When Should I Bring My Christmas Cactus Indoors

The holiday cacti thrive in their natural home among the tall tree branches, living in crevices filled with rainfall and decomposing organic materials. Christmas cactus care for outdoors is rather easy if you move your plant outside for the summer. Keep it shaded and water it when the soil’s surface feels dry. It has either had too much sun or not enough water if the leaf segments turn crimson. It could be deficient in phosphorus in some circumstances.

Bring your cactus indoors as October approaches and the weather begins to cool off. They can withstand brief durations of below-zero temperatures, but not freezing conditions.

The cactus are all short-day vegetation. To generate blossoms, they require 14 hours each day of uninterrupted darkness. Put the Christmas cactus on this light/dark cycle on October 1, the Easter cactus on January 1, and the Thanksgiving cactus on September 1. You can bring the cacti back into regular light after flower buds start to emerge, which should take four to eight weeks.

Temperatures play a role on the cacti’s ability to bloom. The cactus will also bloom if kept at 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 60 to 70 degrees during the day if you’re unable to maintain complete darkness for 14 hours each day. Avoid placing the plant near heater vents and in direct sunlight, since these factors might cause the buds to dry out and fall off.

My Christmas cactus may I bring inside?

The common Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii), which blooms in the winter, is a lovely complement to almost any interior space. It is a superb contender for holiday gift giving because it is not only simple to maintain but also easily multiplies. Let’s examine how to grow and maintain a Christmas cactus.

What degree of heat can a Christmas cactus withstand?

Holiday cacti are common indoor plants with the name of the holiday in bloom. Around the winter, Christmas cacti typically bloom with vivid, abundant pink blossoms. They can only be grown outdoors in zones 9 to 11 according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Can Christmas cactus survive extreme cold? Christmas cacti are more cold-hardy than other cacti, but they are tropical. Frost is intolerable to them, but low temperatures are necessary to force blossoms.

Christmas cacti prefer warm, balmy temperatures, moderate to low amounts of moisture, and strong sunlight because they are tropical plants. Although it enjoys warmth, you should keep the plant away from sources of severe heat or cold, like heaters and fireplaces. Temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal at night (15-18 C.).

Place the cactus in a cooler location in October where the temperature is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit to force flowering (10 C.). Avoid rapid temperature changes once the plants are in bloom since they can cause Christmas cacti to lose their blossoms.

Taking the plant outside in the summer, first in a spot with dappled light and protection from any wind, is entirely acceptable. Christmas cactus cold damage is likely if you leave it outside for an extended period of time in the fall.

What degree of indoor temperature is appropriate for my cactus?

Moving your cactuses to a cool location is the second stage in winterizing them (allowing them to become dormant). When temperatures begin to drop around the middle of October, you should consider relocating your cactus to a cooler location.

The ideal range for cactus dormancy temperatures is between 47 and 54 °F (8-12 Celsius). If your cactus has spent the entire year indoors and you have heating, you should transfer it to a balcony, garage, or even outside. In the winter, you must avoid keeping your cactus in a warm or hot room.

You may prevent your cactus from falling dormant in the winter by not transplanting them to a cool place. It will go on expanding (but growth will be uneven and minimal).

In addition, the increased temperatures will cause the water to evaporate, which will cause the air to dry (as you will water it less). Additionally, it should be a dry area. Your cactus will thereafter develop thin, elongated growth.

Lower temperatures will slow down your cactus’s metabolic processes and reduce water evaporation. Growing throughout the winter will impede the development of flower buds, result in nutritional depletion, and lead the cactus to dry out.

Step 3: Keep your cactus in cool conditions for winter

Keep your cactus in the cool spot you’ve chosen until the end of February. Your cactus will be dormant and its growth will have stopped. Keep them where they may receive the most winter sun possible.

You should gradually acclimate your cacti to sunshine circumstances once the temperature starts to rise once more. But you have to do this gradually.

Your cactus are prone to burn in sudden sun because they won’t get bright, sunny conditions all winter. Cacti adjust to low light levels, therefore it’s crucial to reintroduce them gradually. Additionally, avoid fertilizing your cactus during the winter.

Your cactus won’t actually show any signs of dormancy. But stagnation results in dormancy.

Step 4: Slowly introduce to sunny conditions

You must gradually acclimate your cacti to sunlight after the winter dormancy phase, around March, to avoid sunburns. Put them on a windowsill or another permanent/usual location to do this.

