Christmas is just around the corner, and some of you are worried about what Christmas presents to buy. Also, if you are lucky, then you might have received the beautiful holiday plants this season. The Christmas cactus is a typical houseplant that blooms around the Christmas season.
The long-greenish arms and other colorful varieties deserve loads of appreciation. If you have a Christmas plant, you must ensure that the winter breeze does not sabotage its beauty. These colorful plants will be your favorite holiday decor, but first, you’ve to take care of it.
These Christmas-y plants come blooms in white, pink, fuchsia, and many more colors. Since knowledge is the ultimate power, we’ve got some awesome care tips and excellent fertilizing products. Let’s hurry and see how you can make your Christmas more jolly with these exciting little pots.
Get To Know More About Christmas Cactus
If you’ve received the little Christmas pot for the first time, there are certain things that you should be knowing. Before you get to feeding and watering the plant, you must know about this plant properly. To help you keep the holiday cactus alive all year long, we’ve rounded up some fantastic facts about this plant.
The Christmas Cactus Requires Light To Grow
Do you want to know how you can push these plants to full blooming? Perhaps you should try keeping them more in sunlight. Pick up a sunny poot for your holiday cactus and place it there. However, during summer you should be more precautious with the sunlight. It’s best for the summer season to find a partially covered location for your precious Christmas cactus.
These Plants Are Sleeping Beauties
Don’t you feel great and energetic after receiving tons of beauty sleep? The same thing happens with the Christmas cactus. These plants should be placed at a pitch-dark place at night. If you want the flower buds to set, you must keep these plants in 14 hours of darkness. Once the flower buds are set, you can move them to a location with lights.
This Plant Is Pet-Friendly
If you have previously owned Poinsettia, the chances are that your pet feels sick around it. But, this won’t happen with these holiday plants. Though Poinsettia is toxic for cats and dogs, the Christmas succulents are much better with pets. The best part is that you can have your garden or house full of bright holiday plants, and your pets are going to love them too.
It Can Be Affected By Diseases
Did you know that your dearly Christmas cactus you are nurturing for so long is prone to diseases? Five diseases can affect the Christmas cacti. These five diseases are pythium root rot, basal stem rot, impatiens necrotic spot virus, botrytis blight, and phytophthora root rot.
It’s Not Always A True Christmas Cactus
This fact would’ve come as a shocker for many Christmas cactus owners! The Holiday cactus is many a time marketed as Zygocactus, Christmas Cactus, and Thanksgiving cactus. The original Christmas cactus variety is an interspecific hybrid of Schlumbergera russelliana, and Schlumbergera truncate.
The Christmas cactus is more a houseplant than a commercial one. These plants have brownish-purplish anthers, ribbed ovaries, and rounded margins. These plants were found in England about 150 years ago.
They Have A Long Life-Span
The Christmas plants can witness several Christmases throughout their life, implying that they are long-living varieties. If the Christmas plant is appropriately nurtured, it can live for up to 20 or 30 years. Cool night temperatures can encourage your Christmas cacti to bloom better.
Overwatering Is Harmful
You must only add water to the plant’s soil, and only when it feels dry to touch. As for the leaves, you can mist them to maintain the perfect humidity levels. Overwatering your plant is the worst mistake and a sign of an amateur plant-keeper. If the soil is wet, avoid watering it as excessive water can kill the plant.
It Needs Cool Temperatures To Live
The Christmas Cactus needs to be located away from direct heat sources. Your Christmas cactus will bloom for a longer time when you expose them to the cooler temperatures. Never keep your plants near the fireplace or heaters. You must also ensure that your plant is not going through significant temperature fluctuations.
Significant changes in the temperature will lead the blooms to drop the cactus before they can open. The best temperature for a Christmas cactus is 68-degrees Fahrenheit.
This Plant Is A Brazilian-Native
Many people are unaware that these colorful and gorgeous blooming plants come from the tropics of Brazil. These epiphytes grow in the Brazilian rain forest. These tropical plants thrive well in high humidity conditions. It’s weird how they’re termed as Christmas plants but have a Brazilian background.
Care Tips For Holiday Cactus
Now that you know a lot about the Christmas Cactus, it’s time to nurture and care for it. We understand that taking care of a plant requires a lot of knowledge and guidance. In this article, we’ve curated some tips to help you take care of your little plant. Follow these tips, and you’ll see your cactus blooming in no time!
- Always maintain the correct dark and light schedule for your plant. Hampering in the dark periods can prevent blooming.
- Keep the plant away from a heating vent or a fireplace.
- The plant will bloom when exposed to bright sources of light.
- Excessive direct sunlight can burn the leaves, so don’t give sun exposure for long durations.
- The plant should be water thoroughly during the spring and summer seasons.
