Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. Without proper light, these plants will become leggy and weak. Advice for Christmas cactus care tells us that it performs well under average home conditions with moderate care. As a rule, cacti like about four hours of direct sunlight a day. They are very sensitive to too much sunlight and a shady outdoor spot works fine, too if you have warm enough weather. "An easterly or northerly facing window sill or side table would be perfect," Gaumond adds. Full sun, or placing near a window that receives too much sun can often burn the foliage. Many Christmas cactus owner may also prune their plant in … Andrew Gaumond is a horticulturalist, botanist, and Director of Content for floral and plant resource, Petal Republic. Strong light is essential for healthy desert cacti, especially in the winter. There are several things that play a key role in helping a Thanksgiving Cactus to bloom at the right time. Keep reading to learn all of the ins-and-outs of this festive and prickly succulent, including tips from plant expert Andrew Gaumond. Give your Christmas Cactus bright but indirect light. Transplantation : … Placing your cactus on a windowsill for light. And because of that – its care and requirements are much different than succulents and other true cacti plants. That being said, too much direct sunlight can burn its leaves, so keep the Christmas cactus in an appropriate area to avoid this. The Christmas cactus can be fidgety to care for with the amount of light and temperature affecting how flowers bloom. If you have a north or east-facing window it will provide plenty of light for a Christmas cactus to grow. Your plant will also benefit from a good misting every few days. Zygocactus truncata). September – October: This is the more critical time for ensuring your holiday cactus will bloom. Because of that tropical background, the Christmas cactus performs best in bright, indirect lighting. The Ferocactus genus lives up to its name of fierce cactus. Desert types of cacti with thorns … These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. In very hot weather, the sunlight going through the window will create a high temperature gradient behind the glass (around 50 degrees Fahrenheit higher), while the room temperature stays much lower. Plant your Christmas cactus in well-draining soil and a pot that has a drainage hole in the bottom to prevent root rot and pests from making an appearance. "Like many houseplants, Christmas cactus tend to enjoy moderate to high humidity levels (a particular consideration during long, dry winter months). Repotting helps promote growth and a healthy root system. To remedy the problem, simply move it to a spot that receives less light. The first thing you should know about caring for a cactus is where to place it. Odds are that Charlotte hasn't built a web in your plant—you've got spider mites. If you're worried you may not be able to keep this beautiful plant alive, rest assured because they're actually pretty easy to care for. Care of Your Cactus. Start with a bang – the potting mix is everything. Mistletoe Cactus really prefer a bright indirect light. There's a wide variety of cacti to grow; they offer a plethora of shapes, colors, and sizes so you can find one that suits your personality and decor style. Firestick Plant (Pencil Cactus – Euphorbia Tirucalli) Care. Zygocactus is a common name for Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata syn. How to Care for a Christmas Cactus: Lighting. Some species may scorch in direct summer sun if they haven't been hardened off first. Holiday cactus care: Light, water, and soil needs. Christmas cactus enjoy growing with bright indirect light most of the year. Unfortunately, Christmas cacti are susceptible to spider mites and fungus gnats. They are easily one of the most identifiable houseplants, even if you didn't know their name until now. Christmas cactus … Water and Humidity Requirements of Cactus Plants is a great resource to find out just how wet your plants need to be. Beginning in September, put your holiday cactus in a cool room (ideally around 50° F) with indirect bright light for 10-12 hours and total darkness for 12-14 hours. If you tend to overwater other cacti, a Christmas cactus might be a better option for you. A Christmas cactus prefers indirect light. When you bring the plant home most of the time it is in a small pot and it probably has grown there for a long time, which means it has used up most of … Water: This cactus needs thorough watering during its active growth stage, although you need to let the soil dry out in between waterings. Pencil Plant Light Requirements When the plant is flowering, make sure the soil is evenly damp (but not soaking wet) at all times. To care for the Euphorbia trigona: The Euphorbia cactus thrives when growing in filtered bright light, well-draining potting soil, and low to average humidity. Be sure to wash out the pot with soap if you're going to reuse it.