The Christmas cactus is a plant native Brazilian plant. It has smooth leaves and no thorns. This cactus flowers in winter and its "flowering peak" takes place in December. No wonder it is part of many holiday classic decorations!
In addition to being very pretty, with its red, pink, orange, purple or two-tone flowers, the Christmas cactus is an excellent cleanser because it purifies and improves air quality in the house.
It is also an easy-care plant. You simply need to find its perfect location and water it moderately so that it lives a long time and it flourishes every winter.
To help you take care of your Christmas cactus, here is a handy little guide. This will help you to get it blooming nicely every winter!
1. How to plant a Christmas cactus
The Christmas cactus is planted individually in a pot, filled with light and sandy soil, enriched with nitrogen and the bottom is lined with pebbles for drainage.
2. How to choose its perfect location
The Christmas cactus should be placed in the house, protected from drafts and direct sunlight. Its location must be bright, but partially shaded. You could, for example, place the pot on a coffee table or on a piece of furniture leaning against the window.
You should be careful to keep this plant away from heat sources such as chimneys or radiators.
3. How to properly maintain it
This plant is very easy to maintain. It should only be watered regularly, until the flowers appear.
Do not let the water stagnate in the saucer, to prevent the roots from rotting.
Do not move a Christmas cactus around too much, because buds and flowers may fall.
The plant should be placed in a room with moderate temperature (10 to 15°C) and should also be watered in moderation, leaving the soil to dry between each watering.
It is suggested that the soil should be enriched with a special fertilizer, diluted in the water.
4. How to make it bloom
To induce and encourage the cactus to flower in December, it must be given sufficient light, kept in a room at the proper temperatures (10 or 15°C) and watering should be limited and enriched with fertilizer every two weeks.
5. Care instructions
To keep the Christmas cactus alive for a long time, you have to repot it every two or three years, transferring it to a larger pot.
The best time for repotting is from February to April.
You should only use fresh water (such as rainwater, for example) or softened water, to water the cactus because it does not support limestone.
Tip for softening the water for your Christmas cactus:
1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) of white vinegar or lemon juice can be poured into 10 liters of tap water and allowed to sit in fresh, open air for 20 hours to allow the limestone to settle at the bottom.
You can also dip a sock filled with blonde peat into the water to soften tap water that has too much limestone in it.
These simple steps are well worth the effort. The Christmas cactus will brighten your home with all its colors and tropical warmth for even greater end of year celebrations!