All About the Christmas Cactus

All About the Christmas Cactus

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The Christmas Cactus is a plant known for its beauty and is an ideal gift for anyone for Christmas. We all know it is the season for gifting and for those general gifters, which you can never get it right to find the right present, this plant will not be rejected. People often don’t understand things like how to get their Christmas Cactus Blooming, How to take care of it, and if it is safe for their pets.

This cactus is a winter-blossoming plant that is a native of Brazil as well as other parts of the Americas. It is also perfect for hanging as the stems allow for a basket-type hang. This plant is among around 1800 varied species of its kind from the cacti family, and as we all know, the cactus strives well in the desert area as well as the rainforests of Southern America.

All About the Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus & Indoors

Many people who receive the Christmas Cactus plant always wonder if it strives well indoors, and the answer is, yes, it does. It is a perfect plant for the inside but highly recommended to keep near a window where it can get proper ventilation. Also, it would not be ideal for keeping in direct sunlight. When indoors, ensure the plant is watered regularly while not getting too much. If you happen to live in a dry climate, keeping the air humid is excellent (like adding a tray of water close to the plant). Besides, when watering, ensure the top layer of soil is dry before you add more water.

Hanging Your Cactus Outside

If you happen to hang your plants on the outdoors, it is best to let it live under a cool area away from the direct sunlight. Using another tree as shade is perfect, or you may hang it on the branches where it can remain humid. As the name suggests, being on the outside means the plant must be kept moist without over-watering. Many may ask if the cactus plant can freeze? Well, it may strive for a short period under 50-degree weather but may not endure for long in these freezing conditions. Short days are great for these plants.

Rooting In Water

The Christmas cactus can be “multiplied to multiple plants” into many different plants you can use to share with friends and family or even to decorate around the house as you choose. The plant can grow and expand via water rooting by cutting (ensure there are two nodes available) and placing underwater. Leave in a ventilated area away from direct sunlight and watch until sprouts are coming from the cut edges. Once it starts to grow longer roots, watch the water level (and refill if needed) until the root sprouts mature.

Is It Safe For Pets?

The precaution for pets is one of the most important factors to consider when getting plants for the home, knowing you have pets. We have to ensure we do what makes them comfortable and safe as well as it does not have any side effects if they come in contact with it. As for the Christmas Cactus, it is safe for your pets to be around even though the fibrous material can cause a little irritation of the stomach and intestine if ingested. Unlike the Poinsettia, which may initially lead to poisoning if ingested too much. Also, it can cause a little vomiting but nothing life-threatening. Bear in mind the plant also has prick vines, which can hurt them if they get too curious, so hanging out of the pet’s reach is much safer.

How Do I Get My Christmas Cactus Blooming?

When the Christmas cactus blooms, it is the most beautiful thing to lighten your environment and bring an array of sunshine and assortment in your space. However, when the plant tends to slow on blooming, you can “force” it to happen by natural ways. When considering to let the plant flower,  you need to have minimal water, in-direct sunlight but bright area, cool and humid temperature and a little dormancy. Over-watering the plant can slow the process of blooming and instead allow the leaves to spot and fall off.

With watering, starting around the end of November, merely keeping the soil moist is enough (only watering a little when the topmost soil is dry). This method of non-watering allows the plant to enter what is known as dormancy and is critical to ensuring a firm and steady blooming season just in time for Christmas. In addition to this limitation, putting the plant where it will experience a minimum of 12-14 hours of darkness is perfect. But a little light throughout the day won’t be such a bad idea. Once you follow these tips, you will experience the bliss of a beautiful array of different colors and sizes in flowers.

Interesting Facts About The Christmas Cactus

  • The Christmas cactus comes with a variety of colors to include pink, purple, fuschia, red, cream, and orange.
  • This plant is also a part of a family that has the Easter Cactus and the Thanksgiving Cactus.
  • For the plant to blossom, there are specific requirements that must be followed to the core to get the results needed. With minimum watering, light modified, and the dark environment as well as pruning.
  • You can keep the moist and humidity of the plant by placing the plant pot in a tray of pebbles that are moist or in water.  

Additional Care Tips For Your Cactus

  • Do not let it dry out to the touch further than the topmost soil without watering. The dryness will cause the plant to wither quickly.
  • Apply a mild houseplant fertilizer every other week to give the roots more stability and nutrients.
  • Limit direct sunlight while still letting the plant get access to fresh air.  

There is no need to ponder what gift you can give a friend or family this Christmas. The Christmas Cactus is a neutral gift for everyone and can generally strive in most environments to beautify and bring joy to your space. 

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