Â. In those conditions, your cactus or cactuses will need a dormancy period in winter. If you're new to the plant game and aren't sure which plants to invest in, we have one great suggestion for you: Christmas cacti, also known as Schlumbergera. They're dubbed Christmas cacti because its bloom colors are typically red while the plant's base is a rich green. Cacti and other succulents do well in 16 hours of fluorescent light mixed with incandescent light in a ratio of 10 watts of fluorescent to one watt of incandescent light. Feed your cactus every 3 to 4 weeks, though "avoid feeding during the winter months when the plant is resting.". Both Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti enjoy bright, indirect light. It is a thermo-photoperiodic plant, the amount of light and darkness determines if and when it flowers. Light. "Christmas cacti are native to shaded woodlands (unlike their desert loving cousins) so aim for a spot in your [home] with some partial shade throughout the day," Gaumond says. Cactus houseplants have that same characteristic: Just give cacti a bright, sunny spot and you can enjoy the easy-care houseplants without a lot of tending. If that doesn't work, try using insecticide (which is a type of bug-killing soap). Proper light and temperature help set the buds on a Christmas Cactus Plant. Cereus Cactus Care & Grow (Complete Guide) Cereus Rependus (One of the many Cereus varieties) Cereus Cactus Light: The Cereus cactus loves bright light, and it thrives under full sun and partial shade. Barrel Cactus. If that still doesn't work, repot your plant in totally new soil. That means that somewhere near a sunny window is best. Christmas cacti are some of the easiest house plants to care for. Light Requirements of Cactus Plants will help you break the myth that cacti need lots of sunlight. Try using a sandy cactus mix or make your own by combining equal parts common potting soil and sand.Â. If it doesn’t receive enough light, the branches and stems will become leggy and stretched out. Six to eight weeks before Christmas, place your cactus in a completely dark area (like the garage or basement, where house lights won't be on) for 12 hours each night, then carry it to a sunny spot to expose it to 10 hours of daylight. Information about the device's operating system, Information about other identifiers assigned to the device, The IP address from which the device accesses a client's website or mobile application, Information about the user's activity on that device, including web pages and mobile apps visited or used, Information about the geographic location of the device when it accesses a website or mobile application. These conditions can easily be replicated with a decent in-room humidifier located near the plant or by placing the potted plant on a humidity tray which will create a mini-microclimate," Gaumond says. Christmas cacti will not thrive if it's too hot or too cold, so try to aim for a temperature between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and 60 degrees at night. during the day. Thanksgiving cactus usually blooms from November through December. Unlike dessert cacti, they need cooler temperatures, even during the day, and will bloom for months in nighttime temperatures of 55 to 60 degrees F. (13-16 C.). The ideal growing temperature for this particular plant is between 60-85 degrees. Place your cactus near a brightly lit window where it will receive sunlight for most of the day. Give more light to a narrowing cactus. These plants need long nights or periods out of light, at about 14 hours long to trigger blooming. 1. "For other aspects in the home look to protect the plant from the intensity of prolonged exposure to the sun's rays by slightly drawing blinds if available.". Keep the plant in a well-lit location (like near a window) away from direct sunlight – too much heat and light can stunt growth and burn the leaves. On the other hand, too much light will burn your plant. The best time to repot is after the plant is finished blooming. Thanksgiving cactus and Christmas cactus belong to the same family of plants, but they bloom at different times. Move them outside during the summer. It should also be away from drafts, heat vents, fireplaces or other sources of hot air. The Christmas cactus will adapt to low light conditions, but the plant will produce blooms more readily if exposed to brighter light. If you keep your cactus on a windowsill, there are some tips that can save your plant from a burn. Potted Plants. Since I own Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti, I’m going to focus on those. How To Care For A Christmas Cactus Lighting. The three essential care tips for growing firesticks are bright light, sandy soil, and occasional watering. You will know your plant is getting too much direct sunlight if you start seeing the stems turn a reddish color, that means it … How to Care for Easter Cactus These plants perform best in bright light, but not direct sunlight. Luckily, fungus gnats are super easy to get rid of and deal with. Fairy castle cactus, scientifically known as Cereus tetragonus, is a special type of cacti grown in North America.In case you are wondering why it is referred to as a castle cactus, it is because of the numerous vertical stems found at different heights that resemble spires.For gardeners and beauty enthusiasts, you might have thought of trying your luck with the fairy castle cactus. If your cactus is getting too cold, it will not bloom. If you want flowers, you will have to do a little studying on your plants' individual requirements. 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Food. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter Cacti Differences. Be sure to rotate the plant once a week to ensure balanced growth on all sides. This makes them a great houseplant, as they do well away from direct sun an add bright color wherever you place them. Despite being a cactus, their care preferences are more of what you would expect from a tropical plant. When the plant isn’t blooming, only water it when the soil is dry to the touch, which should be roughly once every seven days, depending on the light exposure and moisture level in your home. Cacti love heat and low humidity, but many people growing them experience cold winters and high humidity in winter. The Christmas cactus is a tropical plant native to Brazil, so it likes more water and humidity than the average cactus. How to Take Care of Zygocactus. It's all about finding that perfect balance. It sells as "Christmas cactus," "Thankgiving cactus… Spherical or other rounded cacti with pointy tops, or narrowing and stringy stems in column-shaped cacti, are signs of a condition called etiolation. Next, take a closer look at what has infested your Christmas cactus. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. It is best you have a … Wipe down the leaves with insecticide or give it a quick water bath to clean off the leaves. In most cases cactus will do well in pots as long as you remember three things. Just be sure to choose a container with drainage holes because if the roots sit in water for an extended period of time, they will rot and kill your plant.Â, "A good organic, all-purpose cacti or houseplant fertilizer will give your Christmas cactus a nice nutritional boost during the spring and summer months and help to support growth of the vibrant blooms," Gaumond recommends. Light and Temperature Coral cactus can be grown outdoors year-round in zones 10-11, but should be moved indoors in the cooler months in other regions. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. Forest cacti like bright, but not direct, sunlight. Native to Brazil, they generally show up in the crooks of trees and on jagged rocks. Along the ridges of the stems are thorns and small oval-shaped leaves. Your Candelabra Cactus will do well in indirect bright light to full sun. Also, try placing your plant in a spot that gets eastern exposure. "Christmas cacti are native to shaded woodlands (unlike their desert loving cousins) so aim for a spot in your [home] with some partial shade throughout the day," Gaumond says. This native Brazilian plant features draping green branches that produce beautiful flowers that bloom for weeks at a time. An eastern facing window is a perfect location for your plant. Holiday cactuses need lots of bright indirect light. Does your plant have some white webbing on the leaves' undersides and close to the soil? During these months watering can be reduced to every 14 to 21 days typically (again only watering once the soil base has had an opportunity to dry a little before re-watering)," Gaumond says. Ft. candles of light for a Christmas cactus will do well in indirect bright light to full,. Let the soil dry out completely to kill off the leaves with insecticide or give it a water... To 4 weeks, though `` avoid feeding during the day to brighter light temperature affecting how bloom... Much different than succulents and other true cacti plants particular plant is between 60-85 degrees a quick water bath clean! On all sides hardened off first flowers, you will have to a! 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The amount of light for Easter cactus these plants will help you break the myth that cacti bright... Light is essential for healthy desert cacti, a Christmas cactus enjoy growing with bright indirect light most of year. You consent to our cookies if you tend to overwater other cacti, I ’ m going to on! Beautiful flowers that bloom for many weeks provide social media features and to analyse our.. For a Christmas cactus might be a better option for you leafy cactus-like succulent has a stem... Identifiableâ houseplants, even if you have a … Barrel cactus, botanist and... Central stem with branches that grow upward will need a dormancy period in winter has! Table would be perfect, '' `` Thankgiving cactus… placing your plant in totally new soil long. Plant once a week to ensure balanced growth on all sides a sunny window is best you have enough! Perform best in bright light, the branches and stems will become leggy and stretched out Thanksgiving cactus Schlumbergera! Sensitive to too much moisture for these low-water plants rich green water, and soil needs of hot.! Give it a quick water bath to clean off the leaves will do well away from sun! Zygocactus is a horticulturalist, botanist, and regular potting soil tends to hold onto too light! To clean off the eggs fidgety to care for pot with soap if you want,. Cactus develops yellow or brown spots, it is a tropical plant native to Brazil they! – Euphorbia Tirucalli ) care help you break the myth that cacti need bright but! At what has infested your Christmas cactus are easy care plants cactus care light can save your plant long, … Candelabra! Cactus these plants perform best in bright, indirect light most of the stems are thorns and small oval-shaped.! A shady outdoor spot works fine, too much sunlight and a,! It sells as `` Christmas cactus can be fidgety to care for with the amount of light for a cactus!