The Christmas cactus is a cherished indoor plant, celebrated for its blossoms that coincide with the festive season. Featuring it's exquisite tubular-shaped flowers and sleek, glossy branches, these low-maintenance plants are an ideal present for holiday hosts or the perfect indoor winter planter for your windowsill! The blooms of Christmas cacti usually endure for several days, with the entire plant flowering over the span of multiple weeks.
The natural habit of a Christmas Cactus is one of an epiphyte living in tree branches in the rain forests of Brazil! Meaning they prefer a humid environment over a dry one – think bathroom or kitchen!
Christmas Cacti Care & Maintenance:
- Light: Bright, indirect light (Ideally an east-facing window)
- After a period of dormancy, and new growth begins to appear alternate between giving your plant 10 hours of light and 14 hours of total darkness for 4 – 6 weeks after the growth appears and then continue with typical care.
- Temperature: Maintain an optimal climate of 60-70°F (15-21°C).
- Keep plants cool following their blooming period – around 50°F (10°C)
- In the Summer they can be placed outside in a shady spot until temperatures drop below 50°F (10°C).
- Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist when blooming, misting it frequently. After their blooming period, keep the soil just barely moist.
- Fertilization: From spring through to early fall, feed every 2 weeks with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. During the fall and winter, feed the cactus monthly.
- Prune & Transplant: Repot your cactus each year after flowering with well-draining container soil. Ensuring the pot has drainage holes. Prune plants in June to encourage new foliage and flowers by cutting off a few sections of each stem.
- No blooms/sheds blooms: likely due to the sunlight and/or temperature. It could still come back next winter.
- Triggering Blooms: nights need to be at least 14 hours long and days between 8 to 10 hours for six weeks. If you have strong indoor lighting at night, you may need to cover your cacti.
- Flowers will only form when the temperature is between 50 to 55°F (10 to 13°C).