How to plant, propagate and repot Christmas Cactus during this holiday season
Propagating Christmas cactus is easy. In fact, when it comes to the Christmas cactus, propagating is a great way to share this wonderful plant with others. Propagating Christmas cactus begins by simply taking a short, Y-shaped cutting from the stem tip. The cutting should consist of at least two or three joined segments. When doing Christmas cactus propagating, always be sure that cuttings are taken from healthy foliage. Allow the cutting to dry a few hours before potting it up for rooting, as to avoid potential stem rot from excessive moisture.
Rooting Christmas cactus cuttings is simple. Once you’ve taken your cutting, place the segment in a moist peat and sand soil mix. Insert the segment about a quarter of its length below the soil surface. Place the pot in a well-lit area, avoiding direct sunlight.
Water the cutting sparingly at first to prevent rotting. After about two or three weeks of rooting Christmas cactus cutting, the cutting should start showing signs of growth at the tips of its leaves, which is usually reddish in color.
Once your cutting has rooted, it can be transplanted into a pot with loose potting soil, preferably with a little sand or compost added. The cutting may wilt some in the beginning, but this is normal and will eventually subside once the plant has taken to its new environment. The Christmas cactus may be watered more frequently, fertilized and given additional light at this time. Christmas cactus propagating doesn’t get any easier than this.
Apply a mild houseplant fertilizer every other week. Water and fertilize regularly in spring and summer; however, during the winter months, this plant should be kept on the dry side, withholding water for six weeks.
Growing and propagating Christmas cactus can be very fun and rewarding, especially when you gift them to your friends and family during the holidays.
How And When To Repot Christmas Cactus Plants
Christmas cactus is a jungle cactus that prefers humidity and moisture, unlike its standard cactus cousins, which require a warm, arid climate. A winter-bloomer, Christmas cactus displays flowers in shades of red, lavender, rose, purple, white, peach, cream and orange, depending on the variety. These prolific growers eventually need to be repotted. Repotting Christmas cactus isn’t complicated, but the key is knowing when and how to repot a Christmas cactus.
Most plants are best repotted when they display new growth in spring, but Christmas cactus repotting should be done after blooming ends and the flowers have wilted in late winter or early spring. Never attempt to repot the plant while it is actively blooming.
Don’t rush to repot Christmas cactus because this hardy succulent is happiest when its roots are slightly crowded. Frequent repotting can damage the plant.
Repotting Christmas cactus every three to four years is usually adequate, but you may prefer to wait until the plant begins to look tired or you notice a few roots growing through the drainage hole. Often, a plant can bloom happily in the same pot for years.
1) Take your time because repotting a Christmas cactus can be tricky. A lightweight, well-drained potting mixture is critical, so look for a commercial mix for bromeliads or succulents. You can also use a mixture of two-thirds regular potting soil and one-third sand.
2) Repot Christmas cactus into a pot only slightly larger than the current container. Be sure the container has a drainage hole in the bottom. Although Christmas cactus likes moisture, it will soon rot if the roots are deprived of air.
3) Remove the plant from its pot, along with the surrounding soil ball, and then gently loosen the roots. If the potting mix is compacted, water the plant lightly to remove the soil around the roots. Don’t overwater because the plant may develop root rot.
4) Replant the Christmas cactus in the new pot so the top of the root ball is about an inch below the rim of the pot. Fill in around the roots with fresh potting mix and pat the soil lightly to remove air pockets.
5) Put the plant in a shady location for two or three days, then resume the plant’s normal care routine.
Christmas Cactus Grow, Care and Bloom
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Propagating Christmas Cactus
Rooting Christmas Cactus
Growing Christmas Cactus
When to Repot Christmas Cactus
Simple Five Steps to Repot a Christmas Cactus
The following are five steps to repot Christmas cactus successfully
While Christmas cactus can adapt to and be grown in low light, the plant will produce more blooms with brighter light conditions. However, stay away from direct sunlight, which may burn the leaves. Don’t allow this plant to dry out completely between watering intervals. Christmas cactus also enjoys average to high humidity with temperatures hovering between 60-70 F. (16-21 C.)
Placing the pot on a tray of pebbles and water can add more humidity to drier surroundings. Watering should be done frequently and thoroughly, keeping the soil moist but not saturated. Make sure there is adequate drainage provided to prevent the Christmas cactus from rotting.