Enjoyed the flowers of your Christmas cactus this festive season? Now what? If you are wondering about this – keep reading!
After the holiday season, it is important that you follow a few steps to ensure your Christmas Cactus stays healthy and strong. Here are some fantastic post-bloom care tips for you for this succulent!
Post Blooming Tips for Christmas Cactus
1. Make Changes in the Watering Schedule
You might have followed the – ‘Water only when the topsoil is dry’ approach when the plant was flowering in its full glory. However, once it is done with blooming, stretch it a little further.
How? Well, wait a little more and let the topsoil dry up to an inch before you moisten the growing medium again. While you do this, ensure that watering remains thorough and consistent so that this succulent won’t suffer prolonged dryness.
During late winter and early spring, the plant can be prone to root rot a little more as it doesn’t have many usages of water as the flowers have already fallen and growth reduces. It is not exactly called dormancy but a resting period till it recovers and prepares itself for the next blooming cycle.
How To Water Plants + 5 Watering Mistakes You’re Doing
2. Prune Off Dead Blooms and Worn Out Parts of the Plant
Pruning plays a crucial role in post-bloom Christmas cactus care – it not only helps in maintaining the shape and size but also encourages bushier growth, which ensures that the plant flowers better and fuller the next year.
What you have to do is to avoid pruners – simply twist off an inch of each segment at the end.
3. Don’t Forget to Use the Cuttings To Propagate New Plants!
While you are pruning, how about you take off 5-6 inches long segments and use them to propagate new Christmas cacti? This timing will allow your upcoming plants to be established on time, and you can have more specimens for your home ready for bloom the next year!
You can also gift them to your friends and family members for the festive season.
4. Move it to a Brighter Location
Some people buy the Christmas cactus just for decoration; they choose a location where it matches the decor of the house during the festive season, which might work for a month or two, and then the plant starts to deteriorate due to lack of light.
If you are also a part of that club 😃 – well, it’s time to move your baby to save it!
What you should do is once the holiday season is over and your plant has done blooming, move it back to a safe and ideal spot where it can sit in indirect light all day long.
If you don’t have such a spot, how about getting an artificial light for it, as shown in the picture above?
5. Start Feeding It
Now that you have pruned the plant, changed the location, and started to water correctly (assuming), wait and observe for new signs of growth, which might happen after January (depending more on your climate).
As soon as you see it, start fertilizing. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer, dilute it to 1/2 of its directed strength, and feed the plant once in 4-6 weeks. If you want to do it more frequently, reduce the strength to one-quarter of the recommended dose only.
This will provide a slow and steady input of necessary nutrients for healthy growth and development.
12 Most Potent Christmas Cactus Fertilizers
The Essential Part – Mimic Its Natural Environment by Placing it in the Dark (After Summer)
Christmas cacti require a rest period before they prepare themselves for the next flowering period. To encourage this, right after the onset of summer, feed them regularly the whole season.
To trigger the blooming again in the fall, start placing the plant in a completely dark room for 12-14 hours. After that, take it out and place it where it gets bright and indirect light all day long. For more details, do read this article that we have.