Are you wishing to add a new plant to your garden or perhaps your home? Then you may want to consider a Christmas cactus. But before getting yourself one, or if maybe you already have one, you should be aware of the care and attention your plant requires, which includes, of course, among other things, knowing how often do you water a Christmas cactus.
The Christmas cactus it’s a blooming succulent that is easy to care for and offers gorgeous blooms making it a very popular houseplant. When they bloom, they produce colorful, tubular flowers in pink or lilac colors, suitable for any plant lover who loves to add a touch of nature to their house decor.
Whether you are a new or an old Christmas cactus owner, you need to make sure you provide the specific care your plant needs. If you have not had success with a Christmas cactus, knowing when and how you should water them may be the reason. Keep reading and learn about how often do you a Christmas cactus.
Christmas Cactus Origin
Unlike other cacti, the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) and its relatives don’t live in hot, arid environments such as deserts or plains. These epiphytic succulents are native to the tropical rainforests of southern Brazil, where they grow on tree branches and soak up the high humidity, dappled sunlight, and warm temperatures.
How Often Do You Water A Christmas Cactus FAQ’s
How long do Christmas cactus live?
When properly tended, they can live up to 100 years. That’s right! This plant can survive for decades, adding color to your holidays for generations.
How do you take care of a Christmas cactus indoors?
Maintain an optimal climate of 65 degrees. Keep the soil evenly moist while your plant is blooming, misting it frequently. Place the cactus in an east-facing window for moderate light and some direct sun. Apply a high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks once buds form.
Does Christmas cactus need a lot of Sun?
They prefer bright, indirect light. Full sun can cause the leaf segments to turn dark red as the plants begin to burn. Avoid placing the plant where it receives either cold or hot air drafts. Putting the Christmas cactus on the window sill in a cool room and not turning on the lights is all that’s needed.
How can you tell if a Christmas cactus is overwatered?
Although sagging, limp foliage and stems that are mushy toward the bottom are strong indicators of overwatering and root rot, the only way to determine for sure is if a Christmas cactus is suffering from overwatering and root rot is to look at the roots of the plant.
In general, water a Christmas cactus when the top inch or 2 of soil is dry. To help increase the humidity around your plant, fill the pot saucer with pebbles and add water to just below the tops of the pebbles (the pot shouldn’t be sitting directly in water). The air will become more humid as the water evaporates.
Should I mist my Christmas cactus?
Instead of watering it like you would a traditional plant, you should be misting your cactus every day. A few squirts from a spray bottle are all you need to keep your cactus happy. The only time you should be watering the base of the plant is when its soil is completely dry to the touch.
How long can a Christmas cactus go without water?
Christmas cactus is also somewhat more drought tolerant than most houseplants and can go two weeks without watering as long as it is not in an air current or if the air isn’t too dry.
Do Christmas cactus-like bathrooms?
After blooming ceases, move them inside under a bathroom skylight where they love the shower steam. Water often keeps “soil” evenly moist, but make sure drainage is free and easy. Avoid water accumulations in a saucer or cachepot.
How many times a year does a Christmas cactus bloom?
Unlike many other succulents, the Christmas cactus can bloom again in spring if given the short day’s condition. They can live for decades when properly cared for, often being handed down from one generation to the next.
What are the types of Christmas cactus?
Three distinct types are typically available at retail stores depending on the season:
Three distinct types are typically available at retail stores depending on the season: Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi), Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncate), and Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri), though the name “Christmas cactus” is often used to describe all of them.
How to grow a Christmas cactus?
- Soil: Use quality soil rich in humus and other nutrients.
- Temperature: Maintain an optimal climate of 65 degrees.
- Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist while your plant is blooming, misting it frequently.
- Light: Place the cactus in an east-facing window for moderate light and some direct sun.
- Fertilization: Apply a high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks once buds form.
- Transplantation: Repot your cactus each year after flowering.
How to care for Christmas cactus?
- Plan to water every 2-3 weeks, but only water when the top one-third of soil feels dry to the touch. For example, if the plant is in 6 inches of soil, the water feels dry when the top 2 inches. (Use your finger to check!)
