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.

Do Christmas cacti enjoy having their roots bound?

Do Christmas cacti enjoy being rootbound? I was told not to repot it because it is currently healthy. D. Forrest

SUMMARY: Christmas cactus tolerates dense root systems well, so your friend isn’t entirely mistaken. Although Christmas cacti can still thrive after becoming rootbound, you should still repot your holiday plants every four years, expanding the container size by two inches each time.

Repotting a Christmas cactus can be difficult since, if the plant becomes rootbound, doing so might easily cause damage to the plant. Breaking the pot is the quickest way to remove it without harming the plant. It’s not a major loss because clay pots are inexpensive, and it’s much simpler to rehome your cactus without harming it.

If you notice your planter’s soil getting harder over time, observe roots poking out of the drainage hole or holes, or notice that the stems of your Christmas cactus are beginning to turn yellow or brown, your cactus may be root-bound (the latter symptom is also sometimes a sign of overwatering, not overcrowding). If you see these symptoms, you can leave your plant in its overcrowded container for a few more weeks or even months because it actually prefers the crowding. But ultimately, you’ll want to repot your cactus to give it more space and, in the process, provide it with newer, healthy soil.

To speed up water drainage, use potting soil designed specifically for cactuses and succulents. Fill the new, larger replacement planter with enough fresh soil so that the top of the root ball will rest about an inch below the rim. Remove a significant amount of the old soil from the roots and root ball by gently brushing off the root ball. To remove the majority of the oil soil from the roots and root ball, you can choose to wet or rinse them with water.

Then, carefully fill the space surrounding the root ball with the new, fresh potting soil that was designed for desert plants after placing your cactus in its new pot. While repotting, take out any stems that have yellowed or dried out. When the new dirt is securely planted, water your Christmas cactus thoroughly and choose a shaded location to put it for a few days so that it can get used to its new surroundings, the new soil, and the extra room.

During the spring and summer, keep your cactus in a shaded area of the porch or patio where they can receive plenty of fresh air and indirect sunshine. If you prefer, you can take a few cuttings each fall and give them out as gifts once they have grown. Bring them indoors in the fall and store them away from direct sunlight in a dry, dark area. Your Christmas cacti will thrive exceptionally well if you can create a slightly humid indoor environment.

Start drying the soil in October to promote blooming during the holiday season. Reduce the frequency of watering to only once every three weeks instead of once a week. For holiday blooms to flourish, darkness and dryness are both necessary conditions. To enhance the flowering of their Christmas cacti, some gardeners go so far as to cover their plants and keep them in the dark for a few weeks.

How frequently do Christmas cacti need to be replanted?

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 prefer tiny pots?

When Christmas Cactus is slightly potbound, it blooms best. I transplanted mine into an 8-pot container from a 6-grow pot. I’ve seen older Christmas Cacti growing successfully in pretty small pots. A minimum of 1 drain hole must be present in the pot.

Are Christmas cacti misted well?

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.