- Apply a high-potassium fertilizer to your Christmas cactus every other week.
- Keep the temperatures between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You must re-pot your holiday cactus every year after the flowering.
- To provide humidity to the plant, place a tray filled with pebbles and water.
- Make sure to use well-draining soil and a well-draining pot.
- Don’t forget to mist the leaves when they look dry.
- Water your holiday cactus according to the environment and season.
- Reduce the watering frequency after October.
- Since this plant is thermo-photoperiodic, you shouldn’t expose the plant to freezing temperatures.
- To encourage more flower buds, increase the amount of humidity and light.
All About Watering The Christmas Cactus
For many plant owners, deciding upon the right amount of water will feel as complicated as rocket science. It’s challenging to decide upon the watering frequency, especially when it comes to the Holiday cactus. This article will also discuss how you should be watering your Christmas cactus for the best results.
Along with the best fertilizers for Christmas Cactus, you also need to adhere to a strict watering schedule. You must always check the moisture in the soil before you go ahead and water the plant. If you are watering soil that already has plenty of moisture, it can harm the plant.
When the month of October hits, the watering requirements for your Christmas plant will significantly reduce. You can resume watering with a little quantity from November. You can cease watering once the plant blooms. Cease watering for at least six weeks as that will allow the plant to relax and breathe.
Similarly, leaving the soil dry for more extended periods will also hamper the blooming and flowering process. The soil should have even moisture for the best growth. Since the Christmas cactus is not like a desert cactus, this plant cannot tolerate moisture-lacking soil.
To start with, we have divided the watering schedule into three parts. The watering frequency for each of these conditions is stated considering the requirement of the Christmas plant.
- During the winter and fall months, the plants should receive less water to encourage proper blooming.
- When the plant is placed outdoors in a dry climate, you can water it every two to three days. This will ensure that the plant and the soil are not dry.
- If your Christmas plant is kept indoors in a cool and humid environment, the watering frequency will be lesser. You should water your plant only once a week in such conditions.
Feeding A Christmas Cactus
To make your home look brighter and more beautiful with the Christmas plants, you have to keep feeding them. A great blooming formula for this houseplant is a half-strength water-soluble potion or a fertilizer. You can use a 20-10-20 or a 20-20-20 fertilizer formula for your holiday cactus.
You can feed your cactus every month from the later winter time to the end of the summers. Also, you can choose a feed with slightly higher phosphorous content or time-released, well-balanced plant nutrition. A perfect feed will enhance the flowering process and result in fuller and lively plants.
You must follow the feeding schedule carefully, only the formula you are using. There’s a high risk of a salt-build up in the soil. On alternative weeks, you can fertilize monthly using one teaspoon per gallon of water. This is the best feed for your Christmas cactus.
You can ditch the feed during the winter season as the plant is not actively growing. To boost the effect of your feed, make sure you’re placing the pot in indirect sunlight. The soil must be well-drained. You must feed your plants before the blooming season. This way, your plant will have a generous bloom just before Christmas time.
When the plant stops growing in the summer season, you should go easy on the feeding schedule. You should always consider the current health of the plant before feeding it. All in all, the feeding schedule is a crucial aspect of keeping the Christmas cactus up and alive.
What Nutrients Does A Christmas Cactus Require?
The Christmas cactus has different requirements than regular succulents. Apart from a good amount of sunlight, you should make sure that your plant is getting optimal nutrients. Like all houseplants, the Christmas cactus needs the right mix of nutrients to bloom and flower. The Christmas cacti can’t get all the nutrients from the soil.
The Christmas cacti will break apart and break down when it lacks the right type of nutrients. The cactus requires a fair amount of magnesium to satisfy its requirements. To provide the necessary dose of magnesium, you can mix Epsom salt with water.
For a healthy and nutritious plant, you have to ensure an adequate supply of nutrients. Try nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous with your Christmas cacti. Most of the plant owners use this mix for feeding their houseplant. You can use several fertilizers that are readily available in the market to satisfy your plant’s nutritional needs.
Along with the right portion of nutrients, indirect sunlight, and adequate watering, your plant will bloom beautifully. You can try an organic source of nutrients for naturally boosting the growth of your plant. You must not ensure that your plant is neither be lacking in nutritious nor overnourished.
Fertilizing Your Holiday Plant The Right Way
Are you worried that you are going to harm your plant by using the wrong formula or schedule? In this article, you can learn to use the best fertilizers for Christmas cactus. You may be having a lot of questions as to how and when to fertilize your plant. Thankfully, we’ve covered everything from all the how’s and when’s of using fertilizer.
A Christmas cactus produces lovely flowers and trailing jointed stems. Most of the holiday cactus is easy to care for and maintain. All they need is light, moisture, well-drained soil, and not to forget a nutritious fertilizer.
