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Potting Soil for Christmas Cactus

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017
Christmas cactus requires potting soil that drains freely.

Christmas cactus adds color to your indoor environment during the dark days of winter, as the plant pops out masses of vivid blooms around the winter holidays. Proper soil is crucial, as Christmas cactus, like all succulents, may rot in poorly-drained soil.


Plant Christmas cactus in a mixture of 2 parts general-purpose potting soil and 1 part clean sand. The mixture will ensure that the plant drains properly, as Christmas cactus will rot in soggy soil. Alternatively, plant Christmas cactus in a good quality commercial potting soil for succulents or cactus.


Christmas cactus may need to be repotted if the soil dries quickly or if the plant appears wilted, even with adequate water. Move the plant into a container only one size larger, then fill the container with fresh potting mixture. Be sure the container has a hole in the bottom so the soil will be able to drain freely.


Poke your finger into the soil to determine whether the Christmas cactus needs to be watered. Water the plant whenever the top inch of the potting mixture feels dry to the touch. Water thoroughly, then let the extra water drain through the hole in the container. Don't depend on a regular watering schedule, as water needs will vary, depending on room temperature and light.


About the Author


M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.