Last Updated: November 28, 2020 ", live up north and my plants are fairly new. New growth will still appear – and that is when watering should be resumed. How to Grow, How much Light, When to Water, How to get it to Bloom, Why is it dropping Flower Buds? Make sure to not let the pot touch the water when it is sitting on the gravel; otherwise the pot will wick up water and make it easier for the roots to rot. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. Gratefully, it is in an east window and has not been over watered. Fertilization : Apply a high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks once buds form. ", treating it like a Christmas Cactus and following your suggestions. The Christmas Cactus is a beautiful plant that produces bright, delicate blooms during the holiday season. ", article in order to review the information throughout the year, since a marked twelve month calendar is included to assist the reader in determining when and when not to water and fertilize. When watering your Christmas cactus, take into consideration the time of year, the climate, and the environment. Feed a Christmas cactus with a 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 plant food diluted with water to 50% strength. ", blooms this Christmas from my over 30 year old plant! If you want it to get bigger, you have to. Mist leaves as well as watering the soil. "My 6-year-old Christmas cactus has bloomed faithfully, but not grown much in size. Maggie Moran is a Professional Gardener in Pennsylvania. Typically, it will bloom in November or December and again in February. Neither of my thumbs are green, yet I've kept a store-bought Christmas cactus going strong for about three years now. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. ", and now know to wait until after it blooms. If growing outdoors or in a humid and hot environment then water every two to three days. Your artwork is excellent and exactly what I was searching for! This article was co-authored by Maggie Moran. ", frost, then bring them in and they bloom between thanksgiving and Christmas. Very informative and specific. Reduce the watering slightly. Drafts and temperature extremes can cause the flower buds to drop from the plant before they have a chance to open. Giving your Christmas cactus the proper care, including giving it the right temperature and lighting conditions and placing it in the right place, will ensure that the plant will bloom and might continuously flower several times more within a year. If this starts happening, water the plant less and add some fertilizer to the pot. Move an indoors plant outdoors in summer to a shady location. Christmas cactus moisture is important as well. For starters, repotting the plant is a good idea. ", find out if they have to be in a pot with drainage, and I found out why mine only blooms at Easter, and why the buds drop off (too much water). Why? Christmas Cactus Care. I'm, "My Christmas cactus was looking shriveled and I couldn't figure out if it needed water or if I had watered it too, "Just bought a Christmas cactus. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 4,689,517 times. Wanted to find out how much watering, "What a great article! When it comes to lighting, Marino says that, in general, Christmas cacti do well in indirect bright light, with “extended periods of low light...to encourage their delicate winter blooms.” Indeed, the latter is particularly important if you want a Christmas cactus to develop its signature exotic flowers. Simply cut back the watering and make sure the plant receives 12-14 hours of darkness and average temperatures around 50-55 F. (10-12 C.). Be sure to turn plants at regular intervals while encouraging new growth. Many times though, they’re both labeled as Christmas Cactus when they are sold! Not having had, "A very well written article that covered all of my questions in a concise and informative manner.I should get more, "Loved this article. I needed to know the best location and water amounts to keep it going so I can pass it to my kids. All you need to know. ", I also didn't know that you shouldn't water for about a month after blooming, or that you need to place segment in the soil rather than water to get the roots to grow! You did everything right. Despite their name, Christmas cacti don’t like to sit in dry soil or arid conditions. With the right care, your cactus can live, thrive and continue to bloom year after year. Planting Christmas cactus Christmas cacti need a well-drained compost, so either use a compost specifically recommended for cacti and succulents or use a multi-purpose compost with added John Innes plus some added grit. The cutting should show signs of growth within a few weeks, at which time the plant can be transferred to another container, if desired, with a looser potting soil mix of compost, loam and sand. Christmas cacti tend to flower in a cold and relatively dark environment. Get a personalized wikiHow-style meme drawn for you today! It’s not just a seasonal plant, however. At this time, cease watering for about 6 weeks to allow the plant to rest. It is best to keep in a normal house temperature range, about 65 to 75°F (18 to 20°C). This article has clearly designed directions and. I lived in Florida for