas cactus blooms in time for Christmas, read on! Water the plant well during its active growth in spring and summer, and when the Christmas cactus is flowering. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. I also appreciated the guidance about no putting it too close to direct heating. Once again, a simple trick does the job perfectly. Place a tray of water next to it to create humidity. ", corner of her living room. Soak the soil when watering, but be sure to remove any excess water that drains out the bottom. Take wikiHow’s Wine Course and drink wine like an expert. The cactus can live in areas of low light, but it will blossom far more often if it is exposed to more light. That’s why the simple test, feeling the soil with fingers, prevents this sad scenario from happening. By excess and by default first plant to a liner or saucer below, be sure to remove excess. Soil typically absorbs and holds onto water longer comes to cacti west or south, you to! 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Two is the ultimate goal this happens, sometimes we forget to water a Christmas.... Here to help you grow green thumb grow quickly, and cover it with the drainage hole as non-toxic dogs! The day, but not blooming as well and summer, and now it what! The fireplace or drafty areas 18 to 20°C ) cactus outside sure position! Sure it is exposed to more light do n't need to water the to... Hours nightly off of rocks and plants, not a desert cactus any excess water that drains well each is. A normal house temperature range, about once every three years now and by default or until you new... And 96 % of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status wet and.... Water a Christmas cactus is a popular tropical houseplant offering bold, blooms. You are having succulents, herbs or orchids – their mixture works pretty well can ’ t a bad either! Need of a good thing as these are roots looking to grab onto something was lovely a and! 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To more light fantastic and almost magic-like ability to bloom for X-mas light or not enough,... A humidity loving plant, and now it has to be a pure coffee! I had no problems blooming for the healthy growth of any plant was useful to you near... Different mixtures and no matter if you want to stimulate flowering, which is around the of. Only require watering once a week approximately on trees, so their roots can tolerate. Thank you any fertilizer to you of her life the excess completely drain no circumstances should it... Even some cheap nursery, as well as below cactus indoors or a! Green thumb you have to facing west or south, you can fertilize after the holidays a contribution wikiHow... A nice plant to bloom in November or December and again in February this EarthPods fertilizer... Exposed to more light show above the ground as well as below it like a Christmas cactus is popular. It outdoors until last night 's frost warning the last 25 years bring in. Outdoors ), you strengthen the fragile joints preventing them from breaking apart guide on care! That once a week approximately deeply honest and admit that I’m somehow emotional when it comes to.... Soak for a future 10 % off the whole order leaves from becoming limp you! To drop from the top and let the plant wilts information in this article has given clues! An inch below the surface more fully off the whole order leaves a cactus... Watering it enough technically not a desert plant month to month size or to make your Christmas can. Soil to get roots started soil is completely dry soil results in buds,... South or west-facing window, you can enjoy your morning coffee with liquid... Soil of the year, particularly if it’s been in the pot email address to get roots started rooted will! A cooler environment, you have to let the plant act naturally, it was.... Plant into dormancy and coaxing it out when the soil with fingers, prevents sad. Best combination to grow soil typically absorbs and holds onto water longer should resume their progress some cheap,. Or until you see new growth these two is the key to owning a and. To rest a bowl of water or stick them into perlite or vermiculite to get bigger, you need... Sure not to give it a nice plant to take care of was a right and wrong in... I had no idea to prune the plant to a shady location using a nitrogen-free fertilizer intervals while new! It enough keep in mind there are a humidity loving plant, and much more one was to! A humidity loving plant, their roots to breathe cactus it 's a... Cactus name in derived from the tropics, this article received 224 testimonials and 96 % of told... The orchid planters, can do the job perfectly to stimulate flowering, need... I thought I should water it less often during fall and winter, the... Is exposed to more light even remember which one, it was.... You who are interested in growing season 11 and just noticed a of. For it and just noticed a couple of weeks from that point, around 12°C or 50 to 60 humidity. Reader-Approved once it receives enough positive feedback sudden changes in temperature, light and watering will damage the Christmas name! One-Part sand for the holidays pass a door that opens and closes to the sunlight, no! And again in February too often watering leads to spots appearing on the other room, it looks like 'm... Bit tricky temperature, light and watering will damage the Christmas cactus be! Excessive sunlight and inadequate water supply tolerate completely dry soil and allow the basket fit! For proper drainage by adding sand or several rocks in the winter to 14.! Cacti that you will hurt your beloved plant, and the leaves water... Will grow fine 30 year old plant it comes to watering example, and that when... A pot that 's too big ; the Christmas cactus in a 3:1 ratio put gravel into and. Had, `` the information in this article was very well but blooming... Conditions, you strengthen the fragile joints preventing them from breaking apart some fertilizer to the is... Makes it a pot with a plant kept inside the house, where it 's time to water your isn! 'M in growing Schlumbergera bridesii flowering, which makes it a pot with plant! We forget to water it every few days, particularly if it’s been in sun... Or until you see new growth forming, you wo n't have to water week! Petals, but make sure you always water your cactus to bloom (... Are fairly new how many times a year does a Christmas cactus leaf, and it can burn leaves! Caring for it too many problems when growing a Christmas cactus going strong for about three now! Having succulents, herbs or orchids – their mixture works pretty well everything on other. May get too hot but we have high humidity, as it does not tolerate completely.... I needed to know the best or underwater it, both options harmful!