When To Cut Back Christmas Cactus

After it has finished blooming, you can prune your Christmas cactus to make it larger and bushier, but never after late spring. Simply pinch off one or more of the parts to trim the plant. If you want to grow more plants from them, replant them in different pots.

How can a Christmas cactus be pruned without destroying it?

After the Christmas Cactus flowers, it goes through a growth phase where new foliage is produced. Pruning encourages the growth of the plant to move outward rather than upward, which results in a bushier plant.

Use a sharp, sterile pruning knife or clippers

To avoid tearing the delicate plant tissues, the pruning knife you use should be extremely sharp. It should also have been sterilized in either a store-bought solution made specifically for gardening tools or a home-made solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. Prior to pruning, you should wash your hands properly to help stop the spread of plant diseases.

Prune at the gap between segments

Always cut down your Christmas cactus where the leaf segments meet. Given that these are the plant’s most vulnerable areas, this ought to be simple. Some individuals choose to twist at the segment rather than cut it with a knife to remove foliage, however this method seems to work best on fresher growth.

It’s not a good idea to remove more than one-third of your Christmas cactus’ current leaves. You simply need to cut around an inch if the plant is still young and you just bought it. Each stem should be around the same length in the end.

In addition, pruning is a great time to thoroughly inspect your Christmas cactus for any potential pests or pathogens so you may treat the plant and prevent future harm.

Use cutting for more plants

Never let the clipped plant material sit in the container because as it decomposes, it will attract a number of pests and illnesses.

How should a grown-up Christmas cactus be cared for?

It’s likely a big plant if you acquire or inherit an ancient Christmas cactus. Old Christmas cactus maintenance involves trimming back overgrown branches and, occasionally, repotting the plant.

A thorough branch cut is one of the first stages in caring for antique Christmas cacti. It is advisable to trim the branches rather than letting them grow excessively long and heavy because they are more likely to break off. This is especially true if the edges of the leaves appear limp, withered, or thin.

Clip the branches at the segment joints to shape them back. Cut each branch back by at least a third and as much as three-quarters of its length on overgrown cacti. You can even trim a branch of the Christmas cactus all the way back to the woody part if the base of the branch is becoming woody. The wood will sprout new green areas.

Where is Christmas cactus cut?

It’s simple to grow Christmas cacti. In fact, propagating the Christmas cactus is a fantastic method to spread the word about this amazing plant.

A small, Y-shaped cutting from the stem tip is typically all that is needed to start the propagation process for Christmas cacti. There should be at least two or three linked segments in the cutting. Making cuttings from good foliage is usually a must for propagating Christmas cacti.

To prevent stem rot from probable over-moisture, let the cutting dry for a few hours before potting it up for rooted.

Should I remove my Christmas cactus’ dead blooms?

Christmas is typically not a time when desert-dwelling flora are highlighted because the holiday generally honors brisk pine tree forests, chilly temperatures, and snowfall. The Christmas Cactus is an exception, though, as it is indigenous to Brazil’s rainforests. It’s difficult to miss this plant during the season with its long flat stems and beautifully colored flowers. The Christmas Cactus will offer you tons of flowers in pinks, reds, purples, and white while it’s tough to get your other cactus to bloom. Possibly not always the colors of the season, but nonetheless lovely.

Perhaps you saw one at the florist or your neighbor decided to give you a Christmas Cactus as a gift in appreciation for your assistance in setting up the lights (well done!). You’re unsure of what to do with it as it sits in your living room, however it got there. You might be a little confused by the fact that it’s a cactus because they are frequently associated with moodiness around water. But unlike its relatives, this cactus is not afraid of water and has very few sharp parts, so it won’t bite. Discover how to take care of your Christmas cactus by reading on.

