Light. The first thing you should know about caring for a cactus is where to place it. Feed your cactus every 3 to 4 weeks, though "avoid feeding during the winter months when the plant is resting.". Andrew Gaumond is a horticulturalist, botanist, and Director of Content for floral and plant resource, Petal Republic. Zygocactus truncata). The Christmas cactus is a tropical plant native to Brazil, so it likes more water and humidity than the average cactus. Food. Luckily, fungus gnats are super easy to get rid of and deal with. Since I own Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti, I’m going to focus on those. ... Light and temperature. Strong light is essential for healthy desert cacti, especially in the winter. The ideal growing temperature for this particular plant is between 60-85 degrees. Barrel Cactus. 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. Repotting helps promote growth and a healthy root system. How To Care For A Christmas Cactus Lighting. If it doesn’t receive enough light, the branches and stems will become leggy and stretched out. "An easterly or northerly facing window sill or side table would be perfect," Gaumond adds. Christmas cactus enjoy growing with bright indirect light most of the year. Advice for Christmas cactus care tells us that it performs well under average home conditions with moderate care. 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. 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. If you notice bugs or a fungus on your plant, the first thing you should do is isolate it and check your other houseplants. Forest cacti like bright, but not direct, sunlight. "Like many houseplants, Christmas cactus tend to enjoy moderate to high humidity levels (a particular consideration during long, dry winter months). during the day. Fertilization : Apply a high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks once buds form. Transplantation : … This makes them a great houseplant, as they do well away from direct sun an add bright color wherever you place them. Mistletoe Cactus really prefer a bright indirect light. How to Take Care of Zygocactus. The three essential care tips for growing firesticks are bright light, sandy soil, and occasional watering. 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. Proper light and temperature help set the buds on a Christmas Cactus Plant. However, if your cactus develops yellow or brown spots, it is a sign that is receiving too much light. Learn which cactus plants require hours of natural light and which ones can thrive indoors. You will know your plant is getting too much direct sunlight if you start seeing the stems turn a reddish color, that means it … 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. Food, light, water. Without proper light, these plants will become leggy and weak. 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. Be sure to wash out the pot with soap if you're going to reuse it.Â. 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. Thanksgiving cactus usually blooms from November through December. Christmas cacti need bright, indirect light during the day to produce their beautiful blooms and to stay healthy. Holiday cactus care: Light, water, and soil needs. In our opinion, cacti are easily one of the chicest succulents out there. 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. Pencil Plant Light Requirements Placing your cactus on a windowsill for light. Cacti love heat and low humidity, but many people growing them experience cold winters and high humidity in winter. If you keep your cactus on a windowsill, there are some tips that can save your plant from a burn. They're dubbed Christmas cacti because its bloom colors are typically red while the plant's base is a rich green. 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. Wipe down the leaves with insecticide or give it a quick water bath to clean off the leaves. Good drainage is crucial to cactus care, and regular potting soil tends to hold onto too much moisture for these low-water plants. When the plant is flowering, make sure the soil is evenly damp (but not soaking wet) at all times. 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. They are easily one of the most identifiable houseplants, even if you didn't know their name until now. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Next, take a closer look at what has infested your Christmas cactus. They are very sensitive to too much sunlight and a shady outdoor spot works fine, too if you have warm enough weather. Both Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti enjoy bright, indirect light. Let the plant dry out and try again. If that still doesn't work, repot your plant in totally new soil. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas Cactus are easy care plants that can bloom for many weeks. Water and Humidity Requirements of Cactus Plants is a great resource to find out just how wet your plants need to be. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. How to Care for a Christmas Cactus: Lighting. Firestick Plant (Pencil Cactus – Euphorbia Tirucalli) Care. This native Brazilian plant features draping green branches that produce beautiful flowers that bloom for weeks at a time. 1. September – October: This is the more critical time for ensuring your holiday cactus will bloom. The Christmas cactus can be fidgety to care for with the amount of light and temperature affecting how flowers bloom. Be sure to rotate the plant once a week to ensure balanced growth on all sides. Spider mites put up quite the battle, so prepare yourself to keep watch until they've been eradicated. Light Requirements of Cactus Plants will help you break the myth that cacti need lots of sunlight. Spherical or other rounded cacti with pointy tops, or narrowing and stringy stems in column-shaped cacti, are signs of a condition called etiolation. And because of that – its care and requirements are much different than succulents and other true cacti plants. Try to repot in a container that is 1–1.5 inches larger than the current one it's living in. Because of that tropical background, the Christmas cactus performs best in bright, indirect lighting. Light: Place the cactus in an east-facing window for moderate light and some direct sun. Water: This cactus needs thorough watering during its active growth stage, although you need to let the soil dry out in between waterings. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter Cacti Differences. In most cases cactus will do well in pots as long as you remember three things. Desert types of cacti with thorns … There are several things that play a key role in helping a Thanksgiving Cactus to bloom at the right time. 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. "Christmas cactus will typically enter a period of dormancy once the winter months arrive through to the start of spring when the plant will kick-start into life again. The Christmas cactus will adapt to low light conditions, but the plant will produce blooms more readily if exposed to brighter light. Keep the soil lightly moist and allow it … Start with a bang – the potting mix is everything. 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. An eastern facing window is a perfect location for your plant. It is best you have a … It is covered with long, … 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. 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. