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.
How cold must it be for Christmas cactus?
The Christmas cactus can handle temperatures as high as 50 F, but it does respond better to milder temps in the fall when it is starting to form bloom buds. If the plant is exposed to excessive heat or light, no buds will grow. The largest number of blooms are produced during the winter blooming season when temperatures are kept between 60 and 68 F and 14 hours of total darkness are provided every night for six weeks starting in mid-September. To assist the blooms last as long as possible over the winter, keep the temperatures lower.
Can I leave my outdoor Christmas cactus?
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A robust Christmas cactus in full bloom makes a wonderful present or decoration, despite the fact that poinsettias continue to be the most widely used holiday plant. Christmas cacti may be cultivated year-round indoors and require little maintenance. The flowers come in a variety of hues, including combinations of yellow, salmon, pink, fuchsia, and white.
A Christmas cactus should be placed in a sunny area of the house when it is moved to its permanent location. The best light comes from a window facing north or east. If you wish to grow it inside, shade the plant with thin curtains in a south or west window.
The leaves of the Christmas cactus, a succulent plant, can hold a respectable amount of water. It is not, however, as drought-tolerant as you might imagine. When you can feel the top half of the growth mix feeling dry to the touch, water well. The amount of time between watering depends on the relative humidity, air temperature, amount of light, rate of development, and temperature of the soil.
For the Christmas cactus, humidity is crucial. Put the container on a pebble tray. To improve the humidity around the plant, keep water in the tray. Maintain the plant in this manner until it has finished blooming.
After blossoming is finished, give the plant six weeks without water to rest. Resuming watering after that will keep the soil relatively moist while allowing the top to dry off. Transfer the plant to a new container as necessary as springtime tender growth emerges, or top-dress with new growing medium. For Christmas cactus, potting soil that drains well is essential. For succulent plants, use potting soil that has been professionally packed. Every two to three years, or whenever the container is full of roots, plants need to be replanted. Any time of year is a good opportunity to repot plants that seem unwell. Every two to three weeks, use a liquid houseplant fertilizer at half the recommended rate as a follow-up.
In the summer, Christmas cacti can be put outside, but they need to be tended in a partially to completely shaded area. The leaves can burn in direct sunlight. For the summer, some gardeners relocate their plants to a porch or patio with shade. After the growing mix dries on top in the summer, water it to keep it moist.
After making sure no insects are accompanying the plant, bring it indoors when fall arrives in September. Most insects that attempt to board are usually driven off by a stream of water sprayed in their direction. Like before it went on vacation outside, put the Christmas cactus in a sunny spot. High light intensity is essential for the development of flowers.
Water simply enough during fall maintenance to keep plants from withering. Before watering, let the top half of the potting mix dry out. The pebble tray with water for humidity should not be forgotten. Don’t water the plant in October unless it starts to wilt. In November, you can slowly start watering again. Branches droop and snap when they are overwatered. When the growing mix’s top dries off, add water.
Although the Christmas cactus is simple to grow, some claim that it can be challenging to get it to bloom once more. Cool temperatures are necessary for flowering even though warm temperatures are beneficial throughout the growing season. Keep the plant somewhere where the temperature is between 60 and 65 degrees starting in October. Keep Christmas cactus away from fireplaces, heat vents, and other heat sources. Flower buds will grow if temperatures stay in this range for a period of six weeks.
If you are unable to maintain temperatures in this range, you must provide the plant with 13 hours of continuous darkness every night to trigger flowering, which should begin around the first of October. Every night, put the Christmas cactus in a room that is entirely dark, or cover it with a box or dark piece of clothing.
Stop fertilizing and only water enough to keep the leaves from drooping throughout the period of flower bud production, which begins in October. Water the growth mix when the top half becomes dry to achieve this.