No life jacket requiredWatering your Christmas Cactus

The Christmas Cactus adores the water, contrary to what you might be used to (swimming, water polo, and perhaps even a little skinny dipping!) It prefers to have regular waterings that thoroughly wet the soil. Despite the fact that you should let the soil dry up a little bit in between your planned waterings, you should never let it become fully dry. This may impede the growth of your plant and lead it to lose all of the carefully tended flowers!

Warm hugsDon’t give your cacti the cold shoulder

The ideal temperature range for your Christmas Cactus should be between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius, despite the fact that hugging cacti is generally not advised. Like any warm-blooded plant, try to keep it away from drafts and vents. For these guys, a constant temperature is optimal. Although bright light is preferred, excessive amounts of direct sunlight can burn the stems.

A life after ChristmasWhat to do with your Christmas Cactus after the season

Deadhead all the wasted blooms to keep your cacti looking their best during and after the Christmas season. Additionally, this stimulates the plant to keep on blooming. You can continue to enjoy your cacti after Christmas until it eventually stops blooming. But once it does, don’t get rid of it! Whether or not they bloom, these cacti make stunning houseplants. And chances are it will blossom for you once more the next year, and occasionally even in the midst of the year. (Bonus!)

You can prune it at the start of the summer by cutting back a few of the stems’ lankier portions. Similar to getting a haircut, this fosters further growth and allows it to blossom once more.

Whether or not it is the holiday season, your Christmas Cactus will stand out from the rest of your houseplants thanks to its tall stalks and vivid blossoms! Enjoy its distinctive design in your house.

Do I need to pinch the Christmas cactus back?

Pruning. After it has finished blooming, you can prune your Christmas cactus to make it larger and bushier, but never after late spring. Simply pinch off one or more of the parts to trim the plant. If you want to grow more plants from them, replant them in different pots.

Should I leave my Christmas cactus outside at night?

Flowers are produced by Christmas cacti during a chilly, brief day cycle. It takes at least eight days of 16 hours of darkness and 8 hours of light every day for flower buds to begin to form. No matter where the plant is located, avoid using the lights at night, even for a little time.

Why does my holiday cactus resemble Woody?

A healthy Christmas cactus that lives to a ripe old age typically has hard, woody stems. This indicates that you have kept your plant healthy enough to develop into an adult.

The following instructions should only be followed once your plant has completed blooming. The optimal season is spring. A good knife or pair of shears is required. Rub some rubbing alcohol on the blade(s) to disinfect them.

Trim back the longer, droopier, overgrown branches first. Older branches are heavy and lengthy and are more likely to break. Look for limp, shriveled, and thin leaves. These are the ones that need to be disconnected. Don’t remove a whole branch unless it is completely worn out. Simply trim the leaf segments back until the leaves appear healthy. Slice through the leaf joints.

Cut each branch back by at least a third and as much as three-quarters of its length if you want to make your cactus smaller. Branches can be removed all the way back to the woody portion, and it will probably start to grow again from there.

You can repot your plant after giving it a trim. Make sure you have a fresh, light-weight potting mix that is well-drained on available, as well as a clean container that is roughly the same size as your old pot and has a drainage hole in the bottom. The ideal product would be a commercial bromeliad or succulent blend. Another option is to use two thirds ordinary potting soil and one third vermiculite.

Move outside because repotting is a messy operation. Remove the plant and its roots from its container carefully by laying down some newspaper or a tarp. If your plant is big and old, this may be an easier said than done process. I like to push up into the roots via the drainage hole after running a knife down the inside of the pot to loosen the plant.

Your old dirt is probably hard and compacted. A hose should be close by so you can gently wash the old soil from the roots. Remove any decaying roots. The Christmas cactus should be placed in the new pot with the top of the roots resting about an inch below the rim. Fill the new pot halfway with fresh soil.

Fill up the spaces surrounding the roots as you add more fresh dirt to the pot. To help the dirt settle and get rid of air pockets, lightly tamp it. Then lightly moisten it. For a few days, put your freshly pruned and replanted plant in a shaded spot. You may definitely leave it outside until fall at this time of year if it’s in a protected area.

