When To Repot Thanksgiving Cactus

It’s likely that you have heard of the Christmas cactus, but did you realize that there

How do you know when to repot your cactus?

If you notice roots protruding from the container’s bottom, it’s time to repot your cactus. This suggests that it is excessively root-bound. The majority of cacti enjoy being in small areas and can remain in their container for many years. You’ll know it has grown too much and needs repotting when you see roots.

Since they prefer it snug, the container in the next larger size will be suitable. Repotting should be done every two to four years as a general rule. The latter is preferable if you fertilize annually, but if you don’t, you should repot after two years to restore soil fertility. The optimal time is in January or February, when there is active growth.

What type of soil is necessary for a Thanksgiving cactus?

Temperature & Light: The festive cacti thrive in bright shade. In the fall and winter, full sunshine is advantageous, but in the summer, intense sunlight can cause plants to seem pale and yellow. In the growing season from April to September, temperatures between 70 and 80 F are ideal for spring and summer growth. The Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti need on shorter (8 to 10 hour) days and cooler temperatures in the fall to develop their flower buds. Once the flower buds are set in the fall, do not allow the temperature to reach above 90 F. The loss of flower buds can be a result of persistently warm conditions. In the event that it gets below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, do not leave these cactus outside.

Temperature control and photoperiod (control of the duration of the day and night) control are key factors in successful flower bud formation in the fall. The plants require the following for the initiation of flower buds:

  • dazzling light
  • long evenings Before flower buds to set, there must be at least 14 hours per day of nonstop darkness. For a full bud set, long nights should begin around the middle of September and last for at least six weeks. Be aware that even two hours of intermittent lighting can prevent flower buds from setting. In 3 to 4 weeks, buds will often start to appear. Once the buds are set, the photoperiod has little impact on flowering.
  • For optimal flower production, fall growth temperatures should be kept between 60 and 68 oF, ideally as close to 68 oF as feasible. Regardless of the length of the day, plants cultivated with night temperatures between 50 and 59 oF will produce flower buds, however growth will be slower and bud drop may happen at this temperature.
  • Early in June, prune the stems to encourage branching and additional flower terminals.
  • At the end of September, pinching—also known as leveling—is done to cut off any terminal phylloclades that are less than 1 cm (0.4 inch) and to roughly equalize the length of all stems. These young, immature stem segments won’t begin blossom buds until they are fully developed. A flower bud develops on the earlier, more developed stem segment following the removal of a brief phylloclade.

Fertilizer and Watering: Water the growing media until it feels completely dry to the touch. The spring and summer months can be dry and mildly underwatered for the holiday cacti. Avoid letting the soil become soggy, especially during the gloomy winter months, but also avoid letting it fully dry up. To avoid flower bud abscission, the growing medium must be kept consistently moist after bud set in the fall. In the saucer underneath the pot, never let water stand.

Use a half strength soluble fertilizer, such as a 20-10-20 or 20-20-20 with trace elements, to fertilize plants every month beginning when new growth begins in late winter or early spring and continuing through the summer. Compared to many plants, holiday cacti have a greater magnesium need. During the growing season, fertilize once a month with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) blended at 1 teaspoon per gallon of water, but avoid applying the fertilizer the same week. Stop fertilizing in the late summer to increase the formation of bloom buds in the fall.

The Christmas cacti flower best when kept fairly pot-bound, according to the growing medium. Repotting is best done in the spring and is only required about once every three years. These epiphytic cacti do not grow well in heavy, wet potting mixes, thus the potting medium needs to be well-drained and well-aerated. A excellent mixture can have 60–80% potting soil and 40–20% perlite. Pick a potting soil that is pH balanced and of good quality.

How should a large Thanksgiving cactus be repotted?

How to Repot a Thanksgiving and Christmas Cactus

  • Step 1: Pick the Correct Pot.
  • Step 2: Prepare the Soil for Your Cactus.
  • Step 3: Take the Root Ball loose.
  • Remove the cactus in step four.
  • Check for pests in Step 5.
  • Transplant into the new pot in step six.
  • Step 7: Don’t water for a week.
  • 5 Incredible Edible Flowers.

When should Christmas cactus be repotted?

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 cacti prefer little pots?

Your cactus or succulent plant’s survival depends on the pot size and soil type you choose.

