When Are Christmas Cactus Available

The Publishers

Christmas cacti are highly common indoor plants, and for good reason too! They produce vibrant, tubular flowers that are pink or purple in hue when they bloom. They are a superb plant because of their lovely blossoms, lengthy bloom period, and simple maintenance needs. Someone in your family most likely owns a Christmas cactus!

About Christmas Cacti

The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) and its cousins don’t exist in hot, arid conditions like deserts or plains, in contrast to other cacti. These epiphytic succulents, which grow on tree branches and take in the high humidity, dappled sunlight, and moderate temperatures, are actually endemic to the tropical rainforests of southern Brazil.

Bottom line: Don’t handle a Christmas cactus like a typical succulent or cactus. They are unable to withstand the same kind of hot, dry weather that other cactus can. These cacti require more frequent watering than most succulents, but you also need to be careful not to overwater them. (See the care guidelines in more detail below.)

Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas Cactus?

The Easter cactus (S. gaertneri), Thanksgiving cactus (S. truncata), and Christmas cactus are the three main varieties of “holiday cacti” that are available (S. x buckleyi). The holiday that each cactus is named after often sees the most blooming. Thanksgiving cacti, which often bloom from November to February and hence go unrecognized as Christmas cacti, make up the majority of “Christmas cacti” sold nowadays. See our post on the several Christmas cacti species and how to distinguish them for more information.

Note: Because it’s the most widely used term and it applies to all three of these species, we’ll refer to all three of them on this page as “Christmas cactus” for simplicity’s sake.

Potting Christmas Cacti

  • Choose a pot with a drainage hole on the bottom if you’re choosing one for a Christmas cactus. This prevents the soil from getting overly saturated.
  • Most succulent-specific potting mixtures work well for Christmas cacti growth. It’s crucial that your potting soil drains properly.

Where to Put a Christmas Cactus

  • Plants should be kept in indirect light that is bright. The best location has an east-facing window or a well-lit bathroom. The delicate leaves might be bleached by too much direct sunshine.
  • It is preferable to have a daytime temperature of 70F (21C) and an evening temperature of 60–65F (15–18C).
  • Christmas cacti do well in a more humid climate, so keeping them in a well-lit bathroom or kitchen is a smart idea.
  • Christmas cacti can be kept in a shady area of the garden or on an unheated porch during the summer until the temperature drops below 50F. (10C). Keep them away from the sun’s rays outside.

How to Care for Christmas Cacti

  • Water your plants every two to three weeks, but only when the top third of the soil feels dry to the touch. If the plant is in 6 inches of soil, for instance, water when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry. (Check with your finger!)
  • When the soil is completely dry, wet it until water seeps through the drainage holes in the pot. To collect the water, put a tray underneath the pot. To prevent the pot from sitting in water, remove any extra water on the tray after 10 to 15 minutes.
  • While the plant is in bloom, it’s very crucial to water thoroughly.
  • Feed your indoor plants with a balanced houseplant fertilizer every two weeks from spring through early fall. Feed the cactus once a month in the fall and winter to promote fruitful blooming.
  • To promote branching and more flowers, prune plants in the late spring. Simply cut a portion of each stem off; the plant will grow new branches from the incision.
  • If desired, plant the cut pieces in potting soil that is only gently damp; they will easily root after a few weeks and make wonderful Christmas gifts!

How to Get Your Christmas Cactus to Bloom

The longer evenings and chilly weather of fall are what cause Christmas cacti and its relatives to bloom. The three major varieties of holiday cacti typically bloom on the following schedule:

  • Thanksgiving cactus typically produce flowers from late October through mid-winter, making them the earliest and longest bloomers.
  • Christmas cacti often bloom in the early to midwinter months.
  • Easter cacti flower around the middle of spring through late winter.

If your cactus isn’t flowering, it can be getting too much light or being exposed to too much heat. Here are some suggestions to help you get blooms from yours!

