How to Care for Holiday Cacti
Holiday cacti add a fun, tropical touch to Christmastime! (Photo by MSU Extension/Michaela Parker)
Holiday cacti are popular this time of year. They are a great addition to holiday décor and are even a great gift! If you’re like me, I’m running out of gift ideas for my loved ones. My plant-loving friends might be getting a holiday cactus this year!
There are three different types of holiday cacti: Thanksgiving cactus, Christmas cactus, and Easter cactus. Thanksgiving cactus blooms from Thanksgiving to Christmas, while Christmas cactus blooms from Christmas to March. If you like these cacti and want to own one in the spring, the Easter cactus is the perfect choice as it blooms from March to May.
Caring for holiday cacti is easy! One thing to remember about these plants is that they like to be in cool, bright areas. If you have a cool room in your house away from heating vents, this is a great place to put your cactus!
One thing to note about holiday cacti is they are susceptible to root rot. Keep this in mind when watering. It’s easy to overwater these plants. Try to keep the soil medium moist, careful not to pour in too much water. Providing these plants with proper drainage is also important. Make sure to use a coarse soil mix with high humus and sharp sand.
Holiday cactus is the gift that keeps on giving because it easily re-blooms every year! Place the cactus in a room with temperatures around 60 to 65 degrees where it can get 12 hours of darkness for six weeks. Stop fertilizing the plant and allow the soil to completely dry out before you water it again. You’ll eventually watch flower buds appear. When this happens, move the plant to a bright location and resume care as normal.
If you’re looking for other holiday houseplants, check out Extension Publication 2309, “Holiday Houseplants.”
Happy holidays to you and your family from all of us here at MSU Extension!
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