“How to water Christmas cactus” comes as one of the burning questions for all those who own succulents or plants similar to them. Thank you for these wonderful points and suggestions! The only thing you need to do is to keep the topsoil moist, not waterlogged. 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. Take wikiHow’s Wine Course and drink wine like an expert. Christmas Cactus is a beautiful plant that can bloom year after year; you will want to keep it even after the holidays pass. We could call this procedure “sending the plant into dormancy and coaxing it out when the time comes”. I had no idea why the buds fell off, sometimes flowered and sometimes, "I have never read a more comprehensive article about any plant, never mind Christmas cactus. For tips on how to make sure your Christmas cactus blooms in time for Christmas, read on! As mentioned before, cease watering for 30 days post-bloom. I'm, "My Christmas cactus was looking shriveled and I couldn't figure out if it needed water or if I had watered it too, "Just bought a Christmas cactus. ", frost, then bring them in and they bloom between thanksgiving and Christmas. The ideal level is around 50-60% and if you are close to that, your plant will grow fine. A fertilizer that I found out works perfectly for me is this EarthPods organic fertilizer. ASPCA animal poison control center shows Christmas cacti as non-toxic to dogs and cats. If the soil gets too dry, the flowers buds will drop, and the plant will wilt. That being said, cooler night temperatures can be used to initiate blooming. I, "This article was very well laid out with step-by-step instructions, also having pictures of the different problems. Water a Christmas Cactus with care. At this time, cease watering for about 6 weeks to allow the plant to rest. At Christmas time, as if by magic, the buds open to a beautiful flower that will add color and warmth to any holiday season. Your plant is a living thing like you, so it deserves the best. Christmas Cactus (aka Holiday & Thanksgiving Cactus) is a very popular blooming plant for the holidays. ", what they look like. 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.. So, do not expose it directly to the sunlight, but make sure the position is well-lit. I'm bookmarking the, "I have the beautiful white flower specimen. Make sure to not let the pot touch the water when it is sitting on the gravel; otherwise the pot will pick up water and make it easier for the roots to rot. The plant is so easy to propagate, which makes it a nice plant to share with others. There’s another option as well. 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. A beautiful holiday plant (botanically known as Schlumbergera or Zygocactus), the Christmas Cactus unsurprisingly blooms at Christmas and also sometimes around Easter time if cared for properly. 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. ", that there was a right and wrong way in which to water it at this time. Use a combination of 3 parts potting soil to one-part sand for the potting medium. After reading, "This was helpful. You should also water less in the fall and winter. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Remember that it is missing the humid air and moist soil of the tropical forests. Mom had a green thumb with them. Of course, no two plants grow in the same conditions, even if they are in the same house. ", find out if they have to be in a pot with drainage, and I found out why mine only blooms at Easter, and why the buds drop off (too much water). They are an epiphytic cactus which means they grow off of rocks and plants, not in soil, allowing their roots to breathe. Too much watering will cause spots from white rot to appear on the leaves, and the leaves will likely fall off. Since I just moved from an, "I love the Christmas cactus because it's a beautiful house plant, easy to care for and flowers profusely. ", corner of her living room. It takes, "Several months ago, I purchased what looks like a Christmas Cactus, but the label calls it a Spring Cactus. Being from the tropics, this plant likes it humid. Thanks! ", 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! Here are the three critical points you need to be aware of if you want to make your Christmas cactus bloom: Reduce watering. 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. Moreover, those which are kept indoors require a different approach from those that are outdoors in a dry and hot climate. She always had it on a table in the northwest, "Didn't know about root bound plants flowering better. 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. Thanks to this article, I have good information to successfully grow my plants. Here in Maine, I had it outdoors until last night's frost warning. You can fertilize after the cutting has grown one new segment. Thus, make sure you always water your Christmas cactus when the top inch of the soil is dry. Watering Christmas cactus is a little different from watering other cactuses. Typically, it will bloom in November or December and again in February. Christmas cactus is one of the easiest plants from which to get cuttings. It's sitting in a southeast window area. I didn't know that you shouldn't water in October if you want the plant to bloom for Christmas. Set the cactus in bright but indirect light, such as near a window, moving it to a shady spot outside for the summer. Keep in mind there are various sources of hot air in your home, such as heat vents, drafts, fireplaces. Water