Christmas Cactus Care

Christmas Cactus Care

Christmas cacti bloom once a year generally during the Christmas season.  Christmas cacti are beautiful year-round. The plants are adorned with flat green kind of spiky leaves.  The branches of the plant can reach up to 3 feet long.

During Christmastime, the plants burst with blossoms.  Each variety has a different color. Holiday cacti can be found with white, pink, red, yellow and even purple flowers.  Now, don’t you want one in every color?

The blooms on the plant each last several days.  However, the entire bloom time can last several weeks when these Christmas Cacti are well cared for.

The Christmas cactus makes a great gift.  Give them away as gifts to your neighbors before the holidays so they can enjoy them the entire Christmas season.

Tools To Care For The Christmas Cactus

  • Christmas Cactus
  • Cactus Soil
  • Cactus Fertilizer
  • Gardening Gloves

Christmas Cactus Care

The Christmas cactus plant is rather fragile in that it only blooms for a few short weeks a year.  Make sure that you don’t drop blooms early by following the advice below.

Best Soil For Christmas Cactus

The best soil for a Christmas cactus is loose, well-draining soil.  If you can find a cactus potting mix that is perfect. Since the plant blooms, it will be a heavy feeder during this timeframe.  Choose a soil that has nutrients in it or hummus as well to feed the plant during this time. Also, take care that the pot you have chosen has drainage holes to release excess water and moisture from the plant.

Best Temperature For Christmas Cactus

The Christmas cactus can be a bit picky as far as temperature goes.  They don’t like it too hot or too cold. Find a spot that maintains a fairly consistent temperature of 65-70 degrees for best growth and maintenance. 

Best Light For Christmas Cactus

The Christmas cactus prefers some direct sunlight.  Place your Christmas cactus plant in an East facing window to make this plant happy. 

How To Water a Christmas Cactus

While the plant is showing off its beautiful blooms, water frequently.  Try to keep the soil moist to the touch, but not drenched. A light mist of water while in the blooming period on the leaves and blooms is also appreciated by the plant.  When not in bloom, this plant can use a little less water. Root rot can occur if overwatering happens. Keep a close eye on how much you water your plant. Just remember that when the plant is in bloom it prefers humid conditions to thrive.  These plants natively come from a very humid climate unlike its close relative of succulents.  Succulents and other cacti prefer more dry conditions. 

How To Fertilize a Christmas Cactus

During the majority of the year, a Christmas cactus does not need to be fertilized.  However, when you see the plant start to set buds, it is a good time of year to think about fertilizing.  Fertilize the Christmas cactus with a little bit of potash or a high potassium fertilizer. This will help the plant have the energy to produce beautiful blooms that will be sure to wow you. 

Do I Need To Do Anything After the Christmas Cactus Blooms?

After the Christmas cactus blooms and you see bud drop, that is a good time to consider putting it into a different pot.  If you want to transplant, do so after the blooms have spent. You don’t want to be transplanting a Christmas cactus right before it puts on its flower show at Christmastime.

Holiday Cactus

Although this guide is covering Christmas Cactus specifically, there are many other holidays to which cacti are named after.  Namely Thanksgiving and Easter too. They are named after the holiday with which they most nearly bloom. Unfortunately, many of the so-called Christmas cacti actually bloom closer to the Thanksgiving holiday and they are actually Thanksgiving cacti.  It’s tricky, I know.

Summer Care for Christmas Cactus

If you want to simplify your life, you can put your Christmas cactus outdoors during the summer months.  Just make sure that the temperature is above 50 degrees when you put it outside.

Trouble Shooting Christmas Cactus Blooms

Sometimes cacti won’t bloom when they are supposed to.  If you find yourself in this situation try the following Christmas cactus care.  Put it in a darker spot in your home. The cactus may not be receiving sufficient darkness.  In order for a cactus to bloom, the plant needs at least 14 hours of darkness and light of only 10 hours a day.  It could be that your house is too light a majority of the day, so move it to a place where it will be dark for 14 hours or so a day.

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