After it has finished blooming, you can prune your Christmas cactus to make it larger and bushier, but never after late spring. Simply pinch off one or more of the parts to trim the plant. If you want to grow more plants from them, replant them in different pots.
How far may a Christmas cactus be cut back?
Pruning a Christmas cactus is arguably one of the simplest pruning tasks because of the unusual stems. Giving the stems of a Christmas cactus a brief twist in the space between two of the segments is all that is required to prune it. You can also cut the segments off your plant with a good knife or pair of scissors if this seems a little harsh.
You can cut down a Christmas cactus by up to one-third of the plant each year if you want to make it smaller. You simply need to remove the last one to two segments of the stems from Christmas cactus plants in order to encourage them to fill out more completely.
The really enjoyable aspect about clipping a Christmas cactus is that you can quickly root the cuttings and offer your friends and family fresh plants.
Where should a Christmas cactus be pruned?
After the Christmas Cactus flowers, it goes through a growth phase where new foliage is produced. Pruning encourages the growth of the plant to move outward rather than upward, which results in a bushier plant.
Use a sharp, sterile pruning knife or clippers
To avoid injuring the delicate plant tissues, the pruning knife you use should be extremely sharp. It should also have been sanitized in either a store-bought solution created specifically for gardening instruments or a home-made solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. Prior to pruning, you should wash your hands properly to help stop the spread of plant diseases.
Prune at the gap between segments
Always cut down your Christmas cactus where the leaf segments meet. Given that these are the plant’s most vulnerable areas, this ought to be simple. Some individuals choose to twist at the segment rather than cut it with a knife to remove foliage, however this method seems to work best on fresher growth.
It’s not a good idea to remove more than one-third of your Christmas cactus’ current leaves. You simply need to cut around an inch if the plant is still young and you just bought it. Each stem should be around the same length in the end.
In addition, pruning is a great time to thoroughly inspect your Christmas cactus for any potential pests or pathogens so you may treat the plant and prevent future harm.
Use cutting for more plants
Never let the clipped plant material sit in the container because as it decomposes, it will attract a number of pests and illnesses.
How can a leggy Christmas cactus be fixed?
The two plants I used for this article’s photographs are between two and 10 years old. Neither is especially large. I’ll use them to illustrate why you should annually prune your Christmas cactus.
Prune a Scraggly Plant to Fill it In
If your Christmas cactus has only legs, you might want to clip it to make it grow more fully rather than longer. In order to achieve this, you will need to pinch back leggy growth in order to urge the plant to grow outward rather than longer.
When the plant is young, it is considerably simpler to accomplish this. When the plant has reached the desired degree of bushiness, you can focus your pruning efforts on general maintenance. While the plant is still young, you can guide it to grow in the direction and area of your choosing.
Prune Your Christmas Cactus to Maintain Its Shape
Your Christmas cactus may be ideal just the way it is. Great, you should cut back on excess growth each year to keep that shape. If you have a problem with space, this is extremely critical. Cut off any lengthier segments that are beginning to feel a little uncomfortable.
Similar to getting a haircut, frequent pruning will result in a strong and healthy plant. Additionally, because the plant can focus its energy on producing buds rather than more energy-intensive new stems, you’ll get more blooms.
Why is Woody my Christmas cactus?
A healthy Christmas cactus that lives to a ripe old age typically has hard, woody stems. This indicates that you have kept your plant healthy enough to develop into an adult.
The following instructions should only be followed once your plant has completed blooming. The optimal season is spring. A good knife or pair of shears is required. Rub some rubbing alcohol on the blade(s) to disinfect them.
Trim back the longer, droopier, overgrown branches first. Older branches are heavy and lengthy and are more likely to break. Look for limp, shriveled, and thin leaves. These are the ones that need to be disconnected. Don’t remove a whole branch unless it is completely worn out. Simply trim the leaf segments back until the leaves appear healthy. Slice through the leaf joints.
Cut each branch back by at least a third and as much as three-quarters of its length if you want to make your cactus smaller. Branches can be removed all the way back to the woody portion, and it will probably start to grow again from there.
You can repot your plant after giving it a trim. Make sure you have a fresh, light-weight potting mix that is well-drained on available, as well as a clean container that is roughly the same size as your old pot and has a drainage hole in the bottom. The ideal product would be a commercial bromeliad or succulent blend. Another option is to use two thirds ordinary potting soil and one third vermiculite.
Move outside because repotting is a messy operation. Remove the plant and its roots from its container carefully by laying down some newspaper or a tarp. If your plant is big and old, this may be an easier said than done process. I like to push up into the roots via the drainage hole after running a knife down the inside of the pot to loosen the plant.
Your old dirt is probably hard and compacted. A hose should be close by so you can gently wash the old soil from the roots. Remove any decaying roots. The Christmas cactus should be placed in the new pot with the top of the roots resting about an inch below the rim. Fill the new pot halfway with fresh soil.
Fill up the spaces surrounding the roots as you add more fresh dirt to the pot. To help the dirt settle and get rid of air pockets, lightly tamp it. Then lightly moisten it. For a few days, put your freshly pruned and replanted plant in a shaded spot. You may definitely leave it outside until fall at this time of year if it’s in a protected area.
What is the lifespan of a Christmas cactus?
During the holidays, the Christmas cactus may be seen everywhere, and with good cause. It’s a blooming succulent that requires little maintenance, produces lovely blooms, and, with the right care, can last up to 100 years! That is correct! This plant may endure for a long time, bringing color to your holidays for many years. For a plant that is as cheap and uncomplicated as the Christmas cactus, that’s a fairly great investment!
Do Christmas cacti require deadheading?
