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Wear gardening gloves when handling Christmas cactus to protect your skin. Here’s everything you need to know about caring for a Christmas cactus, watering frequency, feeding, repotting, as well as how to propagate new plants from cuttings. Just dip the cutting and shake off any excess right before putting it in soil. 5 Cut off the broken end, let dry for a few days, then plant or place it in a glass of water until roots form. Christmas cactus are perennials and can live 20 or thirty years with proper care. “Those drought-tolerant cactus gardens that people do in their front lawn that are just a bunch of gravel and a cactus… Determine what kind of cactus you have. Water the cactus weekly during growing season. In fact, cactus plants are native only to North and South America. If your Christmas Cactus leaves are changing colors, it is alerting you to problems with your plant’s health. Instead, in the wild, they thrive on trees or in sandy, rocky areas on the mountainous coast of Brazil and the rainforest. A stringy, fibrous, sour and acidic variety called xoconochtlis is a traditional cactus fruit in stews and side dishes. Step 7: Begin Feeding the Christmas Cactus After blooming, fertilize the plant every month beginning when you see new … No matter what kind you have, they are a beautiful addition to your holiday decorations and will add a pretty pop of color. Easter cactus may look similar, but they are an entirely different group. Don't allow the soil to dry out completely. Search for: Give them a treat! How to Care for a Christmas Cactus. After the plant has bloomed, pinch the spent blossoms to encourage new growth and branching. White-fleshed varieties are most common in Mexico and used in cooking applications. Want to remember these growing tips? Spines instead of leaves. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. If you have curious cats, you should try to put your cactus out of their reach. This means learning what kind of cactus you have, which soil it prefers, and how to pot, repot, and prune your cactus. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →. You should be able to trim four or five pieces or more from a lovely healthy plant. Christmas cactus will bloom from late December through January with just a little effort. To easily root Christmas cactus in water, place up to four segments in a glass of water. Be sure pots have good … A shady spot on your porch is the right place in southern states. How to Keep a Cactus Alive. Check the soil. If your Christmas Cactus is still in its decorative wrapping, cut holes in the bottom to allow drainage. The easiest way to find proper succulent soil is to look for a cactus soil mix that's … Water the plant less frequently for six to eight weeks until you see buds forming. The elegant, graceful flowers are the reward for the time and effort you put into them. Keep the plant in indirect sunlight. The most common of the flowering cactus is actually the Thanksgiving cactus, also known as the Zygocactus. Add soil loosely, and be careful not to pack it too much. Leaves may also appear limp if the plant is getting too much water. The Christmas cactus is a tropical succulent preferring cooler weather and indirect lighting. Choose a sunny location. Water sparingly when the first few inches of soil is dry to the touch. When this happens, it is not usually curable, and it’s best to discard the entire plant to prevent the spread of the disease. A Christmas Cactus will appreciate bright but indirect light. Start it in a shady area at first, gradually moving it into sunnier areas to avoid sunburn. Using sharp scissors or shears, cut a piece of stem with up to four segments and leave it in a cool, dry place for a few days. The three main types are the Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, and the Easter Cactus. Lower the temperature to about 55 degrees, but not below 50 degrees. Buy a special cactus mix of potting soil, or create your own layering gravel, sand, and all-purpose potting soil. Have you ever wondered how to keep your plants alive during the fall and winter time? In the summer, keep the cactus outdoors, being careful not to let it get too much rain. Yellow stem segments can be caused by overcrowding, too much sun, or too much water. The Christmas cactus (a hybrid) is rarely cultivated commercially. The spiny leaves can irritate cats, who may like to rub up against them. Even though this plant bears the name of a cactus, the care it needs has nothing to do with the typical desert cactus. PROTECTION FROM PESTS. Give Them Enough Light. As you transplant the cactus, prune any dead or wilting roots with sharp scissors but be careful not to trim too much at once or you'll make the cactus more vulnerable to root rot and fungus. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money. Light: Place the cactus in an east-facing window for moderate light and some direct sun. Christmas cactus prefer their roots to be slightly crowded, but you should repot every two or three years. ... How to Keep a Christmas Cactus Alive (& Make it Thrive!) Mention @Budget101com or tag #Budget101. Speaking of water, don’t over water your plant. You can still place them outside in a pot in northern areas of the country during mild weather in spring or fall. Since the pollen from a Christmas cactus bloom does not float around, they aren’t likely to cause allergic reactions. Once established, most species of cacti need several hours of direct sunlight every day. Soak the soil when watering, but be sure to remove any excess water that drains out the bottom. Reduce light to twelve hours per day in September or October. Originating in the rainforests of Brazil, they are succulent and do well in areas of high humidity. Since they are tropical plants, they thrive with daily misting and high humidity. Let the cactus recover on a paper towel and repot in a few days, and the cactus should bounce back within a week or two. Water the plant when the top third portion of the soil begins to dry out. Overwatering can kill a cactus, but the plant will need weekly... 3. Avoid direct sunlight. How To Keep Your Succulents Alive – For Beginners. Water your forest cactus as a normal houseplant during the summer months and when the buds begin to show. They do best between 60 to 80 degrees and should be kept indoors when outside temperatures drop to fifty degrees or below. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Transplantation : … You may experience some discomfort while repotting them due to the spiny leaves that can cause itching and a rash. If you want to keep your succulents alive, you will want to plant them in a well draining soil. To stay alive cacti and succulents need not only water but food which they get from compost and fertilizers. Blooms are delicate and come in a rainbow of lovely shades ranging from purple to pink, yellow, orange, red, and white. Check the soil. Don’t make the mistake of over-watering. The leaves appear yellow at first and eventually turn white. Too much direct sunlight will also cause the buds to drop off too soon. They're found primarily in the Americas, plus one species in tropical Africa. Propagating Flat (On Top of Soil) This method is best for you if you want to do soil propagation, but … You can also dust lightly with powdered rooting hormone. Speaking of water, don’t over water your plant. Too much water will drown them. 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