The Christmas cactus is a very popular houseplant—and for good reason! When they bloom, they produce colorful, tubular flowers in pink or lilac colors. Their beautiful flowers, long bloom time, and easy care requirements make them a wonderful plant. We’ll bet someone in your family has a Christmas cactus!
Basic Care Needs
A lack of water and dramatic temperature swings can cause flower buds to drop more rapidly. Maximize your specimen's blooming period by paying attention to these six key factors:
- Soil: Use quality soil rich in humus and other nutrients.
- Temperature: Maintain an optimal climate of 65 degrees.
- Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist while your plant is blooming, misting it frequently.
- Light: Place the cactus in an east-facing window for moderate light and some direct sun.
- Fertilization: Apply a high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks once buds form.
- Transplantation: Repot your cactus each year after flowering.
Pests & Other Problems
If you notice bugs, fungus, or pests on your Christmas Cactus, such as aphids, fungus gnats, mealybugs, soft brown scale insects, and spider mites, the first thing you should do is isolate it and check your other houseplants.
To eliminate these pests, use an insecticide. If that doesn’t work, repot your Christmas Cactus in totally new soil. Wash out the pot thoroughly with soap if you’re going to reuse it.
You can also give your Christmas Cactus a bath to eliminate spider mites or wipe down the leaves with insecticide. Then let your Christmas Cactus dry out and try again. It takes a bit of work to kill spider mites.
If you’re a beginner or new plant parent, we highly recommend this holiday plant because of its long lifespan. Plus, it’s a great Christmas gift for your family and friends!