When to fertilize the Christmas cactus? The fertilizing generally takes place from April to October. This will ensure your plant is tip-top and doing well. Fertilizing your Christmas cactus during the summer and spring months induces healthy growth.
How to fertilize a Christmas cactus? Having the best fertilizers for Christmas cactus is not enough. You need to follow the right techniques to ensure that the plant reaps maximum benefits out of the fertilizer. We had earlier discussed that you could mix Epsom salt with water to enhance the plant’s growth.
How often should the plants be fertilized? Generally, a houseplant like Christmas cactus should be fertilized at least 2-4 times throughout the year. You should stop giving the fertilizer one month before the flower buds pop up.
The Best Type Of Fertilizers For A Christmas Cactus
All plant-owners want the best fertilizers for their little green plants. Throughout the year, the best kind of fertilizer to use for Christmas cactus is an equal blend of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. You should use a good combination of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous (NPK) that is water-soluble.
The best fertilizers for Christmas cactus will have a 20-20-20 blend. These fertilizers will improve and strengthen the quality of the roots and leaves of the plant. When you are not using fertilizer, then you can use the Epsom salt and water combination for your plant. In the next part of this article, you can have a look at some of the best fertilizers for Christmas cactus.
A Look At The Top Fertilizers For Christmas Cactus
There’s a lot there that you can put on your Christmas cactus pot. Finding a perfect fertilizer is as tricky as finding a good houseplant. There are an array of fertilizing products that have flooded the market. We’ve found some of the best fertilizers for Christmas cactus. Check these products and get one for your plant today!
Being a plat owner is not an easy task. You need to keep track of the amount of water, light, and also the feed. This Easy Peasy Succulent Plant food is all set to make your planting experience easier. This succulent plant food bottle promises to last longer than other co-existing products.
The fertilizer has an ideal ratio that is not harsh on your plant. You can use this product by mixing half a teaspoon to two cups of water. This solution is derived from potassium hydroxide, thiosulfate, phosphoric acid, ammonium thiosulfate.
You can also find 4.7% urea nitrogen in the bottle. The ratios of the fertilizers have been constituted carefully to promote green plant tissue root development. The product is relatively easy to use.
- The directions are easy to understand
- It is safe for your Christmas cactus.
- It has a 6-5-4 NPK ratio.
- The results are a bit slow.
- The instruction label is not detailed.
Are you looking for organic sources of nutrients for your Christmas cactus? Look no further because this is one of the best fertilizers for Christmas cactus. The bottle is available in two sizes, so you can buy according to your requirements and the number of plants you have.
This organic product has all the powerful nutrients your Christmas cactus requires. The directions for use are stated behind the bottle on the labeling. You can also find the dosage other storing instructions on the label too.
Talking about the product, you can feed it to your plant by mixing it with water. Though the packaging is lacking, the product can work wonders on your cactus. If there’s something that you are going to dislike, well, that’s the odor.
- It has all major nutrients for Christmas cactus.
- The bottle is available in two sizes.
- This is an organic option.
- The odor of the fertilizer is unpleasant.
- The packaging of this product is unsatisfactory.
Spikes are a great way to add fertilizers to your Christmas cactus. The Jobe’s fertilizer spikes are amongst the best fertilizers for Christmas cactus. You must read the direction carefully before applying the product. What’s more, the product is safe for adults and pet-friendly.
You can refer to the back of the packaging box for determining the number of spikes you are going to need. The 100% natural ingredients used in this product promotes a high yield while keeping the odor at bay. It’s perfect for indoor gardening purposes. Moreover, you can use these spikes on a variety of plants.
- The spikes are easy to insert.
- It is a pet-friendly solution
- It has no foul odor
- The dogs can easily dig and take out the spikes.
- It is a tad pricier.
Aquatic Arts is another great brand for buying fertilizers for houseplants. If you are gardening for the first time, you will find this product to be extremely user-friendly. Their fertilizers encourage the Christmas cactus to flower and bloom. The 3-1-2 NPK is a well-constituted formula for succulents.
You simply have to mix one teaspoon of these fertilizers with two whole cups of water. Since this fertilizer is gentle on your plants, you don’t have to worry about burns or overfertilization. The 8 oz bottle lasts from six months to a whole year. After a couple of weeks, you are going to see beautiful growths.
- The formula is natural and does not burn the plant.
- The bottle is long-lasting.
- You can use it on all types of succulents.
- The bottles need better packaging.
- The effect of this fertilizer is very mild.
This list of best fertilizers for Christmas cactus will be incomplete without the Cute Farms Fertilizer. The Cute Farms Fertilizer is available in bottles of multiple sizes. You can pick up a mini bottle and test it out on your plants. This is an excellent product for plant-owners who are searching for a monthly use fertilizer.