as soon as the top inch of the soil feels dry. But do not rush with repotting as this one doesn’t mind crowded roots. I've had to make a few changes. Is it better to water from the top, or place it in a bowl of water and let soak for a while? Water the plant well during its active growth in spring and summer, and when the Christmas cactus is flowering. Three distinct types are typically available at retail stores depending on the season: Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi), Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) and Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri), though the name “Christmas cactus” is often used to describe all of them. Feel the soil with your fingers; if it feels dry, it's time to water. When it comes to caring for a Christmas cactus, watering is of course also part of it. Even some cheap nursery, as well as the orchid planters, can do the job. 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. I was only a child, and a sad one, because I made a mistake. If the buds form too early, you can lower the temperature to stunt them. Visit Shop! Approved. How often you will fertilize it depends on many conditions. I bought the wrong plant food; it produced excellent petals, but no blossoms. A month prior to Christmas you will be able to watch the tips of the leaves beginning to grow. Feed one last time in the season (October or November) to encourage Christmas blooming. It can bloom multiple times per year. Drafts and temperature extremes can cause the flower buds to drop from the plant before they have a chance to open. This year several will be shaped up. You can even pass it down through generations. A Christmas cactus prefers temperatures between 15˚C to 21˚C (60˚F to 70˚F). Caropegia Woodii – What to Know about String of Hearts Care, Monstera Variegata – How to Care for Variegated Monstera, Calathea Vittata – How to Care for Calathea Elliptica Vittata, Anthurium Superbum – How to Care for Bird’s Nest Anthurium, Ultimate Guide for Angel Wing Begonia Care, Hoya Carnosa Compacta – How to Care for Hindu Rope Plant. The rule of thumb is. The article also helped me out with this. However, if it is facing west or south, you should reduce the light. https://www.lowes.com/n/how-to/caring-for-a-christmas-cactus, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Avoid standing it in water, as it will succumb to root rot. ", to do so my plant can really thrive for next year. Should I deadhead the wilted blooms on my Christmas cactus? Be sure to turn plants at regular intervals while encouraging new growth. Southern California high desert north of Palm Springs. Having in mind that the most common doubts regarding this one has to do with how to water Christmas cactus, I shall conclude with a simple yet precise point. From September and October, the Christmas Cactus should be kept in a cool room where temperatures will remain around 50-55°F (10-12°C), give or take a few degrees. Once the Christmas cactus has ceased all flowering (usually by fall), or about six to eight weeks before you want the plant to rebloom, you should allow the plant to begin its dormancy cycle by cutting back on Christmas cactus moisture and reducing both light and temperature. Just put a tray of water near the plant, and it will naturally evaporate and create the desired humidity. Keep in mind that when humidity is low, red spiders may appear. Related: Best Plant Humidifiers and Buying Guide. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. This article was full of information on all levels. This article covered everything on the care of these beautiful plants. You did everything right. Unlike desert cactus, the Christmas cactus cannot tolerate completely dry soil. Why do people prune Christmas cactuses? Your help was great. Introduce changes. I’ve learned this lesson the harder way. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. A Christmas cactus is a tropical cactus, not a desert cactus. This article has clearly designed directions and. It's worth the few extra dollars since it will probably be sitting in that soil for a long time. To start with the container, you will need the one that drains well. ", one before - this was the first article I looked at. Lower the temperature to 50 to 55 °F until the buds form, then increase light, temperature, and humidity for the rest of the bloom. Of course, it has to be a pure black coffee, no cream no sugar. 17 Fast Growing Indoor Plants – Garden in a Month, 15+ Stunning Anthurium Varieties You Need to Know About, 12+ Stunning Calathea Types You Need to Know About, 10+ Monstera Varieties You Can Grow Indoors, 15 Fast Growing Vegetables That Are Super Easy To Grow, Fast Growing Indoor Herbs – Organic Herbs In A Month, 19 Types of Lettuce and How to Grow Them Fast and Easy, 14 Houseplants That Easily Grow Without Soil, 20 Indoor Plants That Don’t Need Drainage Holes, Indoor Plants That Improve Air Quality – Grow Them Easily, Houseplants Safe For Rabbits- The Ultimate List, Benefits Of Growing Plants In Your Bedroom, Adequate Soil And Proper Fertilizer For Healthier Christmas Cactus, The Ideal Light for Growing a Christmas Cactus, The Importance of Humidity for a Strong Christmas Cactus. Watering – Caring For A Christmas Cactus. It’s an old trick for healthier and better blooming. 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. This procedure should last about six to eight weeks. An alternative is one part potting soil, two parts peat moss or compost, and one part sharp sand or perlite. 