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A robust Christmas cactus in full bloom makes a wonderful present or decoration, despite the fact that poinsettias continue to be the most widely used holiday plant. Christmas cacti may be cultivated year-round indoors and require little maintenance. The flowers come in a variety of hues, including combinations of yellow, salmon, pink, fuchsia, and white.
A Christmas cactus should be placed in a sunny area of the house when it is moved to its permanent location. The best light comes from a window facing north or east. If you wish to grow it inside, shade the plant with thin curtains in a south or west window.
The leaves of the Christmas cactus, a succulent plant, can hold a respectable amount of water. It is not, however, as drought-tolerant as you might imagine. When you can feel the top half of the growth mix feeling dry to the touch, water well. The amount of time between watering depends on the relative humidity, air temperature, amount of light, rate of development, and temperature of the soil.
For the Christmas cactus, humidity is crucial. Put the container on a pebble tray. To improve the humidity around the plant, keep water in the tray. Maintain the plant in this manner until it has finished blooming.
After blossoming is finished, give the plant six weeks without water to rest. Resuming watering after that will keep the soil relatively moist while allowing the top to dry off. Transfer the plant to a new container as necessary as springtime tender growth emerges, or top-dress with new growing medium. For Christmas cactus, potting soil that drains well is essential. For succulent plants, use potting soil that has been professionally packed. Every two to three years, or whenever the container is full of roots, plants need to be replanted. Any time of year is a good opportunity to repot plants that seem unwell. Every two to three weeks, use a liquid houseplant fertilizer at half the recommended rate as a follow-up.
In the summer, Christmas cacti can be put outside, but they need to be tended in a partially to completely shaded area. The leaves can burn in direct sunlight. For the summer, some gardeners relocate their plants to a porch or patio with shade. After the growing mix dries on top in the summer, water it to keep it moist.
After making sure no insects are accompanying the plant, bring it indoors when fall arrives in September. Most insects that attempt to board are usually driven off by a stream of water sprayed in their direction. Like before it went on vacation outside, put the Christmas cactus in a sunny spot. High light intensity is essential for the development of flowers.
Water simply enough during fall maintenance to keep plants from withering. Before watering, let the top half of the potting mix dry out. The pebble tray with water for humidity should not be forgotten. Don’t water the plant in October unless it starts to wilt. In November, you can slowly start watering again. Branches droop and snap when they are overwatered. When the growing mix’s top dries off, add water.
Although the Christmas cactus is simple to grow, some claim that it can be challenging to get it to bloom once more. Cool temperatures are necessary for flowering even though warm temperatures are beneficial throughout the growing season. Keep the plant somewhere where the temperature is between 60 and 65 degrees starting in October. Keep Christmas cactus away from fireplaces, heat vents, and other heat sources. Flower buds will grow if temperatures stay in this range for a period of six weeks.
If you are unable to maintain temperatures in this range, you must provide the plant with 13 hours of continuous darkness every night to trigger flowering, which should begin around the first of October. Every night, put the Christmas cactus in a room that is entirely dark, or cover it with a box or dark piece of clothing.
Stop fertilizing and only water enough to keep the leaves from drooping throughout the period of flower bud production, which begins in October. Water the growth mix when the top half becomes dry to achieve this.
Once the Christmas cactus develops buds, nurture it in a room with typical indoor temperatures and medium to high light. Water the plant to keep it evenly moist when the growing medium’s top dries out. Give your Christmas cactus a half rate of liquid houseplant fertilizer every other week. In the new year, good luck with your interior and outdoor horticultural projects, including your Christmas cactus.
Is it possible to bury a Christmas cactus?
The answer is true, but as Christmas cactus is unquestionably not cold hardy, you can only grow the plant outdoors year round if you reside in a warm environment. Christmas cactus can only be grown outdoors in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 and up.
When may I place my outside Christmas cactus?
Yes, you may put Christmas cactus plants outside in the summer. The leaves can be burned by direct sunshine, therefore it’s better to maintain it in a fully to somewhat covered area.
During the hot summer months, a covered porch or patio is an excellent place to keep them. Bring the plants back inside and place them in an area with indirect light as the weather begins to chill down in the fall.
Can a cactus be left outside in the winter?
The resilient cactus are easily able to live in locations with a lot of snow cover. Cacti can get burnt or frostbitten in locations with strong winds, sun, and little snow. As late in the growing season as feasible, carefully wrap the plants in burlap to prevent damage.
For a Christmas cactus, how cold is too cold?