In this section, you will learn how to pot or repot your plant, how to knock out a plant, and how to manage prickly plants, as well as everything else you need to know about properly caring for your cactus or succulent plant.

When they’re young, succulents and cacti can be kept in a dish garden. For a start, the common clay bonsai trays are excellent.

The plants can be moved into their own pots when they become too large. No matter the temperature—45°F or 85°F—the plants will remain the same size if you keep them dry. The plants will rot if you water them in cold weather or when they are dormant.

Avoid overpoting. Rotting roots are frequently caused by overpotting. Put the smaller pot into the larger pot and fill the area in between with gravel if the plant is top heavy. This will provide the plant with a sturdy foundation without putting it at risk of decay.

Pot Size

Cacti and other succulents should be potted in the smallest containers possible. Use a pot for cactus that is just big enough to accommodate the plant. Use a pot that is just a little bit bigger than the root ball for other succulents.

The drainage provided by the holes on the pot’s bottom is insufficient for some plants. Make the hole in a clay pot bigger by using a hammer and a screwdriver. For a plastic pot, use a hot knife or hot ice pick.

In either scenario, take care to avoid burning yourself or breaking the pot. If the clay pot does crack, save the fragments for your subsequent planting endeavor rather than throwing them away.

Soil

The potting material is less significant than excellent drainage. A thick layer of gravel or crumbled bricks should be put over the porous soil. More humus (organic matter) is preferred by spineless succulents in their potting soil.

We typically use the terms “heavy,” “organic,” and “light” to describe different types of soil. These definitions mean as follows:

Heavy. This is composed of clay, loam, or good garden soil with roughly one-third humus. It should contain roughly one-third washed builder’s sand or perlite where good drainage is necessary.

Organic. This is humus-rich soil, leaf mold (decomposed leaves), or some other organic material-rich soil. The drainage will be improved by using perlite or coarse builder’s sand.

Light. This describes a material with an open texture that has great drainage and can be kept damp but never wet. Plants that spend time in trees in the natural world benefit from it.

How to Pot

1. Choose a pot that is not excessively huge.

2. Fill the bottom with enough drainage material.

3. Insert your potting material into it until it is roughly one-third filled.

4. Check the plant’s size (make sure it won’t be too high above the pot’s top or too far down in the pot). Unless the plant prefers to move horizontally, in which case it should be placed at one edge, place the plant in the middle.

5. Fill all the crevices between the plant and the pot with your potting medium while holding the plant gently where you want it to stay.

6. Shake the pot to help the soil settle, then gently press the earth down around the roots. Add extra soil if there isn’t enough or if it starts to pack down. Older plants get more earth packed around them than seedlings do. So that there is room for water, leave a space between the top of the medium and the top of the pot.

7. Give the plant water.

Repotting

The process is essentially the same when working with plants that are already potted, with the exception that you must start by taking the plant out of pot 1.

Sometimes the plant can be readily removed, but other times it can be more difficult. Do not pull on the plant if it is stubbornly refusing to emerge from the pot. The container breaking can be preferable to the plant being damaged or having its top broken off.

How to Knock Out a Plant

If the plant is stuck in its pot, try gently tapping the pot against something hard, like wood or concrete, to see if you can squirm it out.

If it doesn’t work, try carefully slicing the inside of the pot with a knife to see if the plant will now emerge.

If that doesn’t work and the pot is made of clay, use your hammer to smash it with a few controlled strokes that won’t harm the plant.

Take part of the soil around the root ball out once the plant has been removed from the pot. Prune away a portion of the roots if they appear to be overgrown.

You can take a knife and simply chop off the outside of the root ball, including the roots, on some plants where the roots become extremely, extremely thick. If you wish to retain your plant in the same-sized container, you can also utilize this root pruning technique.

You can keep your plant “growing on” in the same container for years by first cutting some of the roots and then portion of the top.

How to Handle Spiny Plants

Handle prickly plants by wrapping them in a narrow band of newspaper. Using the band like a belt or harness, wrap it around the plant. For each plant, use a new band.

Gloves are uncomfortable to handle because the small spines break off inside the glove and the huge spines stab right through the glove.

Actually rather simple to propagate are cacti and other succulents. Learn everything you need to know about successful plant propagation in the section that follows.