Christmas Cactus


christmas cactus

You may have gotten one for Christmas or even maybe for Thanksgiving, and now you’re not sure what to do with it.

First, this is a tropical plant and not a true cactus. It likes high humidity. It is not cold tolerant, so in winter you want to keep it inside in a sunny window.

In warm weather, you can keep it outside on a shady patio.

They like bright filtered light, though a south or west window may be a little too warm for them unless you have shades.

Even though they’re tropical they don’t like wet soil, so water them only when the soil is almost completely dry.

In nature, they grow high up into the trees and they don’t normally have a lot of soil.

These plants do need long nights to flower, which is why they flower around Christmas time.

Since they do like humidity, they will drop their buds if it’s too hot or dry in your house or if the soil is dry for too long.

As the plant gets older the stems also may harden and look woody at the base. This is pretty normal. Remove some of the pads and propagate them.

These plants get about 18 inches tall and 18 inches wide.

They may start to kind of lay down a little bit in the center when they get heavy with those longer branches that they make, so again, if that looks unsightly, you might remove some of those pads and propagate them.

If you do need to repot it, step up only one container size. For example, if it’s a 4-inch pot, move it to a 5-inch pot, not an 8-inch one.