The Christmas season is fast approaching. Do you want to grow a plant that blooms only during that special season? Here is a tip from a cactus expert and professional florist about Christmas cactus care.
Basic Care Tips You Can Use In Growing Your Christmas Cactus
Unlike any other ordinary plant, a Christmas cactus needs more attention and care. This tropical plant seasoned to bloom on Christmas does not need direct exposure to sunlight. It doesn’t necessarily have to be put outside the home.
Placing it near the window where there is abundant indirect light will make the plant grow healthier. It can also be placed outside, provided that it is located in a shady place. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves and may cause wilting.
To make sure that it will bloom on Christmas, the owner should start the cooling treatment and in November. It should be placed in a room with a temperature not exceeding 50 degrees.
Limited temperature is one of the required care tips that should be strictly observed.
You also have to remember that it cannot tolerate a freezing temperature.
It is essential for this type of plant to know the exact amount of everything that it needs.
As much as it needs a large amount of indirect light, this special plant also needs dark treatments. Starting from mid-October, it needs to be put in a dark room for twelve straight hours every night. This practice will ensure a full bloom on Christmas.
The most delicate part of the whole process is watering. The Christmas cactus can only take the exact amount of water it needs.
When the soil is dry, it has to be watered right away because it can cause a Christmas cactus wilting problem.
Constant checking is required for the plant not to wilt and die. On the other hand, you cannot overwater it because it can cause the formation of white spots on the leaves. This is also the main cause of the Christmas cactus losing its leaves.
Adding fertilizers when needed can also make the plant healthier. Humidity is also a significant factor affecting the growth of the Christmas cactus. It favors a higher amount of humidity. Considering the role of humidity is very significant in Christmas cactus care.
Christmas Cactus Pruning and Propagation
For some households with limited space, a bushy Christmas cactus sometimes becomes an irritant. Pruning can help you get rid of the excess. But are you aware that pruning it can also be a very effective way to propagate it?
The best time to prune it is after the blooming period. During Christmas, the cactus will blossom. That’s the time when it is most attractive. But after blossoming, it will lose its beauty. Wait for few months after all the Christmas cactus flowers have all been gone.
After that, you can already start the pruning process. Just like other cacti, the segment that has been cut can be planted. When the cactus has already been pruned, the cut part will branch out. With this, you will have a new section for blossoming.
How To Solve Common Christmas Cactus Problems
Like other plants, a Christmas cactus may wilt, dry, and lose its leaves when not properly cared for. The leaves may fall off, and white rotting spots may appear because of overwatering. It can wilt and die when the amount of water is not enough.
To avoid this, you must consider the humidity and soil appearance when watering. When the humidity is high, frequent watering is not needed.
You can water it weekly. For dry seasons, watering is done two to three times a week because, if not, it can also make the Christmas cactus limp.
Again, watering plays a vital role in the growth and lifespan of the Christmas cactus.
When you have done the watering correctly, but it still appears that the Christmas cactus is limp and dying, you must consider putting fertilizers on the soil.
Fertilizers are essential in strengthening the plant to stop it from breaking. But it should be stopped a month before the expected date of blossoming.
It may look tiring, but the end result of the entire process is worth it. You will have beautiful Christmas cactus flowers for your holiday.