If you are looking to fill your home with festive, indoor plants for the holiday season, Christmas cacti make a great addition to your house decor. They bloom right in time for Christmas and are stunning to look at when they flower. Set them in an east-facing window and watch their green hanging branches bloom with red, white, yellow, pink or purple flowers. Luckily, these plants are easy to maintain and their blooming period is long-lasting, over the course of a several weeks. To keep these plants thriving throughout the holiday season, we are sharing a few simple ways on how to care for your Christmas cactus. From soil to repotting and watering, there is no reason why you can’t have a beautiful, blooming Christmas cactus this holiday. Even if you are a beginner gardener, these helpful tips will guide you for a successful bloom!
One common mistake that most people do when caring for their Christmas cactus is exposing their plant to too much sunlight. Although you may think that because they have the cactus name that these plants like hot and dry weather — that’s not the case at all. In fact, Christmas cacti are at their best when they are in some humidity and mostly have indirect sunlight.
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With that said, read on to find out all the ways that you can keep your Christmas cactus healthy and full of bright flowers this holiday season!
What You’ll Need
Before you get started, stock up on these Christmas cactus care essentials.
How to Care for a Christmas Cactus
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A lack of water and dramatic temperature swings can cause flower buds to drop more rapidly. Maximize your specimen’s blooming period by paying attention to these six key factors:
- Soil: Use a quality soil rich in humus and other nutrients.
- Temperature: Maintain an optimal climate of 65 degrees.
- Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist while your plant is blooming, misting it frequently.
- Light: Place the cactus in an east-facing window for moderate light and some direct sun.
- Fertilization: Apply a high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks once buds form.
- Transplantation: Repot your cactus each year after flowering.
How to Encourage More Blooming
Keep plants cool (around 50 degrees) following their blooming period. Water them to keep the soil just barely moist, and be sure to withhold fertilizer. When new growth begins, use the following strategy to encourage blooming: House the plants in an environment with a temperature between 55 and 65 degrees, and alternate between giving them 10 hours of light and 14 hours of total darkness for four to six weeks after the growth appears. When buds appear, introduce the plant to warmer temperatures and begin regular culture, as described above. Plants should bloom in about six weeks.
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