Christmas Cactus: What makes them special this time of year?

When you imagine what flowers are in-demand around Christmas time, the first to come to mind are surely Poinsettias. It is important to note that there are many different holiday flowers that don’t get as much attention as the Poinsettia. There are undeniable amounts of beauty in the flowers that don’t get the attention and spotlight. In this short blog we will be exploring one of our favorite holiday florals, the Christmas Cactus.


The Christmas cactus is a very popular and pursued plant during the winter season. It goes by a few different names including: Thanksgiving cactus, Easter cactus and orchid cactus. Now a quintessential part of holiday décor, the Xmas cactus was once only found in the rainforests of Brazil. There are many beautiful colors for these holiday cactus’, the most common being red, purple, orange, pink and cream. Although called “cactus”, this plant thrives in cooler climates and most of the time prefers to be inside. Pet owners will be relieved to hear that these Christmas plants are non-toxic to animals. This does not mean that you should feed them the plants but if they happen to nibble on one, they will not get sick from it.

In order to Bloom…

The first step to prepare for blooming is to limit the water you are giving these holiday plants. During October and the beginning of November, the plants should stay only slightly moist. Make sure the topmost layer of soil is almost dry to the touch. Christmas Cactus’ also need 12-15 hours of complete darkness each day for 6-8 weeks or until buds start forming. Once bloomed, the buds will thrive on lots of light. If you plan to re-pot your cactus, we advise you to do it when there are no buds, so you don’t disrupt any growth.

Staying Alive

Now that you have some blooms, let’s go over some tips to keep them alive and thriving! Contrary to popular belief, the Christmas cactus can live much longer than just the winter holiday season. In fact, with proper care, they can live more than 10 years. The trickiest part of the whole process is watering your holiday cactus. You don’t want it to dry out, but you also will kill it with too much water. A daily spray bottle mist will be more than enough to keep it alive. Only water the base if it is completely dry to the touch. As far as temperature, try to keep your plants in a climate between 60-70 degrees. Make sure not to place it next to a radiator, heater or fireplace because the heat will cause harm. A shaded spot with indirect sunlight is the perfect place to keep it. If it seems a bit droopy, give it more direct sunlight.

With a little bit of time and some easy daily maintenance, you can have a beautifully bloomed Christmas Cactus for a few weeks and all the way up to a month! Combine with a few poinsettias and an amaryllis for an unforgettable holiday centerpiece.

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