The Christmas Cactus, or Schlumbergera, is a beautiful addition to any home. With its flowing green tendrils and beautiful flowers that bring a pop of color to any space they’re in, they make the perfect Christmas gift to any plant enthusiast.
If you’re looking to take care of a Christmas Cactus, then it’s important to know how to plant succulents such as these.
This plant is simple to take care of and should propagate easily. Even the greenest of plant lovers will have no issue figuring out how to care for succulents.
Following this simple guide will give you the knowledge you need to take care of your Christmas Cactus, regardless of how much you know about gardening.
What is a Christmas Cactus?
The Christmas Cactus’ scientific name is Schlumbergera, and it flowers in the winter, which explains the name. There are three types of Christmas Cacti, the other two being Thanksgiving Cactus or Easter Cactus, which all bloom around the holiday in their name.
This plant can grow on trees and rocks in places with high humidity and shade, like in the rain forests found in Brazil. It looks very different from the typical cactus found in the desert.
Their distinct multicolored flowers that grow on the tips of its green tendril base make it a great decoration for any indoor space.
Did you know that, with the proper care, they can live for over a hundred years? Not only do you get a beautiful plant to marvel at, but you can have it for decades if you learn how to care for it!
Why is Knowing How To Grow And Care For Christmas Cactus Important?
Knowing how to care for any plant of any species is important. Despite the Christmas Cactus being easy to take care of, there are still specific things you should know to make sure it blooms healthily. You wouldn’t want the stems burning because it was left in direct sunlight, or becoming too stressed and dropping its blossoms. Make sure you know exactly how to care for this cactus so that its flowers bloom nicely and so your room can benefit from having a beautiful healthy plant in it.
How To Grow a Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)
This is a simple plant to grow, as it performs well with moderate attention in an average home. That doesn’t mean you can just leave it on its own and expect it to thrive, it just doesn’t need constant care.
The most important thing to know about this plant is that it does very well in humid climates, so it may need more watering than most houseplants. Further information about how to water it can be found below.
If you’d like a beautiful Christmas Cactus of your own, then continue reading for some tips as to how to properly care for your plant.
Here is how to grow a Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera):
1. Identify which type of succulent
A good first step to take is to identify what kind of succulent you’re working with. Different types of succulents need different caring methods, so this identification process is important.
This succulent is part of the Cactaceae (Cactus) family, which is categorized as a succulent. Most succulents can grow indoors or outdoors interchangeably. The Aloe Vera is an example of a succulent that can grow in either space. However, it is important to identify the difference between outdoor succulents and indoor succulents.
It is primarily an indoor succulent because of its humid climate needs. If you live in a dry area, it is not a good idea to keep one outdoors. This particular succulent has 6 to 9 species, which are located in the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil. They are also found in Brazilian rainforests as there is plenty of shade and humidity in such a place.
2. Know-How To Water Succulents
It is very important to learn how to water succulents as this is the most important aspect of caring for any plant.
This succulent in particular requires a lot more moisture than other succulents to grow properly. This does not mean drown it in water; doing so will rot the roots.
It is important to let the water dry out in between each watering session. However, do not let it dry out completely.
A common practice among Christmas Cactus owners is to place the cactus pot on top of a tray of pebbles filled with water. This will help increase the humidity around your plant and in the room it’s placed in.
It’s important to keep your cactus hydrated when planting it in the Spring or Summer seasons as the heat will dry out your plant faster. It doesn’t need as much watering in the Winter or Autumn months.
Once you can feel that the top of the soil is dried out, you’re going to want to water it.
3. Where to Place Your Christmas Cactus
The placement of your cactus is also an important aspect to think about. The ideal space to keep this succulent is someplace with moderate light.
Placing your cactus in an area that gets a lot of direct sunlight is not a good idea. The harsh sunlight can burn the plant’s leaves, so it’s best to keep it in indirect sunlight. It can adjust to dark spaces, however, it won’t grow to its full potential without the sun.
Make sure not to place them in a dry area of the house. Remember that Christmas Cacti thrive in a humid environment, so be sure to keep it in one.
4. How to Get Your Christmas Cactus to Bloom
The flowers that bloom out are what makes this succulent so beautiful. It can bloom white, pink, or red flowers multiple times a year.
If you’d like to see these wonderful flowers in your home, then follow the following guide for tips on how to get your cactus to bloom easier.
When October arrives, stop watering it as frequently. Reducing the watering of your plant is a dormancy period that the plant needs before it can form buds.
After you reduce how much you water your succulent, you have to make sure it receives 12 to 14 hours of darkness. This succulent requires this amount of darkness as well as about 12 hours of indirect sunlight every day during winter and autumn.
You should also keep the plant in a cool environment. Keep it away from heating vents, electronics, and radiators.
After it exits its blooming period, let it rest again. Water it less frequently and keep it in a cool place until March.
5. Know How To Propagate Christmas Cactus
Knowing how to propagate succulents is just as important as knowing how to water them.
Luckily, the Christmas Cactus is one of the easiest succulents to propagate. In just a few simple steps, even a beginner will be able to propagate their own. You’ll want to cut off pieces of the plant where two branch sections join.
Plant the cuttings in a pot of soil, preferably one made of sand/peat mix, then place in a bright area of your home. Once potted, water it a tiny bit before the roots grow. Once roots begin to grow, water it like you normally would. It’s important to keep it moist.
It should only be a few weeks before roots begin to develop.
More Awesome Succulents
We have more awesome succulent guides for you! Choose your next succulent below.
- If you’d like to find out how to grow Burro's Tail (sedum morganianum) plant, also known as a Burro’s Tail or Donkey’s Tail, then check out these great gardening tips. You’ll be an expert in this type of succulent in no time!
- Interested in learning more about this popular and aesthetically pleasing succulent? Then be sure to look through this simple guide on how to care for an Agave blue glow.
- Do you think you know everything how to grow and care for Aloe aristata plant? Check out these succulent growing tips and find out. Maybe you’ll learn something new!
If you’re looking for a succulent to breath new life into your home, then look no further than the Christmas Cactus, or schlumbergera. This plant is a fantastic addition to any indoor space.
Its multicolored flowers and attractive look will make any tabletop, desk, or shelf look that much better.
Although it’s simple to grow, make sure you follow our guide on how to care for you succulent. It’s important to know how to grow it as it requires some specific steps to ensure optimal growth.
So the next time you’re out shopping for your plant enthusiast friend, think about getting them one. You could also give them either of the other types of cactus, such as the Easter Cactus or Thanksgiving Cactus, which bloom at different times.
Hopefully, we’ve shown you how great it is to own such a great plant, and how to care for it. With luck, your cactus may live for a hundred years!