More popularly known as the holiday cactus, Christmas cactus is a wonderful plant that blooms, as the very name suggests, during Christmas time. Native to Central and South America, flowers of the plant can be found in a wide variety of colors, including white, salmon, pink, yellow, and fuchsia, out of which, the one with pink-colored flowers is preferred for Christmas. The plant needs the same environmental conditions as are required by orchids, to grow. Christmas cactus is easy to grow. You can plant it in your own backyard, to beautify the place with its blooming flowers, during the holiday season.
Christmas cactus does not require much of care and effort, once it grows. Nevertheless, you need to take care of the basic requirements of the plant, such as the optimum amount of light, temperature and the availability of water. Pruning is another important factor contributing to the growth of the plant. Although Christmas cactus resorts to self-pruning sometimes, the plant needs to be trimmed at the right time. In case, your plant has grown unmanageable and you want to prune it, do not get tensed. Pruning it is a very easy process, which can be undertaken within a matter of minutes. Want to know more? Read on to explore how to prune Christmas cactus.
Pruning Christmas Cactus
- The best time to prune Christmas cactus is summer. During this time, pinching off at the joints will encourage more branching. Moreover, the plant would grow more.
- The best part of pruning Christmas cactus is that the stem cuttings, which are a by-product of the pruning process, can be rooted and started as new plants. That way, you will be able to save a lot of money on buying entirely new pots of the plant.
- If necessary, you can remove some of the stem segments at the end. This will make the plant smaller, if it is large enough to be unmanageable. Pruning in this manner will not harm the plant. Just cut the stems between the "joints."
- Whether you remove some stem segments or they fall naturally, it is advisable to allow some of them to root, in order to start new plants. This is because with time, the large plant might suffer root rot and need to be replaced. If you allow some stem segments to root, you will have a new plant ready to grow, by the time the large plants needs replacement.
- Christmas cactus makes great decorative item for the season and can be gifted to people too. So, if you take proper care of the plant in your garden or indoors, you can utilize it for decorations or for presenting your loved ones with, on Christmas.
- In order to ensure that the plant would definitely flower during the season of Christmas, allow it to ‘rest’ for sometime, before the advent of the season. During the ‘resting’ period, cut back on watering routines, so that the soil is left moist. However, in the process, make sure that the plant’s soil doesn’t get dried up.
- If you want to adorn your backyard or the living room with Christmas cactus for many years to come, make sure that the plant is repotted once every 2 to 3 years. This would depend upon the depletion of the soil. The best time to re-pot the plant is spring.