Christmas cactus: care - Guide with VIDEO!

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The Christmas cactus, also commonly called christmas cactus, Santa Teresa feathers, Santa Teresita feathers, winter cactus, Easter cactus or Christmas nopal, as well as scientifically Schlumbergera, It is a very popular plant in the winter months, since it begins to bloom in that season of the year and since they are Christmas dates when the Christmas cacti bloom in greater quantity, they are mostly called by this common name.

If you want to know more about this popular and cheerful plant at these low temperature dates, take good note of the care you need to enjoy it in its maximum splendor, because in this Green Ecologist gardening guide we tell you how to care for a Christmas cactus.

Christmas cactus care guide

It is a plant that belongs to the cactus family and is native to Central and South America. What most draws the attention of the call winter cactus or Easter are its colorful and impressive flowers. Yes, although it has more different aspects to most cacti, what differentiates it the most from others are its flowers because they are shaped like feathers, hence its common name of Santa Teresa feathers, and because they are more precocious, that is, they bloom earlier than most species. The flowers are pink, red, white, orange or yellow and measure between 3 and 5 centimeters in diameter. It is one of the most durable cacti, since in a pot it has a life of between 3 and 10 years. Its cultivation is very simple, although it has against the fact that some of its segments can be damaged for no apparent reason, so it is necessary to pay attention to its care.

This is a short guide, as a summary, on how to care for and grow a Christmas cactus:

  • illumination: Should I put the Christmas cactus indoors or outdoors? They need to be in a place where they are partially shaded, so a window is the best option. Thanks to this, it can be indoors all year round, and if you put it outside in summer it has to be avoiding the sun directly.
  • Temperature: it needs temperatures that oscillate between 15 and 22 ºC.
  • Humidity: the environmental humidity has to be at least 50%, something that you can achieve by steaming the leaves every 2-3 days when the environment is dry.
  • Substrate for the Christmas cactus: the best to develop correctly is the one that is rich in nutrients and very well drained. Put a mixture of peat moss with mulch or with heather soil.
  • Irrigation: in summer it should be abundant, and you should let the substrate dry completely every two waterings, while in winter it should be more distributed, allowing it to dry out in all waterings. Do not water the flowers directly and use soft water that does not have lime, such as rainwater or bottled water.
  • Pass: apply in spring and summer, adding liquid fertilizer to watering the Christmas cactus once a month.
  • Pests: the plague of mealybugs is the one that can affect the most, so you have to watch for if it appears.
  • Transplant: You should do it in spring and every two years, always using a larger pot so that in those two more years it can grow without problems.
  • Multiplication: it must be through stem cuttings or through seeds, always in a substrate that is sandy. Here we explain how to reproduce a Christmas cactus.

Below, we explain some of these aspects about the Christmas cactus care more details.

Ideal temperature for the Christmas cactus

The christmas cactus It is a plant native to tropical areas, the ideal temperature for it is of 15 to 22 degrees. However, it is a type of plant that withstands cold and low temperatures quite well. Despite this, and to prevent it from suffering some kind of damage to its development, it is not advisable to leave it exposed to temperatures that are too low.

Light for the Christmas cactus

This is another of the Christmas cactus care more important. This one needs the external light to live, so it is ideal to have it in a place well lit. However, despite being a type of cactus, too much sun can cause serious damage when it comes to growth and flowering.

Therefore, if you have a Christmas cactus indoors, put it near a window but not very close to it, but if you have it outdoors, place it in a semi-shady place.

Christmas cactus watering frequency

When it comes to watering the Christmas cactus, many people mistakenly think that it can survive on too little water. The watering must be done in a moderate way and it should not be exceeded in it. During the summer it is advisable to water the plant every 2 or 3 days a week, while in the months of spring and autumn watering should be done every two weeks about.

Transplanting a Christmas cactus

If you decide to transplanting the Christmas cactus it is advisable to do it during spring months and every two years. To make the corresponding cutting, it is important to use a larger and wider pot so that the cactus can grow without great problems.

About what land does the Christmas cactus need, we can say that the most indicated is one that drains very well, since it needs water but it is not good for it to get flooded, because having fleshy leaves it rots easily if it retains too much water. Therefore, opt for a substrate for cacti and succulents.

Feather for the Santa Teresa plant

As we said before, the Christmas cactus needs good drainage to be able to grow perfectly. In addition to this, it needs a lot of organic matter to achieve a really spectacular flowering during the winter months. When it comes to getting ideal fertilizer for this plant, you can go to a specialized store that allows the cactus to develop and grow perfectly. Another option is to do homemade organic compostIn this other post we will tell you How to make homemade organic compost for plants.

Other tips for caring for a Christmas cactus

These are other Tips for Caring for Christmas Cactus, Christmas Cactus, or Santa Teresa Feathers successfully:

  • At the time of apply nutrients to the soilAvoid overdoing them as they can cause the expected flowering to be delayed.
  • Another tip to keep in mind is: avoid drafts, since they are quite harmful to the plant and can negatively affect its development.
  • Regarding the subject of pests and diseases, the cactus can be occasionally damaged by aphids and mealybugs, which you can eliminate with a mixture made of soap and water.
  • One of the great points in favor of the Christmas cactus is that it does not require very demanding care, so anyone who does not have notions of gardening can enjoy this typical plant at Christmas time.
  • Remember that despite its name, it is a type of plant that you can have in perfect condition during all months of the year.

If you take into account all these easy and simple cares, you can have a winter or Christmas cactus in perfect condition and enjoy some really wonderful and unique flowers that will give life to your whole house. Thus, in the event that you are thinking of acquiring a plant for these winter months, the Christmas cactus is an excellent choice.

Now that you have learned about the care of the Christmas cactus, we encourage you to watch this video on this topic and, also, to deepen your knowledge about this beautiful plant and learn about Why my Christmas cactus has wrinkled leaves and what I do with this other article, because this is one of the Most common Christmas cactus problems.

If you want to read more articles similar to Christmas cactus: care, we recommend that you enter our category of Cultivation and care of plants.

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