Christmas cactus fertilizer
How to Plant a Christmas Cactus and Encourage Blooms
This plant (Schlumbergera bridgesii or Schlumbergera truncata), although known as a cactus, is really a succulent, having its origins in the tropics. Propagating and planting a Christmas cactus from an existing mature plant is relatively simple. However, like the poinsettia, a mature Christmas cactus needs a strict regimen in the fall in order to bloom in time for the holidays. For the plant to form flower buds for holiday blooms, it needs extended darkness for at least four weeks prior. The steps below will tell you how to propagate and plant a Christmas cactus from an existing mature plant and how to encourage the mature plant to bloom during the holiday season.
Now how to grow a bigger Christmas cactus
- To propagate and plant a Christmas cactus, start with a mature plant after blooming and take a section of up to five segments from the stem. Place the section in a cool, dry place for a few days.
- To grow a Christmas cactus, plant it in a potting mix of sand and peat moss, water it well, secure a plastic bag over it, and provide bright light but avoid direct sunlight. Roots should develop after a few weeks, and after that, feed the young plant with a diluted fertilizer solution. Follow the care tips in General Tips for Growing a Christmas Cactus for optimal growth.
- In late September or early October, place the mature plant in a dark room or cover it for at least 12 hours daily.
- The light/dark schedule can be adjusted once tiny buds appear, which typically occurs within three to four weeks.
- As the buds grow, relocate the Christmas cactus to its display location, avoiding extreme light or temperature changes to prevent unopened blossom drop, and prefer temperatures between 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To prevent wilting, water the plant only when the soil is dry. Place the plant on a tray of pebbles to collect humidity, but don’t let it sit in water. After budding, maintain soil moisture throughout the container, but don’t fertilize during the blooming period.
- To maintain a Christmas cactus plant, fertilize it every month after blooming, starting with new growth at the end of winter or the first of spring. Use a diluted plant food and a magnesium sulfate solution, but don’t apply the same week you add the plant food.
General Tips for Growing a Christmas Cactus
- Keep the plant pot-bound in sandy soil.
- Water only when the soil is completely dry.
- Provide some humidity to the environment.
- Don’t worry if some of the buds drop off — it’s natural for the plant to lose a few.
- Keep the temperature above 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime and from 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
The bloom time of a plant may vary depending on its variety, and despite not being on time for the holidays, it still provides a delightful treat to enjoy.
Yearly Plant-Care Schedule for a Christmas Cactus
- Spring: Fertilize after flowering.
- Summer: Move outdoors to a shady area. Maintain water and fertilizer while the plant is actively growing. You can encourage flowering by stopping fertilizer application at the end of summer.
- Fall: Move indoors before the first frost. Maintain drier soil. Start the budding regimen above in September or early October.
- Winter: Put the plant in a location where it will get four to six hours of indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist and don’t let the air get too dry.
Now when will we stop watering our Christmas camaus
Avoiding Problems With Christmas Cactus Health
To ensure proper plant growth, follow the correct light/dark schedule, avoid excessive watering, and avoid watering too little. Watering too much can cause stem and root rot, while watering too little can cause wilting. Ensure the plant gets enough indirect sunlight but avoid direct sunlight, as too little can cause wilting and direct sunlight can burn leaves. Avoid direct heat sources like fireplaces or heating vents.