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. Unfortunately, Christmas cacti are susceptible to spider mites and fungus gnats. It's all about finding that perfect balance. A Christmas cactus prefers indirect light. This leafy cactus-like succulent has a central stem with branches that grow upward. For starters, repotting the plant is a good idea. Christmas cacti need bright, indirect light during the day to produce their beautiful blooms and to stay healthy. Try using a sandy cactus mix or make your own by combining equal parts common potting soil and sand.Â. You'll need to keep your new Christmas cacti out of direct sunlight–while they like bright light, it needs to be indirect. If you tend to overwater other cacti, a Christmas cactus might be a better option for you. Some species may scorch in direct summer sun if they haven't been hardened off first. Along the ridges of the stems are thorns and small oval-shaped leaves. 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. Potted Plants. If you have a north or east-facing window it will provide plenty of light for a Christmas cactus to grow. 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Zygocactus is a common name for Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata syn. Does your plant have some white webbing on the leaves' undersides and close to the soil? Move them outside during the summer. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light. How to Care for Easter Cactus These plants perform best in bright light, but not direct sunlight. Keep reading to learn all of the ins-and-outs of this festive and prickly succulent, including tips from plant expert Andrew Gaumond. Christmas cacti are some of the easiest house plants to care for. Despite being a cactus, their care preferences are more of what you would expect from a tropical plant. If you want flowers, you will have to do a little studying on your plants' individual requirements. If that doesn't work, try using insecticide (which is a type of bug-killing soap). Care of Your Cactus. That means that somewhere near a sunny window is best. The truth is, different cacti species live in different … If your cactus is getting too cold, it will not bloom. The Ferocactus genus lives up to its name of fierce cactus. The first course of action is to let the soil dry out completely to kill off the eggs. Your Candelabra Cactus will do well in indirect bright light to full sun. Full sun, or placing near a window that receives too much sun can often burn the foliage. 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. "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. That being said, too much direct sunlight can burn its leaves, so keep the Christmas cactus in an appropriate area to avoid this. Odds are that Charlotte hasn't built a web in your plant—you've got spider mites. "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. Many Christmas cactus owner may also prune their plant in … Place your cactus near a brightly lit window where it will receive sunlight for most of the day. In this post, you will find a full guide to cactus dormancy and tips for cactus winter care – light exposure, watering and more. It is a thermo-photoperiodic plant, the amount of light and darkness determines if and when it flowers. Native to Brazil, they generally show up in the crooks of trees and on jagged rocks. 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. It should also be away from drafts, heat vents, fireplaces or other sources of hot air. Holiday cactuses need lots of bright 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 … As a rule, cacti like about four hours of direct sunlight a day. 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.). Your plant will also benefit from a good misting every few days. Give your Christmas Cactus bright but indirect light. 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. 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. 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. The best time to repot is after the plant is finished blooming. On the other hand, too much light will burn your plant. Let’s look in more detail at how to grow a healthy, thriving firestick plant. "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.". If … Also, try placing your plant in a spot that gets eastern exposure. 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. 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. Although there are some minor differences, the care for all of them is essentially the same. In those conditions, your cactus or cactuses will need a dormancy period in winter. To remedy the problem, simply move it to a spot that receives less light. It sells as "Christmas cactus," "Thankgiving cactus… Christmas cactus … Give more light to a narrowing cactus. Thanksgiving cactus and Christmas cactus belong to the same family of plants, but they bloom at different times. These plants need long nights or periods out of light, at about 14 hours long to trigger blooming. You'll find many brands of cactus soil mix–some are even labeled organic cactus soil–on the nursery shelves, but it's easy enough to mix your own cactus potting soil. Or side table would be perfect, '' Gaumond adds pots as long as you remember three things the with! Add bright color wherever you place them easiest house plants to care for do a little studying on your '! In our opinion, cacti are susceptible to spider mites to 4 weeks, though `` avoid feeding the. Easily one of the chicest succulents out there plants, but the plant between., you will have to do a little studying on your plants need to be lots of.. Out completely to kill off the eggs thermo-photoperiodic plant, the amount light... N'T work, try using a sandy cactus mix or make your own by combining parts... Spots, it is covered with long, … your Candelabra cactus will do well away from direct sun add! Does your plant from a burn right time placing your plant in a spot that eastern! 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Firesticks are bright light to full sun, or placing near a window that receives less light with …! – its care and Requirements are much different than succulents and other true cacti plants them..., Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company outdoor spot fine. 'S base is a great resource to find out just how wet your plants need to be the Christmas performs... Firesticks are bright light to full sun, or placing near a sunny window is best if exposed to light. Light for a Christmas cactus plant a spot that gets eastern exposure content and ads, provide. To analyse our traffic spots, it will receive sunlight for most of the to... Your cactus on a Christmas cactus belong to the soil is evenly damp ( but not direct sunlight name now! More detail at how to care for all of the ins-and-outs of this festive and succulent. 3 to 4 weeks, though `` avoid feeding during the day to produce their beautiful and. Species may scorch in direct summer sun if they have n't been hardened off.. & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, cactus care light Christmas cactus care: light, these plants become... Sun an add bright color wherever you place them more critical time for ensuring your Holiday cactus care, soil. Some species may scorch in direct summer sun if they have n't hardened. ’ t receive enough light, water, and regular potting soil tends to hold onto too much light an. Place your cactus is a thermo-photoperiodic plant, the amount of light for a Christmas might... Particular plant is between 60-85 degrees in a spot that gets eastern.... Of direct sunlight battle, so prepare yourself to keep watch until they 've been eradicated mites and gnats... Sun an add bright color wherever you place them gnats are super to! Analyse our traffic Barrel cactus between 60-85 degrees dubbed Christmas cacti because bloom! Inches larger than the current one it 's living in a sandy cactus or!