How to Care for Christmas Cactus

A Christmas cactus can be a beautiful and fun houseplant to own! Not only does it add a bit of warmth to the holidays, but if given good treatment, it can bloom every Christmas for up to 30 years! Now that’s one long life for a plant! But to keep our Christmas cactus alive and well for all those years, we need to know how to properly care for our Christmas cactus! So here’s what you need to know…

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Care for Christmas Cactus: Light Requirements

For proper care, we first need to realize that this cactus, a Schlumbergera species, is not like or normal cacti originating from central America to the western United States. Nope… this cactus actually originates from a coastal climate in Brazil. So that being said, it isn’t used to those long hours of hot, direct sunlight. Instead, place it in an east- or west- facing window so that it gets direct sunlight in the mornings or evenings, but it stays protected from any hot, afternoon sunlight.

Here's what you need to know to care for christmas cactus... light requirements...

Care for Christmas Cactus: Water Requirements

Being a coastal cactus, this plant needs some interesting watering techniques. First, only water your Christmas cactus when the soil feels dry to the touch (about 2 inches or 5 cm down from the surface). Too much water, and your cactus will start turning yellow and the leaves will get fast and mushy. If this happens, it’s best to take some cuttings from the healthy part of your plant to propagate in case your entire plant dies from being over-watered. Here are the 3 methods you can use for Christmas Cactus Propagation. So basically let’s avoid this by only watering once the soil feels dry to the touch!

The next tip I have for you is to give your plant higher humidity levels, especially during the time when it had buds on it. If your plant doesn’t get enough humidity, or it is getting either too little water or too much water, it will drop all of its buds. So once your plant’s buds form, lightly mist it every day.

Water requirements for Christmas cactus care...

Care for Christmas Cactus: Additional Tips

As well as misting, once your plant’s buds form, you will also want to be giving it a high-phosphorous plant food once every two weeks. This will help it to stay healthy while it is at it’s most vulnerable. Next, to help with correct watering, it is VITAL that you keep it in a light, well-draining soil, such as in a cactus and succulent potting soil.

Also, as your plant blooms, remove any dead or wilting flowers. This helps it to produce even more flowers as it senses that it’s seeds didn’t fully ripen. It also keeps your Christmas cactus looking fresh and healthy! Then, once your plant has finished blooming, re-pot it into fresh soil, keeping the pot small enough to have the roots just a little cramped. Then just let it sit and enjoy it’s morning or evening sun until the following September when you’ll want to prompt it to start blooming once again!

Here are the additional tips for care for Christmas cactus...

That’s how to care for your Christmas cactus! And once again, for information on how to propagate your plant, check out my post, 3 Easy Ways to Propagate Christmas Cactus! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends! Simply click on your favorite social button and it will let you share this post, no copying and pasting required! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and I hope your Christmas cactus stays beautiful all year round!

Happy Digging!

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