Somethings You Need To Know About How To Grow A Christmas Cactus

When it comes time to start the Christmas holiday season again, everyone gets wrapped up in to-do lists and excitement. There’s a lot to get done, like getting gifts and wrapping presents, plus planning dinners and family events. The only thing the holidays are known for other than stress are traditions, which can vary greatly. For some families, they eat special desserts on Christmas Eve, and for others, they like to do something together like growing a plant. To grow a Christmas cacus is something should be more interested.

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While you may not have heard of them, Christmas cactus are a popular plant for people to have during the Christmas season because they require so little care and look so beautiful. If you’re looking to start your own tradition by growing a Christmas cactus this year, you’re on the right path! Learning how to grow and take care of them will be a quick and easy learning experience, so read on about great tips for growing a Christmas cactus that will thrive.

First, Know Your Plant

As with any plant, you’ll need to know a little bit about the history of what you’re growing to truly understand how to take care of it. The Christmas cactus, also known as the Schlumbergera Bridgesii, originated in Brazil.

The rain-forests gave it a happy place to grow where it had plenty of moisture and sunlight without anything being overbearing. It grew in dense bushes, making it a short and stocky plant. To protect itself, the Christmas cactus developed small, flat stem segments with serrations on both sides. 

Each segment produces a flower when the cactus begins to bloom, often growing neon pink stamen. Individual flowers take on a tube shape, with one flower making up the bottom portion and a longer flower forming the rest. Because it always blooms in December, it became commonly known as the Christmas cactus.

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Learn What It Needs

People are quick to assume that cacti love being in direct heat, since they’re most often portrayed in the media as a desert plant. That isn’t the case for all cacti, though, and especially not the Christmas cactus. During all times of the year, it should be placed where it can get indirect light.

It will easily adapt to low light situations, but if placed in direct light, it will get dried out too fast and not be able to recover. Think of a placing it on a shelf just out of the way of light from a window, or maybe a coffee table.

Watering is another thing people can get confused about when it comes to cacti. A common assumption is for people to think that cacti have water stored inside them, so if they aren’t watered often, it’s okay because they’ve got a backup supply. The Christmas cactus is the opposite of this case, because it needs a constant supply of water to grow. 

The rainforests it originated from kept the soil damp during its active growing seasons in spring and summer, which is what you’ll need to replicate.

Learning how to care for a Christmas cactus may seem challenging but is easy to get used to. During warmer months, water every couple days or when you start to feel the soil go dry. It should be damp but not soaked.

Leaving the plant too dry could cause it to die, but leaving it in a pot that’s got dirt swimming in it from overwatering will lead to stem and root rot. The key is to let it dry out a bit between watering sessions so it can essentially be aired out and ready for the next watering.

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Plant Away!

Most likely the way you’ll get your Christmas cactus is by buying one that’s already grown at a local plant store. If you don’t like the container it came in, you don’t have to worry about looking at an ugly pot for the next few months or even years, depending on how long your cactus can stay alive. Repotting a Christmas cactus is easy when you follow a few simple steps, and always be careful to take your time so there’s no damage done to the plant.

Water the plant you get one to two days before repotting so the soil is moist and easy to move. You should move your cactus into a new container that’s only one to two inches larger than the one it came in. It should have room to grow but not so much room that extra water gets trapped in the soil, causing diseases to spread through the plant.

Gently put your hand around the base of the cactus to support it and slowly tip it upside-down until it slides out of the original pot. Place into the new pot once it’s one-third filled with soil.

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Add soil as needed, until the top of the plant’s rootball is one-half inch below the rim of the pot. Water it lightly for a few weeks and then resume the plant’s normal watering schedule. Fertilization should wait until 8 weeks after repotting.

Growing a Christmas cactus this season could transform how you view your Christmas holiday. Not only will you have the feeling of success that comes with growing a plant, but you’ll also notice that the quality of your home will improve.

Plants are great for interior decorating, and plants can also remove 87 percent of the air toxins trapped inside a home within just 24 hours. If anyone in your home has problems breathing or finds themselves sneezing a lot, you may have allergens that a plant can take care of.

Cacti are great plants for those who are new to growing things or may not be around every day to actively water a plant. If taken care of correctly, cacti will bring life and beauty into your home without taking up too much of your time, space or effort. Go out and get yourself a Christmas cactus today to celebrate the season and have something beautiful in your home that will last longer than a tree.

Author Bio:

Emily is an avid gardener and conservation writer. You can find more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.

Somethings You Need To Know About How To Grow A Christmas Cactus
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Tina Martino
 

My passion is gardening. Along with my husband and children, each year we grow a garden large enough to provide our family of five with over half of our needed produce. Besides vegetables and a small berry patch, I also focus my attention on beautifying our home with strategically placed flowers, herbs, and flowering plants. Gardening is more than just a hobby; it is a way of life.