Should I Transplant My Christmas Cactus

The Christmas cactus needs to be replanted when its flowering period is through, but Keira Kay, a plant expert with Bloom & Wild (opens in new tab), advises against rushing the procedure.

The plant should be repotted as soon as it stops blooming and the flowers start to wilt, which is usually in late winter or early spring, according to the expert.

“However, this plant is happy to get rather compact, so you needn’t rush to re-pot a Christmas cactus; if you don’t see roots crawling out the container or drainage holes, you may wait off repotting,” the author writes.

How soon should I move my Christmas cactus?

The best time to repot most plants is in the spring when they start to show new growth, but Christmas cacti should be potted after blooming is finished and the blooms have faded, which is in late winter or early spring. It is never a good idea to try to repot the plant when it is in full bloom.

Repotting Christmas cactus should be delayed because this tough succulent thrives when its roots are little congested. Frequently repotting a plant might harm it.

Repotting Christmas cactus is typically sufficient every three to four years, but you might wish to hold off until the plant starts to appear worn out or you see some roots poking through the drainage hole. A plant can frequently flourish happily in the same pot for years.

Do Christmas cacti enjoy being moved around?

When Christmas cactus is “pot confined,” it grows the healthiest. That entails storing it in a small container for as long as possible before transferring it to a pot that is only marginally larger.

What types of containers do Christmas cacti prefer?

Do clay pots work well for Christmas cacti? From the plastic pot it came in, I am repotting my. R. Linda

Christmas cacti are ideal for clay pots because of how rapidly they drain. Because clay is a porous substance, it allows for good airflow and conductive conditions. Because clay pots absorb water, it is considerably simpler to assess the soil’s moisture levels because you can determine if the soil is moist merely by glancing at the planter because wet clay turns dark.

The same light brown consistent color of clay pots is very accessible, making them inexpensive and providing consistency for decorative uses. Although clay pots are not the most appealing containers you can use for your Christmas cacti, they are still a wonderful choice because they are inexpensive, easily accessible, porous, and quickly drain. They also look good when used in groups.

However, the durability of clay pots is a drawback. A clay pot will break into pieces if it is dropped on concrete. Clay pots are particularly brittle in the winter because exposure to the cold stiffens the clay composition, making the planters more prone to cracking and even breaking.

Clay pots also have a quick drainage system, which is generally a good thing. However, in the summer, the quick drainage of clay pots can cause the soil to dry out much more quickly than usual. In order to prevent the soil from drying out when using clay pots, pay especially close attention to the moisture levels in the soil.

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.

Why are my Christmas cactus’ limp leaves?

Lack of water or much sunlight can occasionally result in wilted or weak Christmas cacti. Start by giving the wilting Christmas cactus a small amount of water if you haven’t been watering it. Every few days, continue to water carefully until the soil is barely damp.

Christmas cactus issues can also result from excessively damp soil. The Christmas cactus cannot tolerate wet roots since it is an epiphyte in its natural habitat on the ground of tropical forests, where it takes moisture and nutrients from the air. The roots of Christmas cacti can become excessively wet and floppy because to poor drainage.

Move your wilted or limp Christmas cactus to a location with more shade, especially in the afternoon, if the leaves look dried or burned.

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.

How long 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!

When should you put a Christmas cactus in the dark?

Put your Christmas cactus in complete darkness for at least 12 hours every day, beginning in October, to start blooming. In time for the holidays, the plant will have around eight weeks to develop buds and blossom as a result. To encourage your Christmas cactus to bloom again in February after the holiday flowering time, keep up this same pattern.

How long can a Christmas cactus live?

Christmas cacti can survive up to 100 years or longer if given the right care. Even news stories of families passing on their Christmas cacti to future generations as living heirlooms have been documented, such as this one about a particularly resilient plant that dates back to the 1860s. Wow!

The majority of Christmas cacti, however, only live for 20 to 30 years with proper care, despite the fact that they can last for decades and brighten your home every holiday season. By that time, the plants typically perish from widespread problems including overwatering, underwatering, freezing weather (if they spend part of the year outside), pests, illnesses, loss of interest, or simple neglect.

Help, my Christmas cactus is yellowing!

Yikes! Your watering routine is typically to blame if your Christmas cactus doesn’t seem to be growing well. These creatures require more water than desert cacti, but they also don’t want their soil to be wet.

You’re probably not watering your Christmas cactus enough if the leaves are becoming wrinkled and appear withered. You possibly overdid it if they’re more mushy and yellow-black in color. To get rid of any rotten roots and repot your plant in dry soil, you might need to uproot it.

Why are the leaves on my Christmas cactus limp?

Wilted leaves are frequently caused by improper watering because it is simple to provide too much water (rather than not enough). A Christmas cactus’ weak or drooping leaves are typically the result of either damp soil or root rot. If you have one issue, it will almost certainly lead to another.

Make sure that any extra water you give your Christmas cactus drains slowly but steadily through the drainage holes. If not, your potting soil may be too dense and may not be working. To promote aeration, you can repot the plant in bromeliad soil or fluff it up with perlite.

During the spring through winter growing season, keep the soil lightly moist; only water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. After the flowering season is over, it’s good to allow the soil get a little bit dry in the middle of winter between waterings, but don’t let it get completely parched.

Is a Christmas cactus toxic to cats and dogs?

I’ll keep this short: no. The ASPCA states that Christmas cacti are not dangerous, despite the fact that ingesting any plant may cause some mild vomiting or diarrhea.

Which types of pots do Christmas cacti prefer—shallow or deep?

When Christmas Cactus is slightly potbound, it blooms best. I transplanted mine into an 8-pot container from a 6-grow pot. I’ve seen older Christmas Cacti growing successfully in pretty small pots. A minimum of 1 drain hole must be present in the pot.

Is it time to repot my cactus?

Cacti come in a wide range of colors, textures, and sizes for their flowers. Cacti can be divided into two primary categories: desert cacti (which are typically armed with spines) and jungle cacti (often without spines and most are epiphytes). You can have an interesting houseplant that is trouble-free and long-lasting if you choose the proper cactus for the right location.

When to repot

As soon as the roots start to peek through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, cacti need to be repotted. Fast-growing plants should typically be repotted every two to three years, whereas slow-growing species should be done so every three to four years. The optimum time to repot cactus is in the spring when they are actively growing. Two days prior to repotting, water the cactus to keep the roots moist but not soggy.

Do Christmas cacti benefit from coffee grounds?

During the growing season, give your cactus fertilizer with potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus once or twice a month. It is simpler to feed a plant when the fertilizer dissolves in water. Epsom salts can also be administered to it (more about this in a moment).

Do Christmas Cactus Like Coffee Grounds?

As much as you do, your Christmas cactus will appreciate a cup of joe. Potassium and nitrogen, two nutrients the cactus needs to be healthy, are abundant in coffee grounds.

Spread the grounds out to dry first before using them because wet grounds might get moldy if used immediately. Give your plant its daily dose of coffee by either dispersing the dried grinds on the soil or blending them with water. Use this method to fertilize your cactus no more than once every two weeks.

Is Epsom Salt Good For Christmas Cactus?

Your Christmas cactus will, in fact, enjoy some Epsom salt. It’s an excellent approach to guarantee that the plant receives all the magnesium it requires to flourish and expand. One teaspoon of salt should be added to one gallon of water when mixing the salt and water. As it only requires fertilizer and food during the spring and summer growing seasons, stop feeding it in the fall.