Water is a necessary component for growing healthy plants, and that water should be delivered both directly and indirectly in the form of humidity. Increasing the amount of moisture in the air will be vital to the growth and flowering of your indoor plants, especially a Christmas cactus.
The Christmas cactus is native to the rain forests of Brazil – which is a humid and warm ecosystem. But, not to worry! You don’t need Amazonian amounts of rain and humidity to grow a healthy Christmas cactus.
Here are some easy ways to raise the humidity in your home for the benefit of all your indoor plants, including a Christmas cactus.
Best Ways to Raise Indoor Humidity
DIY Christmas Cactus Humidifier
Most homes with a forced air HVAC system will be dry. An easy way to create a humid micro-environment that will benefit your cactus but not change the room’s comfort level is to place the Christmas cactus inside or over a larger container filled with pebbles.
Materials to make your own Christmas Cactus Humidifier;
2. Gravel, pebbles
Step 1: Fill your tray with pebbles.
Step 2: Pour water over the pebbles, but do not allow the water to rise above the bottom of the top layer of pebbles.
The water will slowly evaporate, causing the humidity around the plant to increase.
Do not allow your Christmas cactus to sit directly in the water, or else you’ll end up with a withering plant due to root rot.
Use a Mister More Often
While many people already mist their plants as a way to reduce direct watering which can over-saturate the soil, misting the air around your plants will create an air environment laden with water molecules. Misting the surrounding air is excellent for tropical plants because it quickly creates as rainforest-like atmosphere.
Use tepid water, and mist your Christmas cactus in the morning. At the same time, keep your Christmas cactus away from drafts coming from windows and doors, in addition to the drafts caused by your home’s heating and air-conditioning ducts.
Purchase a Home Humidifier
If your home’s interior air tends to be extremely dry, then it may be a good idea to invest in a room humidifier that will benefit all your indoor plants, while increasing your home’s comfort levels. Plants emit moisture into the air, which creates a small humid environment when plants are grouped together. But, if the surrounding air is dry, that moisture is pulled away from your plants.
If your home doesn’t need the additional humidity, then consider a small, tabletop plant humidifier which outputs just enough moisture in the air to affect the nearby plants.
Consider the Temperature and Humidity
When growing a Christmas cactus, both temperature and humidity should be considered together. For a tropical plant like this, even 50% humidity may not be enough. And, during winter months when you’re keeping your home warm, the hot, dry air blowing from HVAC ducts can do more harm than good.
The best environment for growing a Christmas cactus will feature moderate temperature levels around 75 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level of at least 60 percent.
You can tell when your Christmas cactus needs more humidity and/or heat when the tips of the leaves turn dry or brown, or if the plant is starting to shed more leaves than usual.
Also, check the moisture level of the soil. If the top one inch of soil is dry, then you should water your Christmas cactus more often.
The opposite is true during summer months (without AC) or in climates that are naturally hot and humid (south and southwest climates). If the leaves seem mushy and brown or the soil is giving off a strong musty or mildewed odor, then the environment is too warm and too moist.