Then, protect your cactus from direct sunlight by using a thin white cloth or gauze. You can expose your cacti to more and more sunlight as the weather warms up over the course of a few weeks to a month.

Your cactus will burn if you don’t protect it from direct sunlight after a winter of little to no sunlight. A cactus’ epidermal tissues will be affected, which could result in death or interruption of vital metabolic processes. Additionally, be sure to give adequate ventilation because cacti detest stagnant air.

If you have recently re-potted your cacti into new containers, please minimize sun exposure and watering for a week. Additionally, don’t increase watering too quickly—increasing it gradually as the temperature rises. Your cacti’s successful dormancy will be ensured by gradual modifications in the surroundings.

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.

How soon should I bring my outdoor Christmas cactus inside?

Light: Bright, indirect light is preferred by plants indoors. Place next to a window, yet out of the way of the sun. Place plants outside in a shaded area throughout the summer. Before the first frost, bring indoor plants back inside.

Water: While not waterlogged, Christmas Cactus prefers damp soil. Stop watering for 30 days after blossoming. When you notice fresh growth, start watering again.

Potting soil should have good drainage. Mix 3 parts potting soil to 1 part sand, or 1 part fir bark to 1 part potting soil.

Christmas cacti prefer a humidity level of 50 to 60 percent. Put the pot on top of the wet pebbles in the dish. Pot shouldn’t be submerged in liquid.

Christmas Cactus needs cold, 60–65°F days and 45–55°F nights to develop bloom buds. Keep your plants away from fireplaces, heating ducts, and chilly drafts.

Fertilizer: Applications of all-purpose fertilizer are beneficial to Christmas Cactus that are growing and flowering. Observe the manufacturer’s guidelines. Plants should not be fertilized during the 4-6 week resting period that follows when they finish blooming. Fertilizing should resume when plants start to produce new growth.

Pruning: After a time of rest, prune plants to promote the growth of new branches. When a plant is in bloom, pruning should not be done.

How should my Christmas cactus be wintered over?

Christmas cacti require direct, strong sunlight. If you’re placing yours indoors near a west or south-facing window, make sure the light is shaded with a sheer curtain because they will burn in direct sunlight. If your home is dry inside in the winter, put it on a tray of stones or put it close to other plants because they need humidity.

Never let them sit in water; only add water when the top feels dry. Christmas cacti prefer temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees during the day and 55 to 65 degrees at night.

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.

Should my Christmas cactus be misted?

Contrary to what its name might imply, Christmas cacti can survive well into the following year. In fact, with a little care and our guidance, they can live for up to 20 years.

Christmas Cacti need cooler temperatures.

Leaving Christmas cacti in a space that is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit will cause them to bloom more fully and sooner. Keep them away from radiators, fireplaces, and warm windowsills, especially during the winter.

While they don’t need the heat of the sun, they do need its light.

The hard part comes at this point. A Christmas cactus needs lots of sunlight but cannot be kept in direct sunlight as it will dry out. So what should a cactus aficionado do? Your best option is to leave it in a part of your home that is shaded (or outdoors once summer arrives) and rotate it occasionally.

Just like you and I, Christmas cacti need their rest.

Your cactus needs between 1215 hours of uninterrupted darkness per day if its buds haven’t yet set. Cacti only require lots of light once their buds have fully developed.

You should be misting, not watering, every day.

Your cactus will die if you overwater it. But that doesn’t mean they never experience thirst. You should mist your cactus every day rather than watering it like you would a regular plant. You only need a few sprays from a spray bottle to maintain your cactus’ happiness. Only when the soil at the base of the plant feels entirely dry to the touch should you water it.

Christmas cacti need nutrient-rich soil.

Christmas cacti are strong plants that can endure harsher environments, although well-drained soil that has some organic matter is preferable for them. While organic soil is always available to purchase, you can also use your cacti as a little compost and add organic waste that you would typically discard.

Where should I place an indoor Christmas cactus?

You shouldn’t be surprised that Christmas cacti do best in dim light and humid environments given their native climate. Wherever you decide to place your Christmas cactus, make sure to keep it out of direct sunshine. Growing your Christmas cactus in a north- or east-facing window is perfect. The leaf-like pads glowing red is a strong indication that they are receiving too much light.

Christmas cacti can actually be moved outside in the summer because they enjoy the humidity! Store pots out of water after a hard storm, and keep them in a protected, shaded area (you could even hang them among the tree branches for a surprise in the landscape).

Where can a Christmas cactus be kept in the finest conditions?

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.