What Is The Best Plant Food For Christmas Cactus

A half strength water soluble fertilizer, such as 20-20-20 or 20-10-20, or a bloom formula houseplant fertilizer work well as fertilizers for Christmas cacti. From late winter through late summer, feed once a month during routine watering. To promote flowering, you can also choose a time-release balanced plant food or one that is marginally richer in phosphorus once a month in mid to late summer.

Use one teaspoon of Epsom salts per gallon (5 cc for roughly 4 L) of water each month to fertilize on alternate weeks. This procedure will meet every fertilizer requirement for Christmas cacti, including the significant magnesium requirements of this epiphyte. Late summer is the time to stop fertilizing or flower yield may decrease. Since the plant is not actively growing in the winter, fertilizing is not necessary.

To lessen the likelihood of salt buildup in soil, closely adhere to the application rates on any formula. Set the plant in the shower and soak the soil to release any salt that has been stored if you are concerned about heavy salts. Before watering again, let the pot drain completely and the planting media dry out.

Can I grow Christmas cactus with Miracle Grow?

When Christmas cacti are tightly contained in their containers, they typically grow bigger and produce more flowers. But once the roots have nearly filled the pot, proceed as follows:

1. Choose a replacement pot with a drainage hole that is only 1 to 2 inches wider than the old one.

2. To help your Christmas cactus thrive straight away, fill the new container 1/3 full with Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix, which offers great drainage and a little amount of food.

3. After placing the plant in the pot, make sure the root ball’s top is positioned 3/4 to 1 inch or less below the pot’s rim.

4. Fill in the area around the rootball, leaving a gap of about 3/4 inch between the soil’s top and the container’s lip (for easy watering).

5. After giving the plant plenty of water, let it drain, then relocate it to a permanent location. (Place a water-resistant saucer underneath the pot to prevent spills on the furniture.)

Secret tip: After plants have recovered from blooming and begun to grow again in late spring, this is the ideal time to repot them.

Is it necessary to fertilize a Christmas cactus?

Temperature & Light: The festive cacti thrive in bright shade. In the fall and winter, full sunshine is advantageous, but in the summer, intense sunlight can cause plants to seem pale and yellow. In the growing season from April to September, temperatures between 70 and 80 F are ideal for spring and summer growth. The Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti need on shorter (8 to 10 hour) days and cooler temperatures in the fall to develop their flower buds. Once the flower buds are set in the fall, do not allow the temperature to reach above 90 F. The loss of flower buds can be a result of persistently warm conditions. In the event that it gets below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, do not leave these cactus outside.

Temperature control and photoperiod (control of the duration of the day and night) control are key factors in successful flower bud formation in the fall. The plants require the following for the initiation of flower buds:

  • dazzling light
  • long evenings Before flower buds to set, there must be at least 14 hours per day of nonstop darkness. For a full bud set, long nights should begin around the middle of September and last for at least six weeks. Be aware that even two hours of intermittent lighting can prevent flower buds from setting. In 3 to 4 weeks, buds will often start to appear. Once the buds are set, the photoperiod has little impact on flowering.
  • For optimal flower production, fall growth temperatures should be kept between 60 and 68 oF, ideally as close to 68 oF as feasible. Regardless of the length of the day, plants cultivated with night temperatures between 50 and 59 oF will produce flower buds, however growth will be slower and bud drop may happen at this temperature.
  • Early in June, prune the stems to encourage branching and additional flower terminals.
  • At the end of September, pinching—also known as leveling—is done to cut off any terminal phylloclades that are less than 1 cm (0.4 inch) and to roughly equalize the length of all stems. These young, immature stem segments won’t begin blossom buds until they are fully developed. A flower bud develops on the earlier, more developed stem segment following the removal of a brief phylloclade.

Fertilizer and Watering: Water the growing media until it feels completely dry to the touch. The spring and summer months can be dry and mildly underwatered for the holiday cacti. Avoid letting the soil become soggy, especially during the gloomy winter months, but also avoid letting it fully dry up. To avoid flower bud abscission, the growing medium must be kept consistently moist after bud set in the fall. In the saucer underneath the pot, never let water stand.