The pump bottle makes it easier to reach out the corners of the Christmas cactus. This fertilizer has a formula of 0.00.02-0.02 NPK. Due to its concentration, you can feed it to your plants every month. This fertilizer can help your Christmas cactus to stay lively and look colorful.
- This Christmas cactus fertilizer comes in different bottle sizes.
- The pumping bottle is easy to use.
- You can use it on aloe, cacti, and succulents.
- The fertilizer isn’t impactful enough.
- The amount of fertilizer is too less for the price.
This Miracle-Go Succulent Plant food really does a miracle to your Christmas cacti. This fertilizer can be used for jade, cacti, aloe, and almost all types of succulents. You can apply it directly or mix it with water. The manufacturers suggest using these fertilizers every two weeks for the best results.
The fertilizer comes out in the form of foam. You can use two pumps for smaller pots and five pumps for bigger containers. However, you must be patient with the Miracle-Go as its progress is slower than other fertilizers. You will like how the manufacturer has packed the product to prevent leaks and spills.
- It is relatively, very low-priced.
- You can mix it with water or apply directly to the soil.
- The packaging is satisfactory.
- The progress of the plants is slow-paced.
- The quantity could have been better.
Your Christmas cactus will be no less than perfect with this Perfect Plants Succulent Fertilizer. The slow-release formula is surprisingly great for your Christmas cactus. The best part is that you can use these pellets on many plants and not just Christmas cacti. It’s best if your feed your plant with the Perfect Plants Fertilizer every six months.
The easy application process is something most of the plant-owners will appreciate. This fertilizer also increases the petal size of the plants and enhances color saturation. These pellets have a 13-11-11 formula that is well-balanced for overly-sensitive plants. Overall, the formula can be a bit harsh on the plant, so it’s best if you feed only a little at a time.
- The pellets can be used on a variety of plants.
- It enhances the moisture retention capabilities of the plant.
- The product is easy to use.
- The concentration in the fertilizer is a bit harsh.
- The product comes with no instructions.
1. How to spot an overwatered Christmas cactus?
Though the Christmas cactus is a long-living plant, certain activities can impact its life. An overwatered Christmas cactus can die of root rot. An Overwatered Christmas succulent will show some typical symptoms of distress. If the leaves are looking limp, this means that the plant is heavily overwatered.
In severe overwatered scenarios, you may also find an off odor lingering around the plant. The stem of the Christmas plant will also look rotten. However, there are still some ways by which you can revive your plant that is struggling with overwatering. This is a classic Holiday cactus problem that has an easy fix.
2. Why does my Christmas cactus look limp?
There can be several factors why your beloved and bright cactus is no more lively. If you are under-watering your cactus, the leaves are more likely to droop and limp. To fix these limping issues, you must make sure that the plant receives an ideal amount of water.
You can also avoid limps by ensuring an ideal spot for your Christmas cactus. Misting some water on the leaves with the help of a spray bottle is also a great trick. You should also avoid overwatering the plant, as it can make your cactus look limp.
3. Should I keep my dog away from the Christmas cactus?
It is a common misconception that Christmas cactus and dogs do not go along well. The good news for dog parents is, your dog is not likely to face irritation or sickness around a Christmas cactus. However, dogs are naughty creatures, and hence you should not allow them to ingest the leaves or any other part.
4. Can a broken piece of the cactus be used for replanting?
The Christmas cactus can be replanted using a cutting or a broken piece. The plant is relatively easy to propagate. You have to take a piece from one to four segments and let them be in a dry place for up to four days.
You cant replant using an inch deep cutting. Use a mix of peat and sand in the soil for replanting purposes. You have to water cautiously until the piece starts to develop. You will be surprised how a small cutting can turn into beautiful bright cactus.
5. How much sun does a Christmas cactus require?
The cactus does not need direct sunlight. The best living conditions for a Christmas cactus is a place with indirect sunlight. If you keep the cactus in the sun out for too long, the leaves can burn. Moreover, this houseplant needs more darkness than sunlight. The amount of sun would also depend upon the season.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you already own a Christmas cactus or expecting one this holiday season, you no longer have to be afraid of maintaining it. Your cactus will have a lovely bloom with proper feeding and water schedule and the best fertilizers for Christmas cactus. The fertilizers we’ve listed are some of the best-rated products in the market.
These beautiful plants from the coasts of Brazil make a great Christmas decoration, all natural and lively! You also should watch out for bugs and insect infestation. Other than that, this cactus is one of the most straightforward varieties of plants. Make this Christmas more wonderful by gifting your loved ones a unique Christmas cactus.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.