Christmas is typically not a time when desert-dwelling flora are highlighted because the holiday generally honors brisk pine tree forests, chilly temperatures, and snowfall. The Christmas Cactus is an exception, though, as it is indigenous to Brazil’s rainforests. It’s difficult to miss this plant during the season with its long flat stems and beautifully colored flowers. The Christmas Cactus will offer you tons of flowers in pinks, reds, purples, and white while it’s tough to get your other cactus to bloom. Possibly not always the colors of the season, but nonetheless lovely.
Perhaps you saw one at the florist or your neighbor decided to give you a Christmas Cactus as a gift in appreciation for your assistance in setting up the lights (well done!). You’re unsure of what to do with it as it sits in your living room, however it got there. You could be a little confused by the fact that it’s a cactus because they are frequently associated with moodiness around water. But unlike its relatives, this cactus is not terrified of water and has very few sharp parts, so it won’t bite. Discover how to take care of your Christmas cactus by reading on.
No life jacket requiredWatering your Christmas Cactus
The Christmas Cactus adores the water, contrary to what you might be used to (swimming, water polo, and perhaps even a little skinny dipping!) It prefers to have regular waterings that thoroughly wet the soil. Despite the fact that you should let the soil dry up a little bit in between your planned waterings, you should never let it become fully dry. This may impede the growth of your plant and lead it to lose all of the carefully tended flowers!
Warm hugsDon’t give your cacti the cold shoulder
The ideal temperature range for your Christmas Cactus should be between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius, despite the fact that hugging cacti is generally not advised. Like any warm-blooded plant, try to keep it away from drafts and vents. For these guys, a constant temperature is optimal. Although bright light is preferred, excessive amounts of direct sunlight can burn the stems.
A life after ChristmasWhat to do with your Christmas Cactus after the season
Deadhead all the wasted blooms to keep your cacti looking their best during and after the Christmas season. Additionally, this stimulates the plant to keep on blooming. You can continue to enjoy your cacti after Christmas until it eventually stops blooming. But once it does, don’t get rid of it! Whether or not they bloom, these cacti make stunning houseplants. And chances are it will blossom for you once more the next year, and occasionally even in the midst of the year. (Bonus!)
You can prune it at the start of the summer by cutting back a few of the stems’ lankier portions. Similar to getting a haircut, this fosters further growth and allows it to blossom once more.
Whether or not it is the holiday season, your Christmas Cactus will stand out from the rest of your houseplants thanks to its tall stalks and vivid blossoms! Enjoy its distinctive design in your house.
Why are my Christmas cactus’ limp leaves?
A Christmas cactus’ wilted or limp leaves can be brought on by a variety of factors, including as excessive or insufficient watering and too much exposure to the sun. Their ideal environment includes some shade, enough humidity, warmth, and moderate watering.
Give your plant a drink as soon as you can if underwatering is the reason for the limp leaves. Christmas cactus plants are prone to root rot, which is a key contributor to their limp leaves and is frequently brought on by overwatering.
Continue reading to find out how to repair a frequent problem that causes limp leaves and a lack of flowers in Christmas cacti.
How often does a Christmas cactus bloom each year?
Whichever one you have, it’s possible for them to bloom more than once a year. For Your Reference, Here Are A Few Of Our General Houseplant Guides: Watering Indoor Plants: A Guide.
Are Christmas cactus fans of root binding?
Do Christmas cacti enjoy being rootbound? I was told not to repot it because it is currently healthy. D. Forrest
SUMMARY: Christmas cactus tolerates dense root systems well, so your friend isn’t entirely mistaken. Although Christmas cacti can still thrive after becoming rootbound, you should still repot your holiday plants every four years, expanding the container size by two inches each time.
Repotting a Christmas cactus can be difficult since, if the plant becomes rootbound, doing so might easily cause damage to the plant. Breaking the pot is the quickest way to remove it without harming the plant. It’s not a major loss because clay pots are inexpensive, and it’s much simpler to rehome your cactus without harming it.
If you notice your planter’s soil getting harder over time, observe roots poking out of the drainage hole or holes, or notice that the stems of your Christmas cactus are beginning to turn yellow or brown, your cactus may be root-bound (the latter symptom is also sometimes a sign of overwatering, not overcrowding). If you see these symptoms, you can leave your plant in its overcrowded container for a few more weeks or even months because it actually prefers the crowding. But ultimately, you’ll want to repot your cactus to give it more space and, in the process, provide it with newer, healthy soil.
To speed up water drainage, use potting soil designed specifically for cactuses and succulents. Fill the new, larger replacement planter with enough fresh soil so that the top of the root ball will rest about an inch below the rim. Remove a significant amount of the old soil from the roots and root ball by gently brushing off the root ball. To remove the majority of the oil soil from the roots and root ball, you can choose to wet or rinse them with water.
Then, carefully fill the space surrounding the root ball with the new, fresh potting soil that was designed for desert plants after placing your cactus in its new pot. While repotting, take out any stems that have yellowed or dried out. When the new dirt is securely planted, water your Christmas cactus thoroughly and choose a shaded location to put it for a few days so that it can get used to its new surroundings, the new soil, and the extra room.
During the spring and summer, keep your cactus in a shaded area of the porch or patio where they can receive plenty of fresh air and indirect sunshine. If you prefer, you can take a few cuttings each fall and give them out as gifts once they have grown. Bring them indoors in the fall and store them away from direct sunlight in a dry, dark area. Your Christmas cacti will thrive exceptionally well if you can create a slightly humid indoor environment.
Start drying the soil in October to promote blooming during the holiday season. Reduce the frequency of watering to only once every three weeks instead of once a week. For holiday blooms to flourish, darkness and dryness are both necessary conditions. To enhance the flowering of their Christmas cacti, some gardeners go so far as to cover their plants and keep them in the dark for a few weeks.