Use a half strength soluble fertilizer, such as a 20-10-20 or 20-20-20 with trace elements, to fertilize plants every month beginning when new growth begins in late winter or early spring and continuing through the summer. Compared to many plants, holiday cacti have a greater magnesium need. During the growing season, fertilize once a month with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) blended at 1 teaspoon per gallon of water, but avoid applying the fertilizer the same week. Stop fertilizing in the late summer to increase the formation of bloom buds in the fall.

The Christmas cacti flower best when kept fairly pot-bound, according to the growing medium. Repotting is best done in the spring and is only required about once every three years. These epiphytic cacti do not grow well in heavy, wet potting mixes, thus the potting medium needs to be well-drained and well-aerated. A excellent mixture can have 60–80% potting soil and 40–20% perlite. Pick a potting soil that is pH balanced and of good quality.

Does Christmas cactus like 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.

I have a Christmas cactus; when should I start fertilizing it?

Make sure you have a decent location for the plant to grow because, to begin with, the plants do best in indirect sunshine and well-drained soil. The Christmas cactus has a feeding and growing season that coincide. This indicates that it will require feeding just before it blooms, which should occur between April and October of the current year. Just in time for Christmas, with the right fertilizer and a regular feeding schedule, you ought to have vibrant blossoms.

These plants will bloom during the shorter, cooler days of the fall since they require 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to develop. For the greatest results when fertilizing this plant, choose a bloom formula or a water-soluble formula. To assist the flowers blossom more beautifully in the middle to late summer, fertilize once a month with a high-phosphorus fertilizer.

It’s crucial to make sure you cease feeding the plant after it stops growing, which will happen late in the summer. The salt can accumulate in the bud and prevent it from flowering if you keep feeding the plant even when it is not actively growing. Never fertilize a Christmas cactus when it starts to bloom since this could make the buds fall off.

Osmocote—is it safe for Christmas cacti?

About the same time as we celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, these cactus begin to blossom. Because some of the flowering periods overlap, the growers gave them a more casual moniker and call them Christmas cactus. They are all members of the Schlumbergera genus. Names are not a major issue because they are all native to Brazil and demand the same care.

Schlumbergera are short-day plants; in order to bloom, they require a long, uninterrupted period of darkness (night) and a low temperature period (50F or less). Blooming will be slowed down or prevented if these criteria are not met. The simplest approach for a gardener in the Bay Area to fulfill these needs is to grow the plant outdoors, away from any artificial lighting sources, under filtered sunlight. The plant can be planted anywhere after the flower buds begin to emerge. The holiday cacti can either be brought inside when the bloom buds appear or left outside all year. If you wait too long to bring the plant inside (when the buds are at least half an inch long), they will dry out and fall off.

The holiday cacti are all epiphytes, which means that in their natural habitat, they are all rooted to trees. They obtain their nourishment from organic debris such as dust, decomposing leaves, dead insects, bird droppings, and similar particles. They get their water from rain. Eight parts of Master NurseryGardener’s GoldTM Potting Soil, three parts of mini-mulch bark, and one part of perlite can be combined to create a high-quality potting medium. For the first six months, all that is required in terms of fertilizer is a few tablespoons of Master Nursery Cottonseed Meal. Osmocote 14-14-14 can then be used every four months after that. The cactus will bloom well but their foliage will be browned and less appealing if they receive too much sun. They will produce fewer blooms if they do not receive enough sun. Mealy bugs might sporadically infest the plant. Spraying undiluted rubbing alcohol on mealy bugs is the quickest and simplest treatment option. The mealy bugs are dead when they become brown.

Crab or Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata): This cactus, which is occasionally marketed as Zygocactus truncata, begins to bloom in the middle of November and ends in the middle of December. Orange, pink, red, white, or salmon are all possible flower colors. Each branch is made up of one or two inch segments (referred to as joints) that are arranged end to end to create branches that can reach lengths of three feet. The longest tooth is at the end of each joint’s several teeth along each edge.

of the joint that gives it its moniker “the crab cactus These cacti are the most widely available and are prolific bloomers over a lengthy period of time. They are frequently offered for sale as “Santa Claus cacti.

