Christmas cactus


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1. Give your Christmas cactus bright but indirect light. 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. Keep your Christmas cactus away from drafts, heat vents, fireplaces or other sources of hot air.

  • Move an indoor plant outdoors in summer to a shady location. It is best to keep your cactus in a normal house temperature range, about 65 to 75°F (18 to 20°C). That being said, cooler night temperatures can be used to initiate blooming. We’ll discuss getting it to bloom in a later section.
  • If your cactus is in a north or east-facing window, you won’t have to worry about light. But if it’s in a south or west-facing window, diffuse the light with semi-transparent curtains

2. Provide a source of humidity if you live in a dry environment. After all, these are tropical cacti. Put a tray of water next to the plant so that the water evaporates and provides humidity. Alternatively, you can make a humidity tray by placing the pot on a waterproof saucer that is filled with gravel and halfway filled with water.

  • Make sure to not let the pot touch the water when it is sitting on the gravel; otherwise the pot will pick up water and make it easier for the roots to rot.
  • You can also mist your plant 2-3 times a week to give it a humidity boost.
  • 50 to 60% humidity is the ultimate goal. If your environment is close to that, you should be fine.

Water a Christmas cactus with care. Caring for this plant can be a bit tricky as you need to take care not to overwater or underwater it. A Christmas cactus is a tropical cactus, not a desert cactus. Unlike most desert cacti, this variety cannot tolerate completely dry soil. If the soil gets too dry, the flowers buds will drop, and the plant will wilt. Water when the top 1 inch (2.5 cm) of soil feels dry.

  • Once you water the plant, let it dry about three-quarters of the way before you water it again.
  • Too much watering will cause spots from white rot to appear on the leaves, and the leaves will likely fall off. The soil should be evenly moist for best growth. The rule of thumb is less water is better than too much water.
  • When watering, thoroughly water the plant. Before attempting to water the plant again, check to see that the top inch of soil has dried thoroughly first. Mist leaves as well as watering the soil.