The holiday cacti thrive in their natural home among the tall tree branches, living in crevices filled with rainfall and decomposing organic materials. Christmas cactus care for outdoors is rather easy if you move your plant outside for the summer. Keep it shaded and water it when the soil’s surface feels dry. It has either had too much sun or not enough water if the leaf segments turn crimson. It could be deficient in phosphorus in some circumstances.
Bring your cactus indoors as October approaches and the weather begins to cool off. They can withstand brief durations of below-zero temperatures, but not freezing conditions.
The cactus are all short-day vegetation. To generate blossoms, they require 14 hours each day of uninterrupted darkness. Put the Christmas cactus on this light/dark cycle on October 1, the Easter cactus on January 1, and the Thanksgiving cactus on September 1. You can bring the cacti back into regular light after flower buds start to emerge, which should take four to eight weeks.
Temperatures play a role on the cacti’s ability to bloom. The cactus will also bloom if kept at 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 60 to 70 degrees during the day if you’re unable to maintain complete darkness for 14 hours each day. Avoid placing the plant near heater vents and in direct sunlight, since these factors might cause the buds to dry out and fall off.
Do I need to move my cactus outside?
In the summer, a cactus may survive in a warm, sunny location, even outside on a patio or balcony. However, the location should be cooler and lighter in the winter.
Does a cactus flower?
All cacti are flowering plants, although some have more noticeable flowers than others, and some, like Mammillaria, Gymnocalycium, and Parodia, produce magnificent, colorful displays when they flower.
How do you get a cactus to flower?
Cacti only flower on new growth, thus it’s quite improbable that your plant will bloom if it remains dormant year after year. Get the plant to follow its natural growth cycle is what you should do. It must hibernate during the winter and reawaken in the spring. Put it somewhere dry, cool, but not dark, and cease watering completely throughout the winter. Give it as much sunshine as you can in the spring and start watering it.
So how often should you water a cactus?
Giving more water in the spring and summer and less in the winter is recommended. Remind yourself not to overwater. Before watering the plant once more, it is preferable to let the soil dry out a little.
And what are the best varieties for beginners?
Gymnocalycium, or the moon cactus, has highly colorful tops that are typically red or yellow. The color is present all year long because these are not flowers. The polka dot or bunny ear cactus (Opuntia) has golden bristle dots against a green background, giving it a contemporary, geometric appearance. Furthermore, the spiky Pincushion cactus (Mammillaria) is simple to grow and sports adorable small pink flowers.
Should you grow Christmas cacti inside or outside?
Christmas cactus grows best in direct, bright sunlight. If kept outdoors during the warmer months, place it under a tree or close to a window if indoors.
Despite its name, the Christmas cactus is not a desert plant; rather, it originated in the South American continent’s tropical rain forests. If you live in a dry region, keep a source of humidity handy, such as a shallow tray of water. The plant needs constant watering because it cannot withstand dry soil (done at the base of the plant).
On the other hand, too much water will make the leaves spotty and drop off. Before watering, let the soil’s top layer entirely dry out.
Where should my Christmas cactus be placed?
Holiday cacti may be bought pretty much anywhere that sells plants, from the grocery store to the flower shop, and are incredibly popular gifts during the winter and spring. Holiday cactus are attractive and attract both seasoned and newcomer houseplant aficionados with their succulent foliage and colorful, multicolored blossoms. They frequently pass down from one family to the next and, given adequate care, can live for many years.
Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi), Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata), and Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri) are three separate varieties that are commonly offered at retail outlets depending on the season “All of them are frequently referred to as Christmas cacti. Due of their comparable maintenance requirements, it is simpler to refer to all three as holiday cacti.
Despite “Holiday cacti require very different maintenance than their desert-dwelling siblings because it’s in their name. Holiday cactus are epiphytes that naturally grow in the shaded limbs of trees in Brazil’s tropical rainforests. Epiphytes are plants that grow on other plants rather than in the ground and obtain their nutrients and moisture from the rain and the atmosphere.
As a result, unlike other cacti, holiday cactus are less tolerant to prolonged drought. Once the potting soil seems dry to the touch, they should be watered, allowing extra water to freely drain from the bottom of the container. Do not allow plants to sit in standing water as this can cause the soil to become flooded. Root rot can develop as a result of ongoing exposure to excessively moist soil, particularly during the winter.
Holiday cacti’s watering requirements vary depending on a variety of elements, including the type of potting soil used, the size of the container, the amount of sunlight the plant receives, and the temperature outside. Making ensuring the plant is in the proper area and only watering when the soil mixture is dry are the keys to maintaining a healthy plant.
