Best liquid fertilizer for Christmas cactus

Best liquid fertilizer for Christmas cactus

Best liquid fertilizer for Christmas cactus

The Christmas cactus, also known as Schlumbergera bridgesii, is renowned for its winter holiday flowers, but it’s important to note that Christmas cacti are not the only holiday cactus.

Christmas cacti, also known as Thanksgiving cacti and Easter cacti, are actually Schlumbergera truncata and Schlumbergera gaertneri, both of which are popular members of the genus, and their names correspond to their blooming times in the Northern Hemisphere.

To ensure a Christmas cactus’ annual flowering, it’s crucial to maintain proper plant husbandry and nutrient levels, whether purchased or given as a gift.

Many people overlook the importance of good nutrition for Christmas cactus, despite their need for light for buds production. High-quality fertilizer is a wise investment for this unique houseplant, ensuring optimal growth and health.

The Best Christmas Cactus Fertilizers

For those in a hurry and need to feed their Christmas Cactus quickly, there are two recommended methods. For more information on fertilizing Christmas Cactus, including when, why, how, and how much, read the article to the end.

Choosing Fertilizer For Christmas Cactus

Christmas cacti require essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium, but it’s crucial to maintain proper nutrient levels without excessive fertilizer application.

The author suggests using a slow-release formula or diluting a liquid fertilizer in water for optimal results, as they provide a gradual trickle of nutrients without overwhelming the plant.

Diluting liquid fertilizer creates an extra buffer between nutrient molecules and the roots of your plant.

Granular Vs Liquid Fertilizer

Christmas cacti can yield positive results from various types of fertilizers.

Slow-release fertilizers like granules and spikes are popular for releasing nutrients over several weeks, while liquid fertilizers provide instant nutrition that requires consistent replenishment.

Best liquid fertilizer for Christmas cactus

Liquid Concentrate

Although slow-release granular fertilizer is preferred, liquid concentrates offer numerous benefits for Christmas cactus, including cost-effectiveness, reduced messiness, and easier storage compared to traditional granules, making them a more convenient choice.

Dilution is crucial for successful cactus fertilization, as mixing concentrate in water reduces the risk of burn and salt build-up.

To address nutrient deficiencies in your Christmas cactus, use liquid fertilizer for faster results and easier dose measurement, as other options may not yield the same results.

Slow-Release Granules

Slow-release granules are an excellent choice for potted cactus, providing additional nutrition without causing any harm as they remain in the soil for a long period without needing further feeding.

Overfeeding your Christmas cactus is a significant issue with this type of fertilizer, so follow the recommended dosage and thoroughly water after each application.

Epsom salt for Christmas cactus

Granular fertilizers are cost-effective when purchased in bulk, but purchasing a large bag may be unrealistic for small Christmas cacti needs.

Fertilizer Spikes

Fertilizer spikes and capsules are very similar to slow-release granules. Instead of being spread evenly on the soil’s surface, however, they’re designed to be pressed into the soil around the plant.

Fertilizer spikes are preferred due to their convenience, ease of storage, and long-lasting use in most formulas.

Spikes and capsules are a suitable fertilizer for pets as they are less likely to attract animals and pests compared to traditional liquid or granular fertilizers.

Soil pH And Nutrients

Soil pH levels indicate a cactus’s growing environment’s alkaline or acidic state, with a neutral pH reading of 7, alkaline readings above 7.0, and acidic readings below 7.0.

Christmas cacti thrive in acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.2, which is commonly found in potting mixes. A soil test kit can be used to easily test the soil’s pH.

Incorrectly pH-balanced soil can lead to nutrient deficiencies in cacti, particularly Christmas cacti, as soil pH directly affects the absorption of certain nutrients, such as magnesium, which is most easily absorbed in alkaline soil.

Best liquid fertilizer for Christmas cactus

Christmas Cactus Fertilizer N-P-K Ratio

Plants require macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for growth and survival, and without these essential nutrients, your Christmas cactus may not survive.

Store-bought fertilizers display their N-P-K ratio, which represents the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in their contents.

A fertilizer with a specific formula, such as 10-10-10, contains 10% nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, while a 20-5-15 formula has 20% nitrogen, 5% phosphorus, and 15% potassium.

When selecting a Christmas cactus fertilizer, consider the total amount of each nutrient and their balance, as a balanced formula has an N-P-K ratio with identical numbers.

Best Fertilizer For Christmas Cactus Reviews

Using an efficient fertilizer formula for Christmas cacti is crucial to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients efficiently.

Cacti and succulent fertilizers are highly recommended, but there are numerous formulas available to choose from.

Research indicates the following fertilizers are suitable for use on Christmas cactus, and I recommend trying them out on your own.

Pros

  • Packaged in a convenient pump bottle
  • Designed for use on succulents and cacti
  • Easy to dilute in water

Cons

  • Not a slow-release formula

Cacti, being a type of succulent, can be effectively grown on Christmas cacti using formulas specifically designed for these plants, such as Miracle-Gro’s liquid plant food.

Miracle-Gro is a popular brand due to its accessibility and affordability for all gardeners, regardless of their location.

This fertilizer promotes healthy bud and flower development with minimal overfeeding risk, but it’s recommended to dilute in a watering can before application to your Christmas cactus.

