Indoor Plant Care of Christmas Cactus

Overview

The scientific name for a Christmas cactus is Schlumbergera bridgesii. The Christmas cactus is one of several holiday cacti named for the time of year it blooms. The cactus blooms in cooler temperatures, and you can expect to see buds form in one of four colors: peach, pink, red or white. The joints of the Christmas cactus become very fragile if the cactus is not kept in good health. It's not difficult to care for an indoor Christmas cactus.

Step 1

Place your Christmas cactus in the room in your house that receives the least amount of light. Indoor Christmas cacti enjoy 12 to 15 hours of darkness each day.

Step 2

Keep the temperature around your Christmas cactus below 70 degrees F. For the most blooms, the University of Illinois recommends keeping the temperatures between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3

Feed your Christmas cactus a 0-10-10 fertilizer in November and February. From April to September, apply an all-purpose, 10-10-10 fertilizer once per month.

Step 4

Water your Christmas Cactus so that the soil is completely wet, but not sopping. Then wait for the top layer of soil in the pot to become dry before watering it again. Check the top inch of soil to determine when it is time to re-water your cactus.

Step 5

Fill a glass with water and leave it next to your Christmas Cactus during the day. As the water evaporates, it will provide your cactus with the humidity it requires.

Step 6

Prune away some sections of your Christmas cactus in March or April. This encourages your cactus to grow some new buds.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Glass
  • Pruning shears

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Christmas Cactus Care
  • Flowers and Garden: Christmas Cactus
  • Hume Seeds: Care of Christmas Cactus
Keywords: Christmas cactus, Christmas vactus care, cactus care

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.