Holiday cacti thrive in partial shade, such as an east or west facing window, with temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Lack of light can limit growth and make the soil mix dry too slowly, while too much harsh sunlight, especially in the summer, can burn the foliage. When in doubt, it is better to water your plants too much than too little.
When do I put my cactus outside to grow?
Do you secretly yearn to live in the desert? Plant a cactus to begin your path toward your dream. In regions where they can withstand freezing temperatures, these low-maintenance plants make beautiful landscape plants as well as ideal houseplants. You did read that correctly, There are a ton of cold-tolerant cactus species! For instance, prickly pear cacti may survive rather far north. Giving a cactus what it wants in terms of light, soil, water, and food can ensure its success in any location.
Where to Grow a Cactus
Cactus plants come in a wide variety, some of which even grow in trees! However, the majority of individuals either grow theirs inside as houseplants or outdoors in the landscape. Always read the plant tags for precise information, but in general, cacti want full light and soil that drains quickly. This calls for growing close to a window that faces south or west indoors.
When the nighttime temperature is at least 65 degrees F throughout the summer, you can bring indoor cactus plants outside. Move them to an area with more sun after they have spent some time outside in a protected area getting accustomed to it. If you intend to transport plants between indoors and outdoors, morning sun is optimal.
When to Plant a Cactus
Try to put a cactus outside in the late spring or early summer while the plants are actively growing. They’ll start off more smoothly and swiftly put down roots.
How to Plant a Cactus Outside
1. Most cactus plants require light, permeable soil. Mix native soil and Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Cactus, Palm & Citrus in equal parts to prepare the soil in the planting location. The cactus is protected by Moisture Control technology against both over- and under-watering, both of which can be problematic.
2. Create a hole that is 11/2 times as big and as deep as the stem or root ball of the plant (some transplanted cacti don’t have large root balls).
3. Position the plant in the hole so that its north side faces that direction. If there isn’t a flag or chalk marking this side, make sure to inquire before you leave the garden center. Here’s why it’s significant: The more sun-exposed south side of the plant typically produces tougher skin that is more resistant to sunburn. On the other hand, the north side might not be able to withstand the sun as well.
4. Add more soil mixture to the area around the root ball and gently pat it down.
5. Lightly water.
6. To acclimate a cactus to the intense outdoor sun before planting one that was produced in an outdoor greenhouse, cover it with a little amount of shade cloth for a few weeks.
How to Plant a Cactus Indoors
1. Choose a container that is 112 times as broad as the stem or root ball of the cactus. You might want to use an unglazed container because it will dry out more rapidly if your environment is humid or you have a tendency to water plants excessively.
2. Add fast-draining to the pot until it is 1/3 full. The perfect nutrients are included in Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix to give your cactus a head start.
3. Set the cactus in the pot with the stem or root ball at the same depth as it was before being moved. To protect your hands, put on gloves or cover them with many layers of newspaper.
4. Fill in the area around the rootball, leaving a space of about an inch between the soil’s top and the container’s rim.
5. Lightly water the soil until it resembles a wrung-out sponge.
How to Water a Cactus
It may come as no surprise to find that under-watering is the second most prevalent reason for cactus plant deaths, even though over-watering is the most common cause. Finding the sweet spot can be challenging because it differs in the summer when plants are actively developing from the winter when they are more passive. A decent rule of thumb is to water your cactus when the top 3 inches of soil are dry if you’re growing it indoors. This might imply a few times every week during the summer and just once every four to six weeks throughout the winter. Watch out for your plants: They likely need water if they start to appear a little wilted. However, unless there hasn’t been any rain in your region for several months, you shouldn’t need to water your cactus at all outside.
How to Feed a Cactus
Cacti may not require a lot of water, but they do require food. If you used Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Cactus, Palm & Citrus to prepare the soil before planting your cactus outdoors, you should begin feeding it Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food a month after planting. This will provide your prickly baby quick nutrients. Meals should start for potted cactus plants approximately a month after planting. Apply Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food directly to the soil, then water as usual to feed your succulent plants. Make sure you read the instructions before using any type of plant food.
How to Prune a Cactus
Put simply, don’t! If you do, all you’ll get is a cut-site area of corky, dried-out scar tissue. The best course of action if your cactus outgrows your living space is to give it to a friend who has more room and get a new, smaller specimen for yourself.
Dealing with Cactus Problems
If you don’t submerge your cactus, it should continue to thrive with little trouble. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to prevent rot problems caused by overwatering besides starting over.