Caring for Christmas Cactus
Welcome to the enchanting world of Christmas Cactus care! As we dive into this comprehensive guide, you’ll discover the secrets to nurturing vibrant blooms throughout the year. From optimal lighting to the perfect soil blend, each aspect of caring for your Christmas Cactus is unveiled, ensuring a festive display that captivates every season. Let’s embark on a journey to create a thriving haven for your holiday botanical companion.
What you Need to Know:
LIGHT: Keep your Christmas Cactus basking in the right light for a festive flourish:
- Indoor Sunshine: Place your plants in a sunny indoor location. While they can enjoy the outdoors in the summer, keep them in the shade to prevent leaf burn. Gradually reintroduce them indoors in the fall by increasing their indoor hours each day.
SOIL: Ensure a solid foundation for your Christmas Cactus with well-drained soil:
- Succulent Mix: Opt for a commercially packaged potting mix designed for succulent plants or create your own blend.
WATER: Master the art of watering for a thriving Christmas Cactus:
- Thirst Quencher: Despite its name, this plant isn’t as drought-tolerant as true cacti. Water thoroughly when the top half of the soil feels dry. Adjust watering frequency based on factors like temperature, light, growth rate, and humidity. Keep the soil consistently moist in the summer, and in the fall, water enough to prevent wilting.
TEMPERATURE: Create a cozy environment for your Christmas Cactus:
- Warm Embrace: This cactus loves warmth, but a slight evening chill (10-13°C) can kickstart bud formation. As October arrives, keep it cool at night (15-18°C). Protect it from drafts, heat vents, fireplaces, or other sources of hot air.
REPOTTING: Ensure your Christmas Cactus has room to grow:
- Scheduled Moves: Repot every two to three years or when the pot is filled with roots and the soil lacks nutrients. While spring is the usual repotting season, an unhealthy plant due to root issues can be repotted at any time.
CARE CALENDAR: Navigate the seasons with a month-by-month guide:
- January: Blooming
- February-March: Resting (15°C, infrequent watering)
- April-May: Water thoroughly when the potting mix begins to dry out
- June-August: Enjoy the outdoors in a shady spot
- September-October: Prepare for flowering. Reduce daylight hours, keep it dry and cool, then gradually increase water and temperature.
- November-December: Flourishing in full bloom. Water normally.
With this care guide, your Christmas Cactus is sure to dazzle with vibrant blooms, bringing holiday cheer year after year.
WAIT?! Why do we call it a Christmas Cactus if it is not a true Christmas Cactus?
At Canadale, we’ve labelled this plant based on its commonly recognized identity. We appreciate the significance of accurate information and apologize for any confusion or disappointment this may cause. True Christmas cacti are rare finds. For our dedicated plant enthusiasts, the Holiday Cacti in our collection here at the garden centre are specifically Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera truncate).
Image source: www.gardengatemagazine.com