  • For a minimum of six weeks, the nights must be at least 14 hours long and the days between 8 and 10 hours. You might need to cover your cactus or relocate it to an area that is exposed to the natural light cycle if you have powerful interior lighting that is on at night.
  • When the plant is kept at temps between 50 and 60F, flower buds form best (10 and 15C).
  • By subjecting the plant to temps around 45F (7C) for a number of nights in a succession, you can jumpstart the budding process.
  • While the plant is in bloom, be sure to water it consistently. The plant may lose its buds if it dries out too much.
  • Don’t worry if the cactus loses its buds one winter; the following year it should bloom.

The three primary varieties of “holiday cacti” are as follows:

  • Often mistaken for Christmas cacti, Thanksgiving cacti (Schlumbergera truncata) bloom from late October to mid-winter.
  • Christmas cacti (S. x buckleyi) flower in the early to midwinter months.
  • Late winter to mid-spring is the blooming period for Easter cacti (S. gaertneri).
  • Make sure to water your Christmas cactus frequently and keep it cool when the buds on the plant appear ready to open.
  • The optimum time to propagate cuttings is late spring when most holiday cacti start to grow after their winter hibernation.

Blossom loss: Your Christmas cactus will probably lose its blossoms if it experiences any kind of stress. As mentioned in the plant care section above, this could be caused by the amount of light or a sudden shift in temperature. Make sure your soil doesn’t become overly dry while buds are developing.

The plant could be vulnerable to mealy bugs and root rot if overwatered. If you experience issues, remove the affected sections and repot the plant in fresh soil.

When should a Christmas cactus be purchased?

In the late fall and winter, Christmas cacti are typically bought already in bloom or at least budded. Avoid drastic temperature changes when transporting your Christmas cactus since they can cause some of the buds to fall off. For optimal results, place in a light window and maintain the soil just moist enough. During the winter flowering season, fertilizer is not required.

Christmas cacti require as much light as possible once the last blooms have faded and prefer to be maintained on the cool side during rest periods (February – March and July – August). The plant needs to be transferred to a normal room temperature once the flower buds begin to appear in the fall.

At the start of the growth period, these cacti should be repotted every three to five years. It’s important that the soil flow easily, so always use a light soil (commercial cactus soil is acceptable).

The right amount of water, food, and relaxation must be given at the right times. Additionally, the length of daylight and the temperature of the environment will affect flowering.

The plant needs to rest when flowering is finished. Sparingly water it; do not let the stems to shrivel. If at all feasible, relocate the plant to a cool, well-lit area.

From the first of April, begin watering more frequently. Now that winter is over, the cactus will begin to flourish once more. The tips of each stem will have fresh shoots that may be seen plainly. If necessary, pot in April, and then feed a few times throughout the following months. Use a regular cactus soil that allows water to drain freely. If the soil is excessively damp, the weak roots will decay.

Christmas cacti can be placed outside in a light spot once the weather warms up. Avoid direct sunlight because certain types’ stems might become sunburned. I prefer bright, dappled shade.

This time of year is ideal for taking cuttings if you wish to. Placing good stems with two to four segments in damp sand makes propagation simple.

Reduce watering and let the soil completely dry in between waterings so that it doesn’t shrivel.

If you have your cactus outside for the summer, you can leave it there until the temperatures at night fall below fifty degrees (this period of cool nights and shortening days will encourage lots of flower buds). Restart increasing watering as soon as there are any indications of blossom buds. When growing blooms, the cactus must never become dry or be moved around excessively, as this will cause the buds to fall off the plant.

Mid-fall is when you should start to notice little, spherical buds emerging at the tips. When buds are growing in September and October, a few fertilizer applications may be beneficial for an old, huge plant.

It is diagnosed as needing more water. Give it a good soak in a basin of water or the sink, and after about 30 minutes, let it completely drain.

The roots are rotting, thus that is the diagnosis. Either the soil composition is incorrect or the plant has been overwatered. Take good cuttings and establish new plants because the plant cannot endure much longer.

The plant has either experienced too much movement or not enough water during the period when it establishes its buds, according to the diagnosis. More care should be given to it; observe the results. The next bloom cycle might be all that’s necessary for you to witness its splendor.

This year, give a Christmas cactus a try! The plant you purchase now might end up as an heirloom tomorrow!

Do Christmas cacti grow all year long?

