White Christmas Cactus brings in the festive snowy vibes with its matching flowers, which contrast brilliantly with its trailing green foliage!
As winter sets in and most gardens enter a period of dormancy, White Christmas Cactus bursts into a spectacle of snowy blossoms, offering a stark yet stunning contrast to its green, arching stems!
Find what cactus means and symbolize with this detailed post here
White Christmas Cactus Information
White Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera ×buckleyi ‘White’) is a hybrid plant that belongs to the Cactaceae family and is indigenous to the coastal mountains of southeast Brazil. Its appearance is marked by flattened stems with serrated edges, typically varying in light to dark green shades. Notably, its white flowers with distinctive pink anthers enhance its visual appeal.
It maintains a moderate growth rate, typically reaching a height of about 1 to 1.5 feet (30 to 45 centimeters) and boasting a spread of approximately 1.5 to 2 feet (45 to 60 centimeters).
Follow these tips to grow bushier Christmas cactus
White Christmas Cactus Meaning
Purity and Innocence
White is often associated with purity and innocence, making it a popular choice for weddings or baptisms.
Peace and Tranquility
White flowers symbolize peace, making this plant an appropriate gift during mourning or when someone is going through a difficult period.
The plant symbolizes fresh starts or new beginnings, making it a suitable housewarming gift or a present for anyone starting a new chapter.
How to Identify a Real Christmas Cactus from a Fake One
Most Attractive White Christmas Cactus Varieties for Indoor Holiday Décor
1. Schlumbergera ‘White Christmas’
- This variety produces stunning pure-white blooms with a hint of yellow at the center.
- Typically, it blooms in late November to December.
2. Schlumbergera ‘Snowcap’
- Features: Offers a dazzling display of white flowers with a red or pinkish hue at the base of each petal.
- Blooms usually appear in late December.
3. Schlumbergera ‘Thor Carmen’
- It’s known for its large, semi-double white flowers.
- Usually blooms in early December.
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4. Schlumbergera ‘Peru White’
- Produces smaller but numerous white blooms that give the plant a fuller appearance.
- Blooms appear in mid to late December.
5. Schlumbergera ‘Aspen’
- Known for its snow-white blooms and dark green foliage, providing a striking contrast.
- Typically blooms from late November through December.
6. Schlumbergera ‘White Fantasy’
- This variety is unique for its feather-like petals in a creamy white shade.
- Flowers usually appear in early December.
7. Schlumbergera ‘Angel Dancer’
- It has beautiful white blooms with a tinge of pale pink, offering a more delicate appearance.
- Usually blooms in late December to early January.
Follow tips to grow cactus from seeds
Propagating White Christmas Cactus
The best time to propagate the plant is during late spring to early summer. This is when the plant is out of its winter dormancy period and ready for active growth.
Start by snipping off a healthy segment of 2-3 stem joints. Allow the cut end to air dry for a few hours to form a callus. Next, insert the callused end into a pot filled with a well-draining soil mix, such as a cactus or succulent mix.
Water the soil lightly and place the pot in a bright, indirect light location. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Rooting generally occurs in 3-6 weeks.
If you want the plant to bloom faster, get a well-grown specimen from a garden center.
Worried about the Christmas cactus turning purple? Find solution here
Best Pot Size for White Christmas Cactus
A 4 to 6 inches pot is generally sufficient if you start the plant from cuttings. A container size of 8 to 10 inches in diameter is recommended for a mature Christmas Cactus.
Ensure the pot is only 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the root ball of the plant to prevent overwatering.
Look at the tips to take care of Christmas cactus
Requirements for Growing White Christmas Cactus
Place White Christmas Cactus in bright indirect light with 2-4 hours of gentle morning sunlight daily. Avoid harsh afternoon sunlight, and ensure it’s away from windowpanes, air conditioning, and heating vents.
Steer clear of sudden light exposure changes to prevent bud drop.
Selecting the right potting mix is crucial for its growth and blooming. You can prepare an effective, budget-friendly homemade potting mix at home by mixing:
- Coarse Sand: 1 part
- Peat Moss or Coco Coir: 2 parts
- Perlite or Pumice: 1 part
- Worm Castings: 1/4 part
Watering only when the top inch of soil feels dry. Use the soak-and-drain method by watering until excess water drains from the pot’s bottom, ensuring the soil is thoroughly moist but not waterlogged.
Avoid overwatering; White Christmas Cactus is more tolerant of being slightly underwatered than overly wet.
Temperature and Humidity
Maintain a daytime temperature above 60°F (15°C) and ensure nighttime temperatures stay above 55°F (12°C) for the White Christmas Cactus. Ideally, keep the plant in a location where the temperature hovers around 65-70°F (18-22°C) for optimal growth.
White Christmas Cactus is an epiphytic plant native to the Brazilian rainforests. It thrives in a humid environment, so maintaining a 50-60% humidity level is essential for encouraging flowering and robust growth.
Place the pot on a saucer filled with pebbles and water it halfway. As the water evaporates, it creates a humid microclimate around the plant.
Learn how to make Christmas cactus bloom in easy steps here
White Christmas Cactus Care
Feed with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer like 20-20-20 or 20-10-20 in a weak dose (half or one-quarter of the recommended strength) once in 2-4 weeks during the growing period, from March to October (or up to November); this will strengthen the roots and overall growth of the plant.
You can fertilize year-round in a frost-free climate (USDA Zones 10-11) – same, once in 2-4 weeks.
Note: Never fertilize a White Christmas Cactus after visible budding and when it is flowering, as it will drop off the buds.
- Spider Mites: These tiny arachnids can cause stippling on leaves and create fine webbing. Regularly misting your plant and keeping it clean can help prevent spider mites.
- Mealybugs: These small, cottony insects can cluster in leaf joints and feed on the plant sap. Treat mealybug infestations with insecticidal soap.
- Aphids: Aphids are small insects that feed on plant juices, causing leaves to become distorted and yellow. You can wash them off with a strong stream of water or use insecticidal soap.
- Scale Insects: These pests attach to the plant’s stems and leaves, sucking sap and causing yellowing. Use a soft brush or cotton swab dipped in alcohol to remove them.
Learn tricks to get night-blooming cereus to bloom in this article here
- Root Rot: Overwatering or poorly draining soil can lead to root rot. Ensure proper watering practices and use well-draining soil to prevent this issue.
- Botrytis Blight: This fungal disease can cause brown spots on the stems and flowers. Good air circulation and keeping the plant dry can help prevent it.
- Bacterial Soft Rot: Bacterial soft rot can cause the plant to collapse, especially during overwatering. Affected parts should be removed, and the plant should be placed in a drier environment.
- Leaf Spot: Leaf spot diseases can result in dark or discolored spots on the leaves. Remove affected leaves and ensure good air circulation to minimize the spread of this issue.
How to Make White Christmas Cactus Bloom
Starting mid-September, ensure that your Christmas Cactus White experiences darkness for 14-16 hours, or at least 12 hours, each day. Simultaneously, expose it to 8-9 hours of bright indirect sunlight, avoiding direct harsh sunlight for 4-6 weeks or until the buds begin to appear.
Even after the plant starts flowering, it’s beneficial to maintain a period of uninterrupted darkness at night. Cut off all artificial lights in the evening to extend the duration of its blooming period.