- Sun exposure should be moderate.
- Temperatures should be 60*-70* which is perfect for a home environment. Note: most bud drop is caused by temperatures being too high, or light being too low.
- Humidity should also be moderate.
- Fertilizing should be done when it’s in a growth period, which is commonly between April and October. A complete indoor plant fertilizer will be fine. Less is more as far as strength!
- Watering-it should be moist when in a growth period, but NEVER allow the soil to be WET! When it’s “resting”, cut back on the water, only watering when it’s dry.
- Propagation-can be easily accomplished by cutting a section (at a joint) of more than 2 or 3 segmented stems, after letting them dry out for a few days, root them either in water, or damp sand. Once they are rooted they can be planted in a peat based compost, or potting soil.
- Resting Period is after they bloom. At that point they need to have less water; cooler temperatures; darker location and perhaps a summer vacation outside in a sheltered spot, hopefully safe from snails. This can be difficult to offer a plant for many people, meaning that blooms may not be as prolific. I’m sure that is what happened to mine! We live in a small apartment with limited exposure to sun on the window space. It did NOT get outside this summer-next summer it will!!! I’d check the soil every two weeks or so in our Pacific Northwest climate to be sure it doesn’t get TOO dry. They can stay outside until temperatures drop below 50*.
- Blooming Period-as soon as buds appear, cut back on the water, and don’t allow the temperature to drop below 55*.
So, there you have it. I hope all these tips help you deal with Grandma’s Christmas (or whatever) Cactus. It shouldn’t die on YOUR watch if you pay attention to all the advice I’ve given you here.
Maybe this is the year to make cuttings for next Christmas and give each family member their own piece of that family “heirloom”! Enjoy!