Commercial potting mixtures for cacti are available and will guarantee proper drainage. But you can create your own with a little work.
The simplest medium calls for a mixture of two parts perlite and three parts normal potting soil. This will offer drainage that is more than adequate. Compost, perlite, and milled peat can all be combined in equal amounts if you want to go one step further.
When the soil is dry, give your Christmas cactus some water.
While avoiding letting the soil fully dry up, avoid letting water collect in the pot or the saucer underneath. Water volume is not nearly as critical as drainage.
The Christmas cactus like to be slightly root-bound and is accustomed to growing in tight spaces on trees. It should only be transplanted once every three years, in a pot with just a little area for development.
What kind of soil is ideal for potting Christmas cacti?
It needs suitable soil. Would using potting soil like Miracle-Gro be preferable or
It’s time to repot Christmas cacti right now (Schlumbergera spp.). soon after blossoming
Do Christmas cacti require certain soil?
Here are some ideas for planting Christmas cacti that will work well for you:
- Repotting a Christmas cactus can be challenging, so go slowly. For bromeliads or succulents, opt for a commercial potting mix that is light and well-drained. A mixture of two thirds ordinary potting soil and one third sand can also be used.
- Repot Christmas cactus into a pot that is just a little bit bigger than the container it is now in. Make sure the container has a bottom drainage hole. Despite preferring moisture, Christmas cactus will quickly decay if the roots are denied air.
- Remove the plant from the pot together with the soil ball around it, then gently separate the roots. If the potting soil is compacted, use a little water to gently wash it away from the roots.
- The top of the root ball should be about an inch (2.5 cm) below the pot’s rim when the Christmas cactus is replanted in the new container. Fresh potting soil should be inserted around the roots, and the soil should be lightly patted to remove air pockets. Don’t overwater it.
- Place the plant in a shaded area for two or three days before returning to the plant’s regular maintenance regimen.
Can Christmas cactus grow with Miracle Gro soil?
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.
Can I grow a Christmas cactus in orchid soil?
By creating a light-weight mixture of substrate materials that nourishes, allows air to circulate, and drains properly, you can completely avoid using soil.
Compost, peat, and worm castings are examples of organically rich media that are rich in nutrients but can also be fairly dense.
A variety of additives, including the volcanic rock perlite, sphagnum moss, and the mineral vermiculite, are frequently employed to transform solid material into a fluffy mixture full of air spaces that drains efficiently while still holding onto a significant amount of water.
Another popular ingredient that makes spaces for ventilation and drainage and absorbs a lot of water is coconut coir, which is just chopped coconut husks.
And finally, the bark of fir and pine trees aids in drainage and airflow but neither holds water as well as the other components. This is beneficial for an epiphyte that is not used to living in a permanently wet pot.
Materials like charcoal, fine gravel, horticultural pumice, and sand can aid to further loosen, aerate, and drain when applied to altered organically-rich matter.
Limestone is an additional material that is frequently added to substrate mixtures. When acidic organic stuff like peat and bark is present, it controls the pH. Christmas cacti require a pH between 5.7 to 6.5, which is mildly acidic.
You will be inundated with products that include various combinations of the elements indicated above when you peruse the shelves of garden centers or shop online. There are mixtures among them made especially for orchids, cacti, and succulent plants.
The natural tendency would be to choose a cactus or succulent, but Schlumbergera is an epiphyte native to the rainforest, not the desert. The water hogs of the amendments, perlite or vermiculite, are typically found in this kind of product.
You can find options for orchids as you continue your purchasing. Since the majority of orchids are epiphytes, products for them typically include coconut coir or bark chips.
Of all the materials that absorb water, bark dries the most quickly. Bark and coir both break down and compact with time, yet they function well when mixed with other components.
Why not use a third ingredient to counteract their propensity to oversaturate while utilizing the greatest aspects of solutions designed for both cacti and orchids?
For your Christmas cactus, here is a practical recipe for soilless potting soil:
- Cactus and succulent blend in one portion
- 1/part orchid mixture
- 1 part fine gravel, sand, or horticultural pumice
This blend has a thick texture, making it airy and light. This allows the roots to breathe and makes it simple for extra water to drain away.
Can I grow cacti in normal potting soil?
Yes, you can give your cactus plants either standard potting soil or African violet dirt. However, once more, avoid using these on their own as they contain an excessive amount of organic matter that retains moisture and can contain fertilizer additives that are not designed for slow-growing cacti. Instead, incorporate them as one component of your homemade cactus potting soil.
Can you grow Christmas cacti in clay pots?
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.
What is the ideal cactus soil mixture?
With little effort on your side, buying pre-made cactus soil guarantees that it includes everything the cactus needs. Perlite, pumice, sand, and gravel, in the proper proportions, are included in pre-made cactus soil, along with a negligible amount of peat moss or coco coir.
However, you also have the option and it’s simple to make your own cactus soil mix! Combine two parts perlite or pumice, three parts coarse sand or gravel, and three parts potting soil. Use caution when using fertilizer-containing potting soil blends because they can scorch cacti roots and promote lanky growth.
How should a Christmas cactus be watered—from the top or the bottom?
To ensure that the water reaches the Christmas cactus’ roots, irrigate it from the bottom up. Continue adding water to the soil until it begins to seep through the pot’s openings. It hydrates the ground.
Ensure that there is no standing water beneath the pot once the soil has been thoroughly moistened. Never leave excess water in the planter; you don’t want mold, root rot, or insects laying eggs there. If the water is fully separate from the pot and is in a tray underneath the pot, that’s acceptable.
Mist the Leaves
You can sprinkle the leaves with water in a spray bottle to keep them as healthy as possible. When watering the plant, misting the leaves only once will be sufficient to provide appropriate hydration.
Does Christmas cactus benefit from Epsom salt?
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.