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Christmas Cactus


How to Grow a Christmas Cactus

There are many legends surrounding the Christmas cactus—one in particular comes out of Brazil, where the plant is native. As the story goes, a poor little boy out in the humid jungles prayed to the heavens for a sign of Christmas. Days went by with his prayers left unanswered, until one day he awoke to find himself surrounded by beautiful bursts of flowers on the tips of the nearby cacti branches. From that point on, the cactus symbolized the idea of answered prayers, making it the perfect holiday plant to give to others.

Botanical Name Schlumbergera buckleyi
Common Name Christmas cactus, holiday cactus, crab cactus
Plant Type Cactus
Sun Exposure Partial sun
Soil Type Moist but well-drained
Soil pH Neutral to acidic
Bloom Time Winter
Flower Color Pink, red, purple, orange
Hardiness Zones 10–12 (USDA)
Native Area South America
Toxicity Non-toxic

Christmas Cactus Care

Unlike the desert-loving cacti many of us are used to, the Christmas cactus is a native of tropical rainforests and needs regular water to remain healthy. The flattened leaves are actually stemmed segments that hang and drape from containers and baskets. Flowers will form at the ends of these stems, so the more stems your plant has, the more flowers it will boast. Traditionally the cactus blooms red, but you can now find Christmas cacti in a myriad of flower colors, including red, pink, purple, and orange


The Christmas cactus prefers partial shade or a diffused light, although they are very adaptable at adjusting to growing conditions. If you do expose them to full sunlight, make it during the winter months—plentiful sunlight in the spring and summer can make the plant pale and yellow.


Soil is not much a driving factor for the Christmas cactus—a general purpose potting mix will work just fine, but it’s pretty adaptable to most soil conditions. It does prefer a pH level between 5.5 and 6.2 to achieve optimal growth.


Though the Christmas cactus is, in fact, a cactus, its tropical origins mean it craves more water than most. Water the plant thoroughly, allowing the excess water to run out through the drainage hole. Allow the soil to dry almost completely between waterings—you will know if the soil is too dry when the leaves start to pucker and shrivel.

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Temperature and Humidity

The Christmas cactus needs ample humidity, especially when grown in the dry conditions of heated homes (which is often the case in winter). Either mist the plant or place a tray of pebbles sitting in the water beneath the plant to help boost its humidity levels.

Temperature-wise, the Christmas cactus is a bit picky. During its peak growth months (April to September), it prefers balmy temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, once the buds are set, it requires low nighttime temperatures (between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit) and at least 13 hours of darkness to actually flower. Keep it away from frequently opened doors and drafty windows; the cactus doesn’t like sudden drafts and will drop their buds or flowers if exposed to one.


Feed your Christmas cactus monthly with a diluted water-soluble fertilizer during the spring and summer months. Once you’ve noticed flower buds have formed, begin withholding fertilizer until it blooms (at which point you can resume monthly feedings).

Please Note

This product will be hand delivered to your doorstep.

The image is for reference only.

Please take out the plant from the box immediately after receiving and water it as required.
Water the soil, not the leaves and flowers.
Keep it away from direct sunlight. Avoid placing plants in trouble spots, such as near heat or air conditioning ducts.

From enisarg.com

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