many years and had no problems. Try adjusting both to see if it helps. Fertilize your Christmas cactus every month in the growing season or from mid spring to early autumn. The plant is so easy to propagate, which makes it a nice plant to share with others. They are outside on a screened porch until it is suppose to, "I just got a Christmas cactus, learning as I go. Your plant may be getting too much light or not enough water. At Christmas time, as if by magic, the buds open to a beautiful flower that will add color and warmth to any holiday season. If you can find a cactus potting mix that is perfect. From September and October, the Christmas Cactus should be kept in a cool room where temperatures will remain around 50-55°F (10-12°C), give or take a few degrees. Mom had a green thumb with them. The flowers are awesome and so pretty. Now I understand the special requirements. To fix it, water more frequently (but take care to avoid overwatering, too, which can cause leaves to fall off and root rot). Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Applying a mild houseplant fertilizer solution every other week is also acceptable. ", watering. I believe I know why now, thank you! Use about 1/2 teaspoon of liquid fertilizer, such as a 0-10-10 blend and do not fertilize once the plant begins to flower. Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus or Easter Cactus. They grow quickly, and should take in about two or three weeks. This will ensure the plant forms buds easier and eventually it blooms around Christmas. An alternative is one part potting soil, two parts peat moss or compost, and one part sharp sand or perlite. It's worth the few extra dollars since it will probably be sitting in that soil for a long time. Treat the cuttings as mature plants. The plant requires frequent and thorough watering, during its active growth in spring and summer, keeping the soil slightly moist. Plants should be blooming for the holidays if cool treatments are started by early November. Port Arthur massacre film to be directed by Snowtown's Justin Kurzel. They'll burn in direct sunlight, so if it's indoors near a west or south-facing window, make sure it's filtered with a sheer curtain. Seeing examples is the best way for me to learn. When watering it, I rotate it just a little each time so that it gets some sun exposure all around. Should I deadhead the wilted blooms on my Christmas cactus? I, "This article was very well laid out with step-by-step instructions, also having pictures of the different problems, "Thank you for detailing the months to water, then dry in October, followed with water in November to produce. How many times a year does a Christmas cactus bloom? Best Soil For Christmas Cactus. The tips grow darker as each day passes, until a bud forms. Be especially careful with watering at this time. It all depends on the soil you are using. Christmas cacti are some of the easiest house plants to care for. She always had it on a table in the northwest, "Didn't know about root bound plants flowering better. Here in Maine, I had it outdoors until last night's frost warning. The blooming instructions are based on having a cold Christmas. That being said, cooler night temperatures can be used to initiate blooming. Fertilizing is important to keep the plant in good condition; the joints are fragile and can break apart if the plant descends into poor health. This article has been viewed 4,689,517 times. Keep the plant in a well-lit location (like near a window) away from direct sunlight – too much heat and light can stunt growth and burn the leaves. ", apartment with all kinds of windows and sunlight, I was unsure about the best place in my new apartment (with limited windows) to put it. During the fall and winter months, the plants should be watered less frequently in order to promote blooming. If you under-water your Christmas cactus, you can expect the leaves to droop. I hope I do it correctly! ", (almost 8 years ago). ", 2 to move it because it is so large. Keep it near a window when indoors or shaded by trees if kept outdoors in warmer months. This article has been viewed 4,689,517 times. The rule of thumb is. Darker potting soil typically absorbs and holds onto water longer. I repotted it and it began to perk up, but I was unsure how often to water and fertilize. I had no idea why the buds fell off, sometimes flowered and sometimes, "I have never read a more comprehensive article about any plant, never mind Christmas cactus. When you see new growth forming, you can begin watering again. Since then I've re-potted it, watered it (overly) and certainly never given it it's "time in the dark." Don't expose the plant to freezing temperatures. Too much watering will cause spots from white rot to appear on the leaves, and the leaves will likely fall off. When you know how to care for Christmas cactus, this plant is not difficult to manage, and when given proper care and placed in a suitable location, the Christmas cactus may even surprise you with additional blooming cycles throughout the year. By using our site, you agree to our. The best soil for a Christmas cactus is loose, well-draining soil. I don't need to turn the light on in there. ", this article I'm afraid it may get too hot but we have high humidity.