Caring for Christmas Cacti

Dan General

blooming Christmas cactus (schlumbergera-species)
Cathy Isom has some tips for us on how to care for a Christmas cactus. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

Download Caring for Christmas Cacti

If you own or recently inherited a Christmas cactus form a parent or family member, you may be wondering the best ways to care for them.

“it is by far the plant I hear the most common when people call up and they’ll say i have this Christmas cactus that my grandmother had and I just want to make sure it does well and people have them for generations which i don’t always hear that and I certainly don’t hear that about poinsettias for one thing. “

Sandra Mason of University of Illinois Extension adds most calls focus on questions about proper care… in order to avoid the tag of being the generation that killed off the family Christmas cactus. The good news is holiday cacti are relatively easy to care for. Tips include not to over water allowing for dry out in between watering to avoid stem and root rot.  Holiday cacti can be outdoors in the summer in shade but should be brought indoors when the temperature only reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.  And most importantly.

“Like poinsettias they do need a long night, short day to get them to flower. “