Holidays are around the corner, and streets are filled with Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving cactus plants.
If you receive one over the holiday, don’t throw it away after blooming. With proper care, you can keep Christmas cactus alive for years.
The location of the Christmas cactus is very crucial for its healthy growth.
You may wonder where to place this plant in-house.
Christmas cactus prefers indirect and bright sunlight. It would help if you chose a spot that faces east, west, or north-facing windows. A south-facing window may get too much hot light, so avoid it.
Plant Spots with extreme temperature changes should be avoided.
With minimal care, you can successfully grow and re-bloom Christmas cactus for the next holiday season.
Is Christmas Cactus Good for Home?
Not just for its beauty and easiness to grow, the Christmas cactus has a prominent role in Feng shui.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese art that helps to transform lives.
I am still determining how placing a plant can attract wealth, but I can assure you that having a succulent like Christmas cactus is an eye feast for your guests.
Though it is not efficient in purifying air, it does work to improve the air quality.
Where Should I Put a Christmas Cactus in My House?
While placing Christmas cacti, you should consider the natural habitat of this plant to keep it healthy.
A bright location that is away from cold drafts and extremely hot temperatures is ideal for putting your Christmas cactus plant.
The best way to grow houseplants like Christmas cacti is to mimic the natural habitat of this plant. It does well in well-drained, moist soil with indirect sunlight and temperatures between 55F and 65F.
Light and temperature are two factors that you need to consider before placing Christmas cactus in your home.
Christmas cactus light requirements
It would help if you did not put these plants in a spot that gets direct sunlight because that can bleach and burn out the foliage.
Christmas cactus, though, can survive in low light conditions, but when they get ample amounts of sunlight, they bloom much better.
This succulent needs 8 hours of indirect bright sunlight. However, before blooming, you should provide 13 hours of darkness each day.
You can use a blanket or blackout curtain to stop light penetration. Some home gardeners use a box to cover this plant.
Christmas cactus does well under partial shade. Choose a window facing east or west that gets bright sunlight.
Placing Christmas cacti in the dark in the fall will encourage them to bloom in winter.
The ideal temperature for a Christmas cactus
Depending on the growing stage of Christmas cacti, you should maintain a temperature between 60F to 70F.
In fall, night temperature should be dropped 60-65F; this is to encourage flower bud formation.
In winter, 60-70F will be ideal.
Keep the plant away from AC ducts, cold drafts, heat vents, and radiators. Rapid fluctuation in temperature can stress the plant, and it can exhibit signs of yellowing, limp, falling of leaves, and stunted growth.
How to Care for Christmas Cactus?
Caring for Christmas cactus is an easy task. You have to mimic the native habitat of this succulent.
Most indoor plants prefer indirect sunlight with moist soil and ideal temperature.
Similarly, the Christmas cactus does well in bright, indirect light. To avoid the burning of leaves, choose a location that is away from cold drafts and heat vents.
8 hours of sun exposure is essential for healthy plants. However, it does well in partial shade and survives in low-lighting conditions.
To encourage blooming, you must cover the Christmas cactus in the dark for 13 hours each day. Mostly in early winter, this succulent starts to form flower buds and blooms in early November.
Potting soil to grow Christmas cactus must be well-drained and should be able to retain the required moisture.
Along with potting soil, gardening experts recommend adding old compost and perlite or peat moss. Essential nutrients in the compost give the initial boost required for plant growth.
Apart from that, organic fertilizers like vermi-compost are slow-releasing fertilizers that avoid over-fertilization.
Water generously till you see the excess water drained out of the hole.
Overwatering is one of the common gardening issues faced by container gardeners. To avoid it, don’t water the plant if you notice the top 2 inches of the soil is wet.
The best way to know when to water a Christmas cactus is to insert your finger in the soil and check the moisture. Water the plant if you find the soil is dry.
This plant is native to tropical regions, so it does well if you maintain a temperature between 60 and 70F.
As mentioned already, avoid cold drafts and heat vents.
Sudden change in temperature shocks the plant and causes chlorosis and stunted growth.
Christmas cacti do well in moderate humidity. In winter, indoor air can be dry, so you can either use a humidifier or place a tray of water with pebbles near the plant.
Spring and summer are the growing season of this succulent.
Use a balanced fertilizer that reads 10-10-10 to make the soil fertile.
Avoid over-fertilizing and Stop fertilizing in late summer and in fall.
Plants are grown for their beautiful foliage. Pruning or trimming encourages the bushier plant.
Removing old yellow leaves will allow the plant to transfer the sugar to other new leaves.
Pests & Diseases
Regularly inspect the plant to avoid mealy bugs and spider mites.
You can keep Christmas cactus in your home with an east or west-facing window.
This succulent needs bright indirect sunlight with an ideal temperature between 60 and 70F.
To avoid plant stress, you should keep Christmas cactus away from cold drafts and heat vents.
With proper care you can continue to grow this succulent.