Caring For Xmas Cactus.
How can I care for my Xmas catus?
Christmas Cactus require sunlight,but also need to be kept cool as the blooms last longer.It is best to keep these plants away from heaters, fireplaces, radiators,and other heat sources.Place the cactus in a sunny location during the winter indoors then as the risk of frost passes place it outside in a sunny position for the summer.
Watering this type of cactus is sometimes a problem because people tend to treat these the same as they would a regular desert cactus.This type needs more water than one of the other types of cactus.The other thing that happens is that people over water and then cause the plant to begin rotting at the roots.The best way to be sure your plant is getting just the right amount of water is to wait until the soil is dry on the top and still a bit moist toward the bottom.Then water the plant until the soil is saturated. Drain off any excess water that accumulates on the bottom,then do not water again until the top half of the soil feels dry to the touch again.
Well-drained soil is very important,that is why you should purchase potting soil that is designed for cacti.If you can’t find any that is made for cactus you can mix two parts regular potting soil with one part sand.
In order to insure your cactus will bloom in time for Christmas,you will need to give the cactus a rest period so you will want to cut back on the watering leaving the soil only partly moist.Allow at least 14 hours of darkness for the plant until the buds begin to form.Once the bud form they can take from 10 to 12 weeks to fully bloom stop watering the plant beginning in October then begin watering again in November.Make sure the air has enough humidity so the buds don’t dry up and fall off.After the blooms fall off,you can prune your cactus so that it bushes out instead of becoming vine-like and unmanageable.You’ll also find that the cactus will bloom better next year afterwards.
As new growth appears in the spring, put a diluted solution of liquid houseplant fertilizer 2 to 3 weeks after the start of the new growth.The cactus should be repotted every 2 to 3 years depending on how depleted the soil is.Repotting should be done in the spring, but if the plant is at risk of dying because of it’s potting condition, then repotting can be done anytime of the year as needed.
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