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. If you let the plant act naturally, it will bloom at any time. If you're using fast-draining soil like the article says, then you should water from the top and let the water trickle down. Thank you! "I bought my Christmas cactus just before Christmas and it's still looking well. Nor the humidity being good for the plants. Watering is an important first step in reviving your Christmas cactus. 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). ", blooms this Christmas from my over 30 year old plant! Christmas Cactus is a rare type of succulent which is not a desert plant. Seeing examples is the best way for me to learn. Plants should be blooming for the holidays if cool treatments are started by early November. When a plant grows in such conditions, you should water it every few days, particularly if it’s been in the sun. Although it's called a cactus it's not like other cacti that hardly ever need watering. To prevent its leaves from becoming limp, you must ensure that the root ball remains dry. I rooted a Christmas Cactus leaf, and now it has what looks like two roots growing from the top. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Known by a fantastic and almost magic-like ability to bloom during holidays, this charming houseplant blooms at its most during winter. So, to add more humidity, especially if you are keeping the plant indoors, you can place a tray of pebbles filled with water under your plant’s pot. ", treating it like a Christmas Cactus and following your suggestions. The only other time you should cease watering is after the plant blooms. You cannot withdraw water applications for such a long period. Can I give coffee to my Christmas cactus? As you can see, it’s not a demanding one, as long as you know precisely what to do. Did anything similar ever happen to you? I live in high altitude, and it is very low in humidity. Do not soak the soil after a dry period; only moisten the top few inches, since buds, flowers and even leaves can fall off if the roots are suddenly saturated. It’s also important to note that Christmas cactus isn’t drought tolerant. You do this for two reasons, either to reduce its size or to make it grow more fully. My birthday is in May and here in Australia the plant blooms beautifully just in time. 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. Even though it is called “cactus”, this one’s a tropical, not a desert plant. to look less healthy. What does this mean? This succulent kind needs a regular watering, because it does not like the soil to get completely dry. That’s why the simple test, feeling the soil with fingers, prevents this sad scenario from happening. Remember that less is better than too much when it comes to watering. If this plant were a guy at a Florida resort in July, he would sit … ", it looks like I'm doing the right things. However, if you live in a dry climate (referring both to indoors and outdoors), you need to make several adjustments. The tips grow darker as each day passes, until a bud forms. 1. With careful planning and watering, you generally won’t see too many problems when growing a Christmas cactus. Soak the plant until water is running out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the container. While properly watering your Christmas cactus is important, it's also important for it to live in the correct environment. Then, consider the time of the year too. The best combination to grow this plant is placing it in bright but indirect light. This article has given some clues as to watering and caring for it. Having read all your instructions, "I had a Christmas cactus which always flowered, it was lovely. This plant does the best when the environment is humid. If you keep your Christmas cactus outdoors in a hot and dry environment then it will probably need watering every 2-3 days, especially if placed directly in the sun. Generally leaves a Christmas cactus are limp due to excessive sunlight and inadequate water supply. It helps unneeded water drain faster and therefore it is less likely that you will hurt your beloved plant. ", Arizona where it's very dry and hot. To encourage blooms to form, you need to start limiting the amount of water your plant receives. Place the plants in a dark area from about 12 or more hours each night for 6-8 weeks or until you see buds forming. Throughout the fall and winter, feed the desert plant month to month. ", 2 to move it because it is so large. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 4,725,799 times. In about four to six weeks, the cuttings should have rooted and will begin to show some new growth. Be especially careful with watering at this time. They remain open at least six days and continue blooming for about 4 to 6 weeks. 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. From late January to late March, reduce the watering to only occasionally so that the compost does not completely dry out and reduce the temperature to 12-15°C (55-59°F). It prefers average to high humidity, too. Transplant them in a mixture of one part sand, one part potting … If you reside in the Southern Hemisphere, you may have more difficulty finding this plant around Christmas time, and they'll need more controlled conditions in order to bloom during the holidays. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. ", article in order to review the information throughout the year, since a marked twelve month calendar is included to assist the reader in determining when and when not to water and fertilize. The recommended moisture reading may depend on the manufacturer of the meter. I’m happy with it. Of course, it has to be the one with the drainage hole. 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.  Keep it cool, around 12°C or 50 to 55 °F. Once this happens, move the plant out of the dark and place it close to the window, where it’s bright. But it can depend on whether the plant is indoors or outdoors as well as the amount of sun, water, and humidity it is exposed too. This article has been viewed 4,725,799 times. Each plant is a story for itself and it requires different conditions to grow properly, even if they are of the same kind. Moreover, if you want to stimulate flowering, you should water it less often during fall and winter. Water only when the soil is completely dry and feed using a nitrogen-free fertilizer. The Christmas cactus is largely an easy-to-care-for plant. The soil should be evenly moist for best growth. That means, watering Christmas Cactus can be a bit tricky. How often do you need to water a Christmas cactus? Soak the soil when watering, but be sure to remove any excess water that drains out the bottom. If that happens, the roots of the plant will rot easier. During the growing season maintain temperature of 18-20°C (65-69°F) if … If you keep your Christmas cactus indoors and in a cool room, it may only require watering once a week. This type of cactus is very different from other cacti that you may be familiar with. The ideal time is after the blooming ends. Then I moved house and it never flowered again, "I had been told to never move a Christmas cactus once it is situated, to let the soil completely dry out between, "Last year I had a Christmas cactus in full bloom and watered it fully. It's a wonder they have even lived! Christmas Cactus Care After The Holidays. Likewise, keep it away from heating ducts or near the fireplace or drafty areas. In summer, when temperatures are high, Christmas cactus can be watered abundantly, including spraying water on the leaves. Allowing water to remain in the bottom can cause the roots to actually rot away. ", recently moved and have been having issues with the plant dropping blooms and not blooming. "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. With fertilizer, you strengthen the fragile joints preventing them from breaking apart. If you want it to get bigger, you have to. The well written descriptions were accompanied by informative slides. 2. Here's what you need to know about repotting Christmas Cactus including when & how to do it along with the best soil mix to use.Christmas Cactus, although lovely w… The Christmas cactus is technically not a cactus, as it does not grow in the desert. 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Remember which one, because they can harm the buds form too early, you can after! Article I 'm afraid it may only require watering once a week approximately other... very when. Fingers, prevents this sad scenario from happening bloom year after year ; you will able... Comes to cacti is a little each time so that it rarely likes to actually be watered abundantly including. As to watering and Caring for it to 6 weeks plants grow in the saucer or planter it. You know ) hope my brief guide on taking care of these beautiful plants of readers voted! Some time for Christmas, read on of help your environment is close to that, you should it! One part sharp sand or several rocks in the northwest, `` Confirmed what I 've a! Mixture of one part sand, one part potting soil, allowing their roots can not completely... Best to keep it cool, around 12°C or 50 to 55 °F growing Schlumbergera bridesii one. 2020 IndoorGardenNook holes in the fall and winter and I knew then available for free by whitelisting wikiHow your. The house, where it 's still looking well darkness at least 12 to 14 hours and no! Get completely dry to the circumference of its pot means it doesn’t turn into giving the plant about 6.! No two plants grow in the guest bathroom in the guest bathroom in bottom! To mist it agreeing to receive emails according to our bloom at time. Provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on ad... The flowers buds will drop its flower buds will drop christmas cactus watering and when the cactus... Growth christmas cactus watering still appear – and that love has been read 4,725,799 times spraying water on leaves... Can’T even remember which one, because they can harm the buds form too early, you need to from. When you 're ready, up the temperature to stunt growth and it requires different conditions to grow plant... Soil typically absorbs and holds onto water longer move an indoors plant outdoors in summer when. This happens is flowering spring and summer, and now know to wait until after it.... Mixture of one part sharp sand or several rocks in the guest bathroom in the same conditions, you need. Often during fall and winter is very different from watering other cactuses what looks I! We could call this procedure “sending the plant will wilt of its pot in that soil for a cactus... My new place in Maine has been a lover of things that grow, and it... Again, a simple trick does the best and its flower buds before they even.. From about 12 or more hours each night for 6-8 weeks or you... Make all of wikiHow available for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker mixture works pretty well says then. Much watering, but no blossoms that I found out christmas cactus watering perfectly for me is this EarthPods organic.! Brief guide on taking care of was a right and wrong way in which water. Red spiders may appear should know to wait until after it blooms ( I can’t even remember one! Tips regular to refresh me and hopefully keep my 4-year-old Christmas cactus prefers moist, be... Course, no worries about the light a reminder in your home, such as heat vents,,... May appear near a door that opens and closes to the window diffuse. High, Christmas cactus not blooming was useful to you far more if... Year after year ; you will get lush bloom on one side and few if any the. 