Although it is also known as Thanksgiving or Easter cactus for the same reason, a Christmas cactus is a type of succulent that gets its name from the season in which it blooms. It’s an amazing houseplant that, with the appropriate care, can live up to 100 years! When your holiday cactus blooms, follow the instructions in this plant care guide to keep it alive indoors all year long.

Which month should the Christmas cactus not be watered?

Autumn has arrived, and the northern hemisphere is plunged into darkness. It’s not our imagination that makes us afraid of things that go bump in the night; rather, it’s evolution. The darkness of the night symbolizes the need for sleep, and while we are dozing off, we are completely exposed to attack.

Heck, in one study, 10% of participants stated they were so terrified of the dark that they wouldn’t even leave the comfort of their beds to use the restroom in the middle of the night.

This gets us to Christmas, which is just a little bit longer than December 22, the shortest day of the year. Let’s talk about the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera) and how it prefers darkness to light for flowering.

Additionally, it is important to consider how and when to water these plants, as well as how much light to provide and how to keep them safely above freezing and out of drafts.

A bloom cycle of dormancy, water, light, and temperature exists in Christmas cactus. Reduce the amount of water you give your Christmas cactus in the late fall, from October to mid-November.

Between waterings, allow the top two to three inches of soil to dry off. This encourages the Christmas cactus to enter its dormant state, which is necessary for the cactus to blossom.

Christmas cactus now requires 12 to 14 hours of darkness every day. This gloomy time resembles winter, when flower buds grow. For six to eight weeks, many gardeners simply place the Christmas cactus in a closet at 6 p.m., remove it at 6 a.m., and move it to a window where it will receive sunlight. Boxes can be used to cover smaller Christmas cacti to prevent light.

The Christmas cactus also benefits from the colder 50–55 degree Fahrenheit temperatures that prevail during this six to eight week period of darkness (10-13 C). Avoid heating vents and drafts.

You can relocate your Christmas cactus to a location where it receives lots of sun, but not hot, direct sunshine, once the cool, dark weeks are through. The leaves might be scorched by too much sun. The thick, flattened leaves of the Christmas cactus have rounded teeth along the edges.

The buds on your plant will drop off before they have an opportunity to open if it becomes too cold. The majority of flowers are brought out in a bright area with indirect sunshine. Lightly spray the plant when it is blossoming to keep the blooms fresh. Mist early in the day so that it dries by evening.

You shouldn’t rush to move your Christmas cactus because they bloom better in their current pot. Always limit your transplant frequency to one every four years. Repot them if necessary, but just up one pot size. Use a cactus soil that drains well, or for improved drainage, mix sand or perlite into standard potting soil.

Some people believe that Christmas should last all year long, and a properly cared-for Christmas cactus could pleasantly surprise you by blooming at seemingly arbitrary periods of the year. Dogs and cats are not poisoned by Christmas cactus.

Christmas is a time for giving, and fortunately, your Christmas cactus can readily provide you with rooting-ready stems that are three segments long. Simply place the cutting, cut end down, into a cactus potting mix after letting it sit overnight to create a callus over the cut. In around four weeks, the leaves will root with sporadic watering. The new Christmas cactus will be an exact replica of the parent plant because the cuttings are clones.

A properly taken care of Christmas cactus can live for decades. There are stories of families who have handed down the same Christmas cactus for more than a century as living heirlooms.

Put your Christmas cactus to sleep for six to eight weeks if you haven’t already. late at night. the night. Alone. the night. A dark yes.

A gardener would be moved to moisten the bed by it. or, at the very least, 10% of us.

Paul Barbano, who lives at Rehoboth Beach, writes about gardening there. You can write to him at PO Box 213 in Lewes, Delaware 19958.

Is it possible to buy Christmas cactus online?

We are overjoyed that we bought a real Christmas cactus. The plant arrived in excellent shape and was prepared to be potted.

You have come to the right place if you have been looking for a genuine Christmas cactus.

Christmas Cactus vs Thanksgiving Cactus

The Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera Truncata) and the Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera Bridgesii) are so similar that they are frequently confused with one another. However, there are several differences, most notably in the stems, leaves, and blooming time. (See the diagram below)

Where to Buy a True Christmas Cactus?

Our Christmas cactus was acquired from Mirage of Eden, an Etsy store. You may easily order their wide selection of live plants online through Etsy.