How to Care for Christmas Cactus 🌵🎄 // Garden Answer

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hey guys how's it goin Laura with garden

dancer today I want to give you 9 tips

to help you take care of your Christmas

cactus now there is some confusion

between a Thanksgiving cactus Christmas

cactus holiday cactus and Easter cactus

there are differences and I will go over

those at the end of the video but the

care for all of them is essentially the

same so let's just jump right into the

tips so tip number one is to provide

them with lots of bright natural light

you don't want to put them though in a

spot that gets direct Sun because that

can bleach out and burn their foliage

they can also handle lower light

situations but they bloom much better

with more lights tip number two is to

check them weekly for water this type of

cactus is very different than the desert

type of cactus that you might be used to

taking care of there are actually a type

of epiphytic cactus which means in

nature they grow attached to other

plants and rocks not in soil which means

their roots need to be able to breathe

you'll want to water them thoroughly

allowing the water to drain out and away

from the pot they do not tolerate wet

feet so if you have your cactus sitting

in a saucer and any water collects in

that saucer you want to make sure to

pour it out how often you water your

cactus will depend on where you have it

so what the temperatures are what size

of pot it's in and what time of year it

is typically indoors you're gonna be

watering about every one to three weeks

depending on those factors I just make

it a habit to check mine about once a

week best thing is just to allow the

soil to dry between waterings so if you

live in a more humid climate you'll be

watering probably a little less if you

live in a dry climate you'll be watering

a little more tip number three is to

plant them in a cactus soil mix so their

roots need to breathe so using a really

porous fast draining mix like a cactus

soil is really essential to the health

of the plant but as a side note here

Christmas cactus actually perform better

bloom better when they're pop bound so

you typically don't need to repot them

but every two to three years when you

decided it's time to repot you just want

to make sure to do it about a couple

months after their bloom cycles so that

usually means spring or early summer tip

number four is that Christmas cactus

like the same temperatures we like which

usually means a range between about 65

to 75 degrees with slightly cooler

temperatures at night now in order for

them to set and maintain their flower

buds they do need quite a bit cooler

temperatures but I'll talk about that in

a second these are also not a hardy

cactus so if you have yours outside in

the summertime you do need to make sure

to bring them indoors before it freezes

tip number five is to maintain a higher

level of humidity around your cactus so

if you live in a humid area you're

probably fine if you live in a dry

climate like

I do you do have to kind of create false

humidity you can do this by putting your

Christmas cactus on top of a saucer

filled with pebbles and water just

making sure that the bottom of that pot

is up out of the water but what will

happen is the water will evaporate and

it will create a nice humid environment

right around your cactus tip number six

don't skip fertilizing Christmas cactus

don't need a ton of fertilizer but it

does help them put on a lot of nice new

growth during their normal growing

season so what I like to do is wait

until I see new growth appear in the

spring and then I'll start fertilizing

once a month through about midsummer

that's all they need

you don't want to be fertilizing right

before or during their bloom cycle which

usually means late summer through the

winter months

tip number seven is to give your cactus

a hand to help it set new buds in bloom

in order for your cactus to bloom it


longer periods of darkness reduced

temperatures and less moisture you'll

usually want to start this process about

six to eight weeks before you want it to

start to bloom which usually means late

September to October you want to put

them in a spot that gets complete

darkness for twelve to fourteen hours

and temperatures ranging from about 50

to 55 degrees the rest of the time the

rest of the ten to twelve hours they can

be out in the light in temperatures

ranging from about 50 to 65 degrees now

I know that seems like a huge pain so

you'll want to just try to position your

plant that is in a spot that naturally

gets more darkness that will be

interrupted by yard lights or car lights

that sort of thing and if you can't give

them the cooler temperatures that they

need just give them longer periods of

darkness and that will help kick them

into bloom once buds begin to appear you

can bring your cactus back out to the

place where you want to display them and

resume a normal care routine and as long

as there's adequate light and somewhat

cooler nighttime temperatures the

flowers should develop normally

but be careful about any drastic change

in light or temperature or humidity

