When Should You Repot A 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 do you determine when to repot a 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.

Are Christmas cacti fond of having their roots bound?

The information that I’ve been fortunate enough to get from my grandparents is what inspired the moniker “Heirloom Lady.” That information is my most valuable heirloom. I cherish more than simply the stories, recipes, gardening tips, and life lessons though. One item that my grandmother left in my care after she went away last year means the world to me: her Christmas cacti.

These Christmas Cacti are not your typical plants. The original plant belonged to a woman who only only appeared in Gram’s stories and gave it to her. Mom Moesche was her name, and she was great. All I know is that she gave our Gram the responsibility of taking care of her Christmas Cactus when it was already well over 75 years old. When Gram was in her late thirties, she gave her the plant.

Please keep in mind that Gram passed away at the ripe old age of 98. This Christmas Cactus has been growing for well over a century. a plant with multiple families and generations. Do you realize just how amazing that is? a living legacy. There isn’t anything better, in my opinion.

However, I also have her two eldest children in my care in addition to the elderly woman. And there are at the very least hundreds more scattered far across the east coast. On window sills, in jars, cups, pots, and anywhere else that could contain water, there were always babies developing. When they were old enough, Gram would pat friends, relatives, and uninvited guests on the back, leading them to the door with bits of care instructions for the plants and reassurance that everything would be okay.

Since I’ve had these amazing plants, I’ve given babies I’ve raised as gifts to at least three other individuals, and I have more that are almost ready to sow. Knowing that I’m giving someone a present that will keep growing and foster a sense of family in every person who travels with a Christmas Cactus thrills my heart. This assignment I’ve been assigned has extra special qualities, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Unfortunately, one of the younger plants was knocked over last week by a blast of wind, destroying the pot and a portion of the plant. I was inconsolable and broke down in tears about it. But soon after, I remembered Gram, who would have advised me to shake it off and develop the leftover portions of the stem into a plant for a special someone.

That’s what I’m doing, however the mother plant needs to be repotted in the interim. Christmas cactus repotting is not a difficult process, but it must be done carefully, especially with mature plants.

For the repotting of a Christmas cactus to be successful, you must be aware of the following:

1. To start with, you should be aware that Christmas cacti are tropical plants. They are not your typical cactus, and they favor hot, humid climates.

2. The holiday Cactuses don’t have leaves; instead, they have flat, segmented stems that produce chlorophyll much as leaves would. Older stem segments will eventually turn woody and resemble tree bark as they deteriorate.

3. You must be extremely cautious while removing your Christmas cactus from its current container for repotting if it is root-bound. Rootbound denotes that the plant has outgrown its container. If the soil is firm, the roots are extending through the pot’s drainage hole, or the plant’s stems are becoming yellow or brown (which can also be a sign of overwatering, so you just have to keep an eye on the plant), you can usually tell. It turned out to be a lucky break for me because the clay pot cracked when it dropped, making removal relatively simple. Sincerely, I’d rather you break a clay pot than put the plant’s health in danger by attempting to turn it up on its side.

4. Christmas cactus roots actually enjoy being somewhat packed. Plant parents struggle with this because, despite the fact that they thrive in crowded pots, it can be difficult to keep them from becoming root-bound. The best general rule is to pot your Christmas cactus in a pot that is 2 inches bigger than the one it is currently in every 4 years. I’m moving this guy from a 6-inch pot to an 8-inch pot, as you can see.

Before you start removing the plant from its current pot, fill the new pot with dirt. In order to avoid wasting time and place the root ball into new, nutritious soil as quickly as possible, you want to have its new home ready. You’ll see that I’m using dirt that has been specifically designed for cacti. Despite being a tropical plant, Christmas Cactuses need soil that allows for quick water drainage, thus you should still use this soil. You can begin by adding enough dirt to the bottom of your new pot so that the top of your root ball is about one inch deep from the top.

6. Gently scrape away portion of the root ball’s old, dry dirt. You might need to wet the roots to remove the old soil, or even rinse them. I believe that my plant benefited from the fall because the soil just sort of slipped away from the root system without really breaking it.

7. Insert your plant into its new location and carefully add fresh dirt to the area around the root ball. I was very careful to remove any stems that were becoming yellow or dried out as I proceeded.

8. To help it adjust to the new soil and container, give your repotted Christmas cactus a deep drink of fresh water and place it in extra shade for a few days.

9. I keep mine on the porch, close to the house, all summer long, just like my grandmother did, so they can get some indirect sunlight and fresh air. I can’t even begin to describe how much these plants have expanded and revived this summer. Fresh, vibrant green stems are sprouting out everywhere. Picking up a few branches to establish new plants won’t harm them and will actually encourage new development.

10. It will be time to move them inside in the fall, when the first frost is expected. They prefer to be in a dimly lit area that is away from direct sunshine (which is, if at all possible, somewhat humid). In October, you should water your plants only once a week. Instead of watering your plant once a week, reduce it to a light watering once every three weeks in October to encourage flowering during the holidays. For a few weeks, some people even cover their Christmas cacti to promote blooming.

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.

Do Christmas cacti require certain soil?

The Christmas cactus is an epiphyte that grows naturally on tree trunks where the majority of its soil is made up of dead leaves and other vegetation. The soil must be well-drained, well-aerated, and allow the plant’s roots to breathe when it is grown in a pot. The roots will be choked by dense garden soil or potting soil made to hold in a lot of moisture, which will hinder the Christmas cactus’ ability to grow and bloom. Additionally, it might cause the Christmas cactus’ mortality and root rot.

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.

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.

Can I use ordinary potting soil to plant a Christmas cactus?

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

What kind of soil is ideal for planting a Christmas cactus?

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.