|The Christmas Cactus is a great holiday gift for your favorite gardener. As if by magic it blooms at Christmas and at times on Easter as well. The delicate blooms can be found in many colors ranging from pink, yellow, fuchsia, white and even salmon.
Your cactus care
The Christmas Cactus requires a well draining soil. It’s ideal soil is one of equally composed of garden loam, clean coarse sand (do not use sand from the beach) and leaf mold. You can also easily use a commercial potting mix made for succulent plant types.
Watering your cactus:
The Christmas Cactus name is a bit deceiving in that the plant is not actually a true cactus because it can not tolerate the high temperature and drought conditions true cactus plants are known for. The Christmas Cactus is actually a succulent species of plant, it can retain quite a bit of water within its leaves.
You will only need to water it thoroughly once the upper half of the soil is dry if you touch it.
In summer months keep the soil continually moist.
During fall season water only enough to prevent it from wilting
Do not water at all during the month of October.
Resume watering the cactus in November(do not over water-watch out for flabby stems).
In dry environments place a tray of small rocks under cactus, keep water in tray.
After cactus blooming is complete do not water for six weeks.
Once cactus shows new growth, re-pot with fresh soil and resume watering. keep soil a bit moist.
The best time to fertilize your Christmas Cactus is in the spring when it begins to show signs of new growth and you repot the plant. Simply feed your cactus a low level or weakened liquid mixture of houseplant fertilizer about 2 weeks after repotting.
Christmas Cactus will thrive in warm temperatures and bright indirect light. Ideal temperature range for your cactus is 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit however you may lower temperatures to 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit for the initiation of the flowers bud development.
Do not expose cactus to direct sunlight, this can stunt its growth as well as burn the cactus leaves.
Do not place cactus near fireplaces, vents, hot air sources or drafts.
Shady environments or those with filtered light are essential for the Christmas cactus to flourish. You can bring about blossoming by placing the cactus in a cool ( 60 to 65 degrees F ) environment, somewhere the light source is lower without being absent through the day. You have to do this promptly for Christmas blossoms. You should not permit its soil to dry out completely, at the same time water intermittently to help keep the soil barely moist. Pay attention to indications of buds at the tips of the leaves, and then increase humidity and light source right after they become visible. In the event that buds emerge too early, keep them back by bringing down the temperature in their environment.
The Christmas Cactus is readily propagated by collecting small Y-shaped cuttings of the points . A well-tended cactus can certainly unmanageable over time. To cuttings for plants, prune back shoots from the plants points, at the secondary joint of each point . Position cuttings in a damp peat together with perlite, or perhaps just peat together with sand mixture. Water in moderation in the beginning to reduce the chances of the rotting of cuttings. After, water them like you would normally just about any other cutting. At the time cuttings are rooted, pot them within a mix of high-quality potting soil.
The Christmas Cactus is one that is easily cared for, lives for a long time and has been known to be passed down through families. Now that you have all the information you need to care for your cactus, go enjoy it!
© Copyright 2012 Codi Steele (UN: dandiee at Writing.Com).
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