A Christmas Cactus is a succulent plant from the Brazilian rain forest. It is at home in a jungle, not a desert. Treat your Christmas Cactus right and it will live and bloom for decades. Here are some FAQs to help you treat your Christmas Cactus just right.
Should I repot my Christmas Cactus?
- If your Christmas Cactus came in a small pot, it needs to be transplanted to thrive
- Select a medium pot and fill it with a mix of potting soil and perlite
When do I water my Christmas Cactus?
- During bloom season, water when it is dry to the touch–not sooner
- In spring and summer it likes frequent and thorough watering with good drainage
- Never let your Christmas Cactus sit in water
What kind of light does my Christmas Cactus like?
- Your Christmas Cactus needs bright indirect light
- It will adapt to low light by forming fewer blossoms
How long will my Christmas Cactus bloom, and will it re-bloom?
- A Christmas Cactus blooms for about three weeks, from Christmas to Thanksgiving
- It’s normal for some blooms to fall off
- If your Christmas Cactus is indoors year round, you need to force dormancy for it to re-bloom
- Force dormancy 6 to 8 weeks before you wish it to re-bloom
- Force dormancy by cutting back on moisture, light (12 to 14 hours of darkness) and temperature (around 50°)
- Make sure you keep your Christmas Cactus away from drafts
Can my Christmas Cactus live outside?
- The Christmas Cactus isn’t cold hardy so leave it inside until April 15
- At that point, take it outside, put it in a shady area, and water it weekly until early October (cool nights are required for the bloom cycle)
- You may want to take precautions against squirrels and chipmunks. Common precautions include spraying hot wax on the Christmas Cactus. Hot wax is a product that has a thin coat of wax with hot pepper sauce
- RGC member Nancy Moses keeps her Christmas Cacti on a beautiful rolling rack, which she displays on her patio during the spring, summer, and early fall. When it’s time to force dormancy, Nancy rolls the rack into her garage
Where can I read more about my Christmas Cactus?
- The University of Georgia extension has two brochures to help you treat your Christmas Cactus just right: Care of Holiday Gift Plants and Growing Indoor Plants with Success
Have fun with your Christmas Cactus. We hope it will live long and prosper.