Christmas Cactus (Zygocactus) is a wonderful easy to grow plant that will brighten your holiday season and those dreary dull days of Fall. The plants festive flowers rival orchids in beauty and drama and come in a wide spectrum of colors.
These beauties prefer dappled sunlight which will promote strong new foliage growth, but full hot afternoon sun should be avoided. A well-drained soil mix is very important. Never grow these plants without a drainage hole in the bottom of your flower pot! We must remember that Christmas Cactus are not desert plants, nor do they grow in the ground: these beauties are tropical in nature and grow up on trees (epiphytes) in the South American Jungles where they are companion plants to Orchids, Bromeliads and Rhipsalis.
Christmas Cactus should be soaked well and then allowed to approach dryness before watering again. Once your plant has finished blooming (January) it will be exhausted from producing its profusion of blooms and should be allowed a rest period (approx.one month) with no fertilizer, and kept basically on the dry side. When new growth appears in early Spring resume fertilizing and a normal watering schedule again. Early Spring is also a good time to prune your plant and encourage a busy full rounded specimen which will result in heavier flower production in Fall.
When your Christmas cactus is in bud avoid sudden and drastic temperature changes that can shock the plant resulting in bud blast and drop. Keep your plant away from hot radiators and other heat sources.
Best flower bud production is achieved by inducing a dormancy period in September by slowing down on watering, withholding all fertilizers, and dropping night time temperatures below 60 degrees. Plants vacationed outdoors for the summer will automatically respond to Fall’s gradual drop in temperatures and surprise you with an abundance of flower buds by October.
We have a great selection of Christmas Cactus in-store right now. These beautiful flowering plants make a wonderful hostess gift, or buy one for yourself to enjoy. Happy Holidays!