Christmas Cactus are common house plants kept by many people in their homes that display beautiful flowers during the holiday season. Although the blooming flowers are usually red and pink, you can now find these plants in shades of purple, orange, white, and yellow.
Christmas cacti are so common because of how easy they are to grow, which also means they will require re-potting every so often. If your Christmas cactus plant requires a bigger pot, read this article before you start the process.
What is a Christmas Cactus?
The Christmas cactus is a popular perennial hybrid flowering cactus (botanical name: Schlumbergera x buckleyi). It is native to Brazil but commonly found around the U.S as a houseplant because of the beautiful flowers that bloom atop the flat stems right around the Christmas season.
Although it is a part of the cactus family, this plant does not have thorns and grows well as hanging plants.
When Should You Re-Pot a Christmas Cactus?
The Christmas cactus thrives in warm weather and is a very hardy plant that requires little maintenance, but it’s still important to practice proper cactus plant care. The best time to re-pot your plant is at least a month before the next blooming cycle is about to occur (usually around August). Doing this will give your plant the proper amount of time to settle so that it is strong enough to bloom.
You should only have to re-pot these plants once every two or three years or if you notice the roots are becoming too overcrowded in the pot and have no more room to grow.
How to Repot Christmas Cactus
Because the Christmas Cactus is so hardy, they are one of the easier plants to re-pot without worrying too much about them going into shock.
Before we get into moving your Cactus from one pot to another, let’s discuss the best type of environment they need to survive.
Try and keep your Christmas Cactus away from direct sunlight as much as possible as it can burn the plant’s leaves. With that said, your Cactus loves the light and shows optimum growth when they get plenty of access to in-direct lighting sources.
Because these plants naturally grow in the rainforests of Brazil surrounded by rocks and grow on trees, they thrive best in porous and rich garden soil. They need the proper amount of drainage so that the plant doesn’t develop root rot.
When you are repotting your plant, it will need moist soil and enough water to help it establish root growth. Once your plant is established, it will only need to be watered every other week, sometimes less during the colder months.
Temperature and Humidity
Christmas cacti grow very well inside most homes and prefer temperatures between 60 to 70 degrees F with high levels of humidity.
Ready to Re-Pot your Christmas Cactus?
Now that you know what your Cactus needs to survive, you know how to prepare for the transplant.
- Two to three days before the move, water your Cactus more than usual. This way, it is easier to remove from its original container.
- Prepare the larger pot with the proper amount of soil, making sure it is loose and moist.
- Create a hole in the soil of the new pot to lower the roots into it quickly.
- Carefully remove the Cactus from its old container. You may need to dig around the sides of the pot or cut the pot away so as not to damage the plant’s roots.
- If the root ball is tightly packed into the old potting soil, gently squeeze it until it loosens up.
- Place the plant into its new location and quickly cover it with the soil, adding a bit of fertilizer or compost to help give it a healthy boost.
Re-potting After Care
Once you have re-potted your Christmas cactus, you want to give it a good amount of water for a couple of days. Always make sure the water drains properly and that the soil doesn’t remain wet for too long. Do not rewater again until the soil is completely dry. You also want to make sure the roots don’t stay dry for long, or they will dry out, and the plant may die.
Once the plant is re-established, Christmas cactus care is pretty simple, giving it water every few weeks.