Schlumbergera bridgesii, sometimes known as the Christmas cactus, begins to bloom at the end of December and ends in the middle of February. It only has one type of flower, a dark pink. Each joint has rounded edges, measures around 1.5 inches long, and has the potential to grow into a branch that is 1.5 feet long. It doesn’t bloom as frequently as the crab cactus.

The Easter cactus, Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri or Schlumbergera gaertneri bloom in April or May, and maybe once more in July. Flowers might be pink or red. The joints range in size from 1.5 to 2 inches.

long and have rounded, smooth edges. The plant can develop into a cluster that is up to six inches high and one foot wide and is relatively erect. Wintertime protection for this plant is necessary.

All of the seasonal cacti can be readily multiplied from one or more joints. Put a joint in the potting mixture mentioned above and bury it halfway down. It is also possible to utilize a string of four to eight joints, but only bury the first joint. Keep the soil mixture moist and close to where the mature cacti are planted.

The amount of fertilizer required by a Christmas cactus

The winter solstice, which occurs on December 21 in the Northern Hemisphere, is the day and night with the shortest lengths of the year.

Christmas cacti, poinsettias, kalanchoes, and chrysanthemums are a few common plants that people give as gifts during the holidays. Their flowering is perfectly timed for the shorter days that we enjoy during this season.

The development of flower buds in many plants is influenced by how much light the plants receive. “Photoperiodism” refers to a plant’s response to the length of the day. While some plants flower as the days get shorter, others do so as the days become longer. Some plants are neutral, meaning that day length has no direct impact on flowering.

Brazilian Christmas cacti are common indoor plants that come in a wide range of hues, including red, rose, purple, lavender, peach, orange, cream, and white. In shaded rain forests, these plants thrive as epiphytes among tree branches, and their cascading stems make them an excellent choice for hanging baskets. If the plants are managed at a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit, flowering can last seven to eight weeks.

During this time of year, customers frequently phone the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office upset because their Christmas cacti or other short-day indoor plants did not bloom. They are frequently shocked to discover that if these plants are kept indoors year-round, the artificial light in the home can interfere with their natural cycle of exposure to sunshine. In order to simulate natural daylight exposure with shorter days, it becomes a difficulty.

One option is to put these plants near a window in a room that receives only natural light, turning off the artificial lighting at night. A different choice is to keep these plants outside as long as you can in the fall and then bring them inside just before the risk of freezing weather. In the Atlanta region, this typically means keeping the majority of tropical indoor plants outside until close to the end of October. Short-day plants are already set to begin flowering during the approaching holidays at this point.

On his porch, my grandfather used to keep a Christmas cactus all summer long in a hanging basket before taking it inside just before the first freeze each year. It was a large plant that would blossom in large numbers between Thanksgiving and Christmas. He maintained this plant for almost ten years, and it gave him a lot of Christmas delight.

A Christmas cactus has the advantage of not losing leaves like poinsettias or other houseplants, which is one of its many advantages. Because Christmas cactus lack genuine leaves, photosynthesis takes place inside the green stem segments known as phylloclades. To encourage branching terminals for more flowers, pinch back the stems in the first few weeks of June. You can also utilize stem portions with three to five segments to root new plants.

Temperature control and photoperiod (control of day and night length) control are key factors in the fall flower bud formation of Christmas cacti. Before flower buds will set, each night must have at least 14 hours of nonstop darkness.

For a full bud set, long nights must begin around the middle of September and last for at least six weeks. Be aware that even two hours of intermittent lighting can prevent flower buds from setting. Typically, buds will appear in approximately four weeks. Once the buds are set, the photoperiod has little impact on flowering.

Christmas cacti may live in dry, marginally submerged environments in the spring and summer. Avoid letting the soil become soggy, especially during the lengthy winter evenings. To stop flower buds from dropping off after bud set in the fall, the soil must be kept consistently moist. In the saucer underneath the pot, never let water stand.

From the time new growth begins in late winter or early spring through the summer, fertilize plants every month using a liquid fertilizer of half strength, such as 20-20-20 with trace elements. Compared to many plants, Christmas cacti have a greater magnesium need. Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) should be used as a fertilizer every month during the growing season; however, it should not be used the same week as conventional fertilizer. Stop fertilizing in the late summer to increase the formation of bloom buds in the fall.