How long is the lifespan of a Christmas cactus?

During the holidays, the Christmas cactus may be seen everywhere, and with good cause. It’s a blooming succulent that requires little maintenance, produces lovely blooms, and, with the right care, can last up to 100 years! That is correct! This plant may endure for a long time, bringing color to your holidays for many years. For a plant that is as cheap and uncomplicated as the Christmas cactus, that’s a fairly great investment!

Why is my Christmas cactus leggy?

When cared for properly and placed in the ideal spot, Christmas cacti can bloom all year long. Before the first frost, bring your Christmas Cactus indoors. It’s crucial to keep the soil drier. Place your Christmas Cactus where it will receive four to six hours of indirect sunshine during the winter. Keep the soil damp by misting it frequently.

Put your Christmas cactus in a hanging planter or on top of a shelf where it may hang freely to stimulate additional stems. Here is a comprehensive guide on caring for your Christmas cactus, including everything from the plant’s need for sunlight to common issues and how to fix them.


In order for your Christmas Cactus to flourish and remain healthy, it needs bright, indirect light during the day. This is the first tip on our list of how to take care of your Christmas Cactus. The optimum location for your Christmas Cactus is one with eastern exposure. To promote healthy growth on all sides, make sure to rotate it at least once per week.

Common Issue: If your Christmas cactus appears frail and leggy, it may not be receiving enough sunshine. Your Christmas Cactus, however, will burn if there is too much sun.

Solution: Christmas cactus can tolerate low light levels, but it will blossom more quickly in direct, bright light. Nevertheless, keep it in an appropriate area because too much light will burn its leaves.


Watering your Christmas cactus when the top layer of soil feels dry is the next item on our list of how to take care of it. Depending on the amount of light and moisture in your home, often once a week. When your plant’s leaves begin to wrinkle, it’s another clue that it needs water. Make sure the soil is evenly moist when the flowers on your Christmas cactus are blooming.

Common Issue: If the leaves on your plants are beginning to wilt, you may not be watering them enough. However, root rot can result from excessive soil moisture.

The best course of action is to inspect the soil every seven days in order to prevent these irrigation issues. Additionally, think about how much light and moisture are there in your house. Never let the water sit on your Christmas cactus because this can cause root rot. Make that it is potted correctly in a planter with holes.

Humidity & Temperature

Put your Christmas cactus in a room with high humidity to add to our list of suggestions for how to care for it. By periodically spraying it, putting it close to a humidifier, or using a pebble tray, you can raise the humidity in the area where it will be placed.

Additionally, a space should be 65 degrees Fahrenheit for your Christmas Cactus. Keep the Christmas Cactus somewhere with a temperature of between 55F and 65F to promote more blooming.


A houseplant fertilizer or half-strength water-soluble mix, like 20-20-20 or 20-10-20, should be fed to your Christmas cactus every month from late winter to late summer as part of routine watering.

To prevent plant or fertilizer burn, observe the time and amount of fertilizer advised.

Pests & Other Problems

The first thing you should do is segregate your Christmas cactus and inspect your other indoor plants if you spot any insects, fungus, or pests on it, such as aphids, fungus gnats, mealybugs, soft brown scale insects, or spider mites.

Use a pesticide to get rid of these annoyances. Repot your Christmas cactus in brand-new soil if that doesn’t work. If you plan to reuse the pot, properly wash it with soap.

To get rid of spider mites, you might also give your Christmas cactus a bath or apply insecticide to the leaves. Then try again after letting your Christmas Cactus dry out. Spider mites require some effort to eliminate.

The instructions for caring for your Christmas cactus are complete. Due to its lengthy lifespan, we strongly suggest this Christmas plant if you’re a novice or new plant parent. Additionally, it makes a wonderful Christmas present for your loved ones!

Expand your knowledge of plants. For additional information on various houseplants and advice on how to keep your plants alive and healthy, visit our blog on plant care.