- When the soil is sufficiently dry, soak the soil until water runs through the pot’s drainage holes. Place a tray underneath the pot to catch the water. After 10-15 minutes, discard any excess water in the tray so that the pot doesn’t sit in water.
- It’s especially important to water well while the plant is flowering.
- Feed every two weeks with a balanced houseplant fertilizer from spring through early fall. Feed the cactus monthly to encourage successful blooming during the fall and winter.
- Prune plants in late spring to encourage branching and more flowers. Cut off a few sections of each stem; the plant will branch from the wound.
Christmas Cactus Care Tools
The Christmas cactus is native to the South American jungles. The flowers bloom once a year and come in shades of fuchsia, yellow, salmon, pink, white, orange, red, and sometimes will even have a combination of the colors.
The Christmas cacti are tropical plants. They require sunlight, and the blooms last longer with cooler temperatures. Keep them away from heaters, fireplaces, radiators, furnace ducts, and other heat sources.
Place in a sunny location while indoors, and if outdoors during the summer, find a place with a sun/shade mix to prevent the plant from getting burned. The best way to ensure your plant is getting just the right amount of water is to wait until the soil is dry on the top and still a bit moist toward the bottom.
- Full Sun
- Summer, Spring
- Sandy Soil
Hoffman Cactus and Succulent Mix are professionally formulated to provide needed drainage allowing cacti to flourish while encouraging maximum bloom and root development.
The ready-to-use mix is pH balanced and ideal for jungle and desert cacti use. Available in a four-quart size with complete package directions providing useful growing information included.
Professionally formulated for use with both jungle and desert cacti. Provides the drainage cacti need to flourish; ready to use; pH balanced.
- pH balanced
This potash bag is an enriched source of potassium. Promotes plant vigor and disease resistance in all flowering plants, shrubs, trees, and vegetables. Analysis 0-0-60. Comes in a 6-pound bag.
Use any time in the growing season. Spring application is best. Never apply fertilizer to frozen ground. Be certain to follow all local laws regarding fertilizer application.
- Source of Potassium
- Easy application
- Promotes plant vigor
Premium stainless steel construction, ensuring quality and longevity. This small watering can last for years and is not easy to rust.
Brushed finish resists daily scratches, corrosion, and tarnishing.
The long spout fits easily into bushy or prickly pots, which is handy. Perfect for small pots and succulents which need precision watering.
- Stainless Steel
- 11 Oz.
How to encourage more blooming?
House the plants in an environment with a temperature between 55 and 65 degrees, and alternate between giving them 10 hours of light and 14 hours of total darkness for four to six weeks after the growth appears. When buds appear, introduce the plant to warmer temperatures and begin regular care. Plants should bloom in about six weeks.
How Often Do You Water A Christmas Cactus
- Because of this, holiday cacti do not tolerate extreme drought like other cacti. They should be watered once the potting soil is dry to the touch, allowing excess water to drain freely from the bottom of the container.
- Do not let the soil become waterlogged by letting plants sit in standing water. Prolonged exposure to overly wet soil can lead to root rot, especially in the winter months.
- How often holiday cacti need to be watered depends on a number of factors such as what the potting soil is made of, how big the container is, how much sunlight the plant receives, and how warm the ambient temperature is.
- The key to keeping a healthy plant is making sure it is placed in the right location and only watering when the soil mix is dry.
- Holiday cacti grow best when they are placed in a location with partial shade, such as an east or west-facing window, with a temperature between 70° and 80℉.
- Exposure to too much bright sunlight, especially in the summer months, can burn the foliage, and not enough light can slow growth and cause the soil mix to dry too slowly. When in doubt, err on the side of under-watering as opposed to over-watering.
- Keep plants cool (around 50 degrees) following their blooming period. Water them to keep the soil just barely moist, and be sure to withhold fertilizer.
Additional Tips on How Often do you water a Christmas Cactus
- Don’t treat a Christmas cactus like it’s an ordinary cactus or succulent. They can’t take the same sort of sunny, dry conditions that other cacti can.
- It’s important to water these cacti more regularly than most succulents and be cautious of keeping them too wet.
- When the buds of a Christmas cactus look as if they’re about to open, make sure you water the plant regularly and keep it cool.
Christmas cactus are phenomenal; water succulents are also a must-have. Do you know how often do you water succulents?