Once the Christmas cactus develops buds, nurture it in a room with typical indoor temperatures and medium to high light. Water the plant to keep it evenly moist when the growing medium’s top dries out. Give your Christmas cactus a half rate of liquid houseplant fertilizer every other week. In the new year, good luck with your interior and outdoor horticultural projects, including your Christmas cactus.
When it freezes, do you need to cover the cactus?
Bring the cactus inside if you’re growing it in a container. Use burlap, bed sheets, or frost blankets to cover landscaping plants in the late afternoon. Set up the coverings with a supporting framework if necessary so they don’t contact the plant. The following morning, when it is above freezing once more, take off the blankets.
Put a 60-watt light bulb under the blanket and leave it on all night if a severe cold is predicted. Cover just the more delicate younger growth at the stem ends of columnar cacti in light frost with polystyrene cups.
Can you revive a frozen cactus?
Can you revive a frozen cactus? The gardener’s first responsibility is to practice patience. Usually, it can. This means that if you notice freezing damage to cacti, you shouldn’t rush in and chop off the sensitive limb tips. It is entirely possible to thaw out a frozen cactus, but cleanup shouldn’t begin right away. Watch for the blackening of the softer parts.
Do nothing when you notice the tips or trunks of your cacti turning from green to white to purple. The likelihood that the cactus will self-heal is good. However, you will need to prune when those tips change from green to white to black. To be sure that the cold weather is over, wait till a sunny day later in the spring. Then cut away the black portions.
This implies that you trim the arm tips or, if the cactus is black, even remove the entire head. If the cactus has joints, cut at the joint. Once the cactus portions have turned black, don’t wait to take action. The black areas are decaying and lifeless. If you don’t get rid of them, the cactus will perish and the deterioration will spread.
If everything goes as planned, your trimming will assist in thawing a frozen cactus. The clipped part will begin to produce new growth in a few months. The sections of the cactus harmed by the cold will no longer be present, however it won’t appear exactly the same.
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.
How should a Christmas cactus be cared for during the winter?
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.
Do Christmas cacti benefit from coffee grounds?
During the growing season, give your cactus fertilizer with potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus once or twice a month. It is simpler to feed a plant when the fertilizer dissolves in water. Epsom salts can also be administered to it (more about this in a moment).
Do Christmas Cactus Like Coffee Grounds?
As much as you do, your Christmas cactus will appreciate a cup of joe. Potassium and nitrogen, two nutrients the cactus needs to be healthy, are abundant in coffee grounds.
Spread the grounds out to dry first before using them because wet grounds might get moldy if used immediately. Give your plant its daily dose of coffee by either dispersing the dried grinds on the soil or blending them with water. Use this method to fertilize your cactus no more than once every two weeks.
Is Epsom Salt Good For Christmas Cactus?
Your Christmas cactus will, in fact, enjoy some Epsom salt. It’s an excellent approach to guarantee that the plant receives all the magnesium it requires to flourish and expand. One teaspoon of salt should be added to one gallon of water when mixing the salt and water. As it only requires fertilizer and food during the spring and summer growing seasons, stop feeding it in the fall.
Can a Christmas cactus survive the winter outdoors?
Can you grow Christmas cacti outside? The answer is true, but as Christmas cactus is unquestionably not cold hardy, you can only grow the plant outdoors year round if you reside in a warm environment. Christmas cactus can only be grown outdoors in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 and up.
Will my cactus survive outside?
Many gardeners think it’s nearly impossible to cultivate cacti outside or that these succulents can only survive in hot, dry climates. Thankfully, that is not the situation. Plants like cacti and other succulents are excellent for landscaping. They can grow and thrive in a variety of climates, need minimal upkeep, and are always simple to grow and take care of.
So, are cacti a healthy outdoor plant? Yes. Although cacti plants often flourish in indoor settings, many kinds can also thrive when planted outdoors. You can always locate a suitable cactus species that can survive outside, regardless of the climate in the area where you live.
While some cacti species can withstand extreme heat and light, other types thrive in cold winter settings. It is up to you to identify the species that will thrive in your region.