because that can cause bud drop and what

that means is the buds will just simply

fall off the plant and will not bloom

it's a common problem and it's usually

just because there's a drastic change in

their environment so if that is the case

if you're bringing them out of this cool

kind of dark area and you've got them in

a really warm bright spot you'll want to

slowly acclimate your plant back out to

that area tip number eight is to prune

yearly if needed if your print is a nice

beautiful shape you don't need to worry

about this but if you've got an unruly

or gangly looking plant pruning it back

can really help it branch out a lot

better it's

easy to do you just simply cut between

two leaf segments very easy to identify

and if you've got a super out-of-control

plant you can actually take your whole

Christmas cactus down by about a third

every single year without causing any


now with these pieces that you've cut

off you can actually easily propagate

them as well so you want to let them set

out for a few days let those cut ends

heal and callus over and then put them

back down and cactus soil mix about a

half-inch buried in that soil keep them

lightly moist and in about two weeks

they'll have new roots tip number nine

is to keep an eye out for stress disease

and insects so let me go over these real

quick over watering is probably the main

stressor to Christmas cactus and it can

cause a host of different issues mainly

root and stem rot so you might notice

the foliage of your plants start to

shrivel and kind of go limp and then the

whole plant will wilt down dramatically

or you'll see whole branches rotting and

breaking off at the base and also if you

keep that soil too wet it can attract

fungus gnats so the best course of

action to avoid all of these problems is

to just number one not over water in the

first place to allow that soil to dry

out between waterings and then also to

consider putting your cactus in a

breathable terra cotta clay pot rather

than keeping it in its plastic nursery

pot if you notice any of these problems

starting the best thing to do is remove

the cactus from its pot try to remove as

much soil as you can from around us

roots if there are any rotten looking

roots you can take those out and then

repot it in fresh sterile cactus mix

thankfully this type of cacti isn't

really prone to insect problems but if

you notice a problem arising best thing

to do is take a picture take it down to

your local garden center and they can

help you out finding the right

insecticide for the type of insects that

you have so over watering is the biggest

problem but on the other hand if you

notice your cactus kind of starting to

take on a reddish hue that either means

that it's in too much Sun or it's not

getting enough water and those are easy

things to adjust so basically it's just

a good idea to keep your eye out on your

plants so that if you see any of these

types of problems starting you can head

them off before they become a major

issue so those are my 9 tips now in the

beginning of the video I said I would go

over the differences between the

different type of cacti you may have

heard them referred to as Thanksgiving

cactus or Christmas cactus or holiday

cactus which encompasses both of those

two or Easter cactus so there are some

slight differences so the Thanksgiving

cactus and Christmas cactus are actually

part of the same thing

family of plants but they bloom at

slightly different times so Thanksgiving

cactus have point to your leaves and

they bloom usually November into

December and then your Christmas cactus

have more rounded scalloped leaves and

they bloom December into January the

Easter cactus actually belongs to a

completely different plant group even

though it looks really really similar

and they bloom in the spring right

around Easter time and they have more

scalloped leaves as well all three of

these are tropical epiphytic cactus

native to the rainforests of Central and

South America so they're very different

like I said in the desert type of cactus

that you and I are you probably most

used to taking care of because they're

found in nature attached to trees and

rocks they're not growing in soil

they're not parasitic though they don't

draw nutrients or take nutrients from

wherever they're attached they'll

naturally attach themselves to the

crotch of trees or hollows of rocks or

anywhere where natural debris will

collect and decompose and that type of

medium that loose medium is perfect

because the moisture can come in and go

away really quickly leaving their roots

really able to breathe nicely around

this time of year most of what you're

finding at your local garden centers or

the grocery store is your actual

Thanksgiving cactus because they're much

easier to ship and handle than Christmas

cactus because they tend to be a lot

leggy air but all of this to say all

three types of cactus required basically

the same amount of care it's just a

difference of when you are forcing them

into their bloom cycle so that's it you

guys I hope this video is helpful if it

was leave a like down below and we will

see you in the next video bye