To use fertilizer for your Christmas cactus, apply one pump to the soil and water thoroughly. To reduce the risk of fertilizer burn, mix one pump in a watering can before application.

Pros

  • Supports growth without excess nitrogen
  • Extremely cost-effective

Cons

  • Not a source of magnesium

A balanced fertilizer is ideal for most applications, but Christmas cacti may respond best to a low-nitrogen formula, and Grow More Cactus Juice is a recommended choice.

When to bring in Christmas cactus from outside?

To promote flower production in a cactus’s current potting soil, add a small amount of this fertilizer at the end of summer without overfeeding. This fertilizer can be used throughout the growing season, but it’s important to monitor for nitrogen deficiency.

The liquid concentrate contains 1% calcium but lacks other micronutrients, so it’s recommended to supplement with a magnesium source as needed.

Use a 1 teaspoon fertilizer per gallon of water to saturate the soil around your Christmas cactus, reapplying it every 2 weeks.

Pros

  • Provides a low dose of nitrogen
  • Built-in dropper for easy measuring
  • Fortified with several micronutrients

Cons

  • Must be re-applied often

Schultz provides a low-nitrogen fertilizer specifically designed for cacti, offering twice the nitrogen content of Grow More, a similar product.

The fertilizer is a great addition to any garden, as it comes with a built-in dropper, simplifying the process of measuring.

To use, mix 7 drops of fertilizer per quart of water and thoroughly saturate the soil around your cactus.

Pros

  • Certified for organic production by OMRI
  • Sold in an easy-to-use pump bottle
  • Safe for a variety of plants

Cons

  • It May have a strong odor
  • Does not include micronutrients

Dr. Earth Pure Gold is a pumpable liquid concentrate that is found to be effective on Christmas cacti.

Starting a gardening journey with this balanced formula is highly recommended due to its low-concentration nutrient profile, suitable for all potted plants, but lacks micronutrients.

The recommended method for optimal results is to add the concentrate to a watering can, reducing the risk of fertilizer burn.

Mix up to 8 pumps of fertilizer per gallon of water and use it to saturate your Christmas cactus soil once a week.

Pros

  • Won’t attract insects or pets
  • Feeds for up to 3 weeks
  • Designed for the needs of cacti and succulents

Cons

  • Doesn’t evenly distribute nutrients in the soil

Best liquid fertilizer for Christmas cactus

EarthPods are a popular fertilizer capsule for potted plants, especially for Christmas cacti, with their cactus and succulent formula being recommended.

The capsule contains a slow-release granular fertilizer, which breaks down when watered, delivering nutrients directly to the root system of your cactus.

EarthPods are a convenient and cost-effective solution for keeping a Christmas cactus happy and well-fed throughout the year, as they don’t require any measuring and can be purchased in a single package.

To use, press capsules into the soil, avoiding close proximity to the cactus’ base, and ensure regular water release of nutrients.

How To Fertilize Christmas Cactus Step-By-Step

Fertilizing a Christmas cactus is simple, but it’s crucial to know the correct amount and type to avoid interference with winter flowering.

To ensure proper application of Christmas cacti fertilizers, divide all applications by half, using the same water amount but half the recommended fertilizer amount, unless using a specific formula.

Water Christmas cacti thoroughly, especially dry fertilizers, after application. Liquid fertilizers should be applied to damp soil or diluted before use.

To prevent salt build-up from fertilizer, flush your Christmas cactus’ soil with clean water, placing it in a bathtub or sink until fully saturated and water flows from the container’s drainage holes.

To add extra magnesium to your Christmas cactus’ soil, dilute Epsom salt at 1 teaspoon per gallon of water and apply it like any other liquid fertilizer. Magnesium can be supplemented monthly but should not be applied simultaneously with other fertilizers.

Can Christmas cactus take full sun

When To Fertilize Christmas Cactus

Fertilize your Christmas cactus in late winter or spring after it has finished blooming, as its active growth season begins. Continue applying fertilizer until mid or late summer, just before new flower buds emerge. Avoid fertilizing during fall or early winter, as the cactus is not actively growing during these periods.

How Often To Fertilize

To avoid overfeeding, fertilize your Christmas cactus only during the growing season and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the packaging back.

To maintain a healthy cactus, apply a monthly magnesium supplement, but avoid simultaneous applications and spread them by at least a week to prevent overwhelm.

Should I fertilize My Christmas Cactus When It Is Blooming?

Christmas cactus flowers are their main attraction, requiring proper nutrition for bud production. However, fertilizing at the wrong time can disrupt blooming.

Feeding Christmas cacti during their active blooming phase is not recommended, as they begin producing flower buds in the fall, and reducing fertilizer applications in late summer allows ample time for winter display.

Verdict: Best Christmas Cactus Fertilizers

Fertilizing your Christmas cactus during spring and summer is essential for its annual blooming, providing a rewarding experience for the plant.

Miracle-Grow Succulent Plant Food 0.5-1-1 is a convenient, no-frills formula for feeding a Christmas cactus without requiring complicated procedures.

Schultz Cactus Plus Liquid Plant Food 2-7-7 is a concentrated fertilizer that promotes bud production, is easy to use, and is unlikely to cause fertilizer burn.

FAQs Fertilizing Christmas Cactus

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