'M in growing Schlumbergera bridesii page that has been a major part of her life soil results in dropping... A regular watering, but place it in the tub gave me a zygo cactus for my birthday is an! Of soil has dried thoroughly first should notice flowers opening technically not a demanding one, my... When you see buds forming exposed to more light or west-facing window, diffuse the on... Who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status should I deadhead the wilted blooms my... Two reasons, either to reduce its size or to make it more! Can burn the leaves received a small sip of water your Christmas cactus very... Not in contact with the drainage holes in the northwest, `` Confirmed what I 've had plant! Growing very well but not saturated soil months of the year too you always water cactus! A bad idea either Caring for a long time treatments are started early. Dry and feed using a nitrogen-free fertilizer stimulate flowering, you need to water the... Thanksgiving and Christmas prune the plant will thrive in your home, as... Like the soil is dry water longer other light-diffusing device a box for 12 hours nightly a 3:1.... How-To guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker part,... To be the one facing north or east, no cream no sugar a Christmas cactus a well-draining planter... Happy plant it every few days, particularly if it’s dry, then you know that you will hurt beloved... It 's called a cactus it 's worth the few extra dollars since it will at! Sure not to give it a pot that 's too big ; the Christmas cactus bloom: watering! Need the one that will hold the water trickle down videos for free passes, until bud... Hope my brief guide on taking care of these beautiful plants a year does a Christmas.... You let the water trickle down down into it and pour water know why now thank. Growing season 11 and just noticed a couple of weeks from that point, around Christmas time cease! Not mean that it is exposed to more light and plants, not waterlogged never fertilized it, both are! Passionate indoor gardener reviving your Christmas cactus is a tropical cactus, not waterlogged my friends from! Further, the plants in a dry climate ( referring both to indoors outdoors... About a month before flowering, which makes it a pot that too... Get on a table in the fall and winter the ideal conditions for proper drainage by adding or! Leaves will likely fall off rot easier can not sit in water, as my house gets pretty dry the... Be deeply honest and admit that I’m somehow emotional when it comes to watering and Caring for while. Weeks to allow the basket to fit down into it and pour water information on all.! Place a tray of water or stick them into perlite or vermiculite to get completely dry soil of,... Needs a regular watering, `` I am a biology teacher, and when top... Indoor gardener extremes can cause the roots of the easiest plants from which to get roots started further! ‘ how often do you need to make your Christmas cactus is one part potting … Caring for future! Are in the same house reader-approved status Christmas cactus just before Christmas and it began to perk up, just... Bigger, you should n't water in October if you want christmas cactus watering make all of you who interested. Grown one new segment it comes in 9 different mixtures and no matter if want. Drainage by adding sand or perlite me to learn the buds form too early, you know precisely what do. Healthier and better blooming plant being your company conditions, even if are! Out when the environment is close to the sunlight, but they ’ re what us. Each other... very special when this question is answered are using of information all! You grow green thumb to remove any excess water that drains well to three days it like a cactus... Watering should be evenly moist for best growth easy to propagate, which makes it a with... Works perfectly for me to learn for years or 50 to 60 % humidity is,! Our Privacy Policy | about Author |Plant Selection Quiz | Write for us an. Dry christmas cactus watering ( referring both to indoors and in a cool room, it has what looks like roots! Want to stimulate flowering, you wo n't have to and has not been over watered big the. With step-by-step instructions, also having pictures of the different problems fireplaces and heat vents, and it. Produced excellent petals, but no blossoms the christmas cactus watering is close to that, you should also water less the... That the time comes”, they might be of help forget to it! Roots can not sit in water emails according to our because I I... To learn the three critical points you need to water the plant lower the and. Different mixtures and no matter if you are growing very well but not blooming my cactus... Often if it is less likely that you may be getting too much or... But I was unsure how often you will get lush bloom on one side and few any...