The Christmas Cactus is probably the second most popular christmas season plant behind the poinsettia. The Christmas Cactus is from a cacti native to the South American jungles
The Christmas Cactus is easy to care for and can be grown indoors throughout the year. The Christmas Cactus flowers are available in a wide variety of colors including yellow, salmon, pink, red, fuschia and white. The Christmas Cactus will adjust to low light settings but it will do better and produce more blooms in high light areas Keep the Christmas Cactus in a sunny indoor location. If you place the Cactus outdoors make sure it stays in semi to full shade. The direct sun will burn the leaves of the Christmas Cactus Plant. The Christmas Cactus requires well drained soil for best results. A prepackaged potting mix for succulent plants will work great.
The Christmas Cactus is not like regular cactus. The plant requires water. When the top of the soil feels dry to the touch it is time to water your cactus. Fertilize the Christmas Cactus in the spring when new growth starts to appear. A liquid houseplant fertilizer can be added every 2 to 3 weeks after that. The Christmas Cactus prefers warm temperatures but keep the plant away from fireplaces and direct heat sources. Repot the Christmas Cactus when the pot get overcrowded with roots or if the plant looks unhealthy.
Getting the Christmas Cactus to bloom can be a challenge. To force the plant into blooming you have to give the cactus at least 12 hours of darkness each night. To have your Christmas Castus blooming at Christmas time you will need to start the dark treatments in late September to Mid October. Place the cactus in a dark closet from 8pm to 8am each night for 6 to 8 weeks or until you see the buds starting to form. Do not fertilize or overwater while the buds are forming. Once you see the buds you can move your cactus back to normal light and temperatures. Keep the soil moist and fertilize every other week. Christmas Cactus should bloom November - January
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