During the Christmas season, plenty of guests choose to give their hosts a beautiful Christmas cactus. In general bright and cheery during the season, these beautiful plants dont always continue to be as radiant after the New Year celebrations. Though with some TLC this does not have to be the case. With proper care, you Christmas cactus can thrive all year long as well as brighten many holiday seasons.
One of the main things to remember about the Christmas cactus is that the blooms do much better in a cooler environment. Theoretically speaking the plant can be maintained nicely at a moderate temperature, while still placing the cactus where it can get natural sunlight. In addition be mindful of any nearby air ducts or fireplaces. The drafts of warm air are not ideal for the plant.
In like manner, it is of utmost importance to remember that a Christmas cactus requires moist soil, unlike its desert cousins. The good old-fashioned finger test will certainly help you to know when to water your cactus. When you get the first inch or so of the soil is beginning to dry out, water the plant thoroughly. On the other hand attempting to water the cactus on a regular schedule, such as once a week, will most likely not keep the plant healthy. Because the moistness of the soil will vary, depending on such parameters as humidity level, lighting access, and how quickly the cactus is growing, it is important to check it on a regular basis and water accordingly.
While there is no requirement to add fertilizer to the soil when you first acquire the cactus, you may find it beneficial to add nutrients to the soil throughout the year by periodically adding a fertilizer blend that is recommended for blooming plants. In an ideal scenario this will help keep the soil rich in what the cactus needs to not remain healthy, but also to grow and thrive.
While natural light is ideal up to a point for your cactus, avoid placing it in direct sunlight. Over time, too much direct sunlight can normally brown the leaves. A better alternative is to locate the plant where it can get the gentler rays of the morning sun, but be protected from the harshness of protracted exposure during the day. Furthermore the smaller amounts of direct sunlight, coupled with indirect lighting throughout the day will result in a strong healthy plant that will yield more blooms next season.
Be mindful that it is crucial to repot your cactus as it
grows. As is the case with any plant, it needs room to grow and be healthy. In that scenario use a good quality potting soil mixed with clean sand. Moreover be sure to prune the cactus as well. Generally speaking the pieces you prune may be in good enough condition to root and allow you to grow additional plants.
Toward the middle of October, enhance the amount of time your Christmas cactus spends in the dark. During this time period, the darkness will stimulate the production of blooms that should be open and vibrant in time for the holiday season.
Maintaining a Christmas cactus does require some effort. But as lots of people can attest, the work is well worth the effort as your holiday guests admire your cactus. In case if you receive one this year, make it one of your New Year resolutions to care and nurture your Christmas cactus so it can be a part of your celebrations in years to come.
On the other hand if you are looking for a natural way to decorate your home, you may want to try a Christmas cactus or other plant. Poinsettias are the most famous plant that you see at Christmas time. It makes an ideal Christmas gift for almost anyone that you purchase a gift for and it comes in a wide variety of colors, including yellow, salmon, red, pink, or even a combination of these colors. Remember the more light the cactus gets, the more flowers the cactus will have. A sunny place inside your home is its better spot during the winter, but in the summertime you want to place it in a shadier location. Enhance the time that your plant spends in the sun each day so that you can adapt it to live outdoors. Between May and September it is ideal to put your Christmas cactus in the shade.
Well-drained soil is advisable for your Christmas cactus. Packaged potting soil is the good option to ensure that it is exactly the right composition for your cactus. In case if it is warmer outside, then your Christmas cactus will need more water. In addition water it when the top layer of soil is dry to the touch and keep the pot continually moist. According to experts by keeping it moist, you will help to prevent it wilting.
In case if your cactus has blooms all over it, then it does not need water. In that scenario leave it without water for four or five weeks after it blooms and then repot it and add fresh new soil. After that the plant will have new growths by the spring and then it will need some fertilizer. Give it few liquid fertilizers every two to three weeks to help it grow.
To help the plant to grow taller as well as wider, prune it after it blooms. Just by using your fingers or a sharp knife, you can pinch the stem and remove the sections of each bloom. Furthermore root these sections that you removed to help make new plants. In case if your Christmas cactus has a long and uninterrupted time in a dark spot, then it will bloom more voraciously. Moreover you should let it be in darkness from the beginning of October until the start of the holiday season and then you will have lots of flowers.
Here is a handy guide for taking care of your Christmas cactus
Moreover during the month of January, your plant will be full of blooms. February to March you may want to minimize watering. On the other hand from April to May, you only want to water the plant when the top layer of soil is dry. From June to August is when you want to protect your plant by placing it in a shady location. Whereas in September and October, your plant will need less light and will enjoy being in a dark, dry, cool place. November and December are the ideal months for your Christmas cactus to bloom. Following this route you will enjoy this Christmas cactus year around.