One of the most popular gifts is the Indoor Christmas Cactus Plant, I decided to do an article on this houseplant. Could this become more popular than the traditional Pointesetta, we can only wait and allow time to tell? Are you ready to learn about this amazing cactus, if so this article will interest you?
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Christmas Cactus Containers
Even before your new plant arrives you need to have its new home ready, many beginner gardeners think any type of planter will do? I have experienced your plant’s new home is as important as proper care, so that is why I chose to include this in this article? How to choose the best planter is my first set of tips, please read on to learn this important information?
- Drainage holes are your first concern, if you find one without holes buy one large enough to fit one with holes inside of this planter? Purchasing both at the same time is what I would do, I am sure this is something that will be useful for you to know?
- No matter what material you choose will make a good home, so whatever catches your eye is a good possibility? The main problem is all materials don’t provide drainage holes, so this is when my tip above comes in handy?
- What size should you buy is a common question, many gardeners recommend a planter between 1 to 2 inches in diameter larger than your present container? For a 4 inch pot, you would go with approximately a 5 or 6-inch flower pot?
- The depth is another thing to consider, you will find shallow planters especially for succulents and cactus. All of these are not right for every plant, you must determine how much room to leave for the roots? For the Christmas Cactus, it is recommended a 4 to 7-inch pot?
- Now what about the width, you should go with one at the least 10 percent larger than the widest part of the cactus?
The few tips above is a good guide to follow when choosing a home for succulent and cactus plants, and the reason a large planter is frowned upon is people often overwater these types of plants, I do use a plant moisture meter to know when each of my houseplants needs a drink. You can purchase this garden tool at most garden supply stores, so seriously consider adding this to your indoor garden tool kit?
Christmas Cactus Growing Tips
For my next set of tips, I am going to provide you a basic guide you can follow. This can really help those new to indoor gardening, but also people who never grew this specific houseplant? Rare Exotic Plants focuses on being an informational resource for gardeners, even though the website is new, I have been growing plants since the age of 4 years old with my grandparents?
- Use potting mix specially made for succulents and cactus plants, you will find these provide excellent drainage where others might not?
- Water only when your potting soil is dry, be sure to allow the soil to dry out between watering is another important key to success?
- Providing some humidity is a requirement not to overlook, there are small portable humidifiers if you only have one plant or a very small indoor garden? What I do is place a small jar of water in my planter, so these are two suggestions for providing humidity that works?
- Don’t become anxious something is wrong if you lose buds, I find this is quite natural, and is no reason to become overwhelmed? Some people think their plant needs water, and this often causes root rot by overwatering?
- Daytime temperatures at no lower than 70 degrees, and at night no lower than 55 degrees.
How helpful has this article been so far, I would love some comments from you? You are my best resource to improve Rare Exotic Plants, so if you can spare even a few minutes, I would appreciate it? What is your favorite houseplant possibly giving your problems, let me know and I will be more than happy to write an article just for you?
Problem Solving Tips
By following my problem-solving guide, you should prevent any severe problems with this houseplant? I provide these guides and step-by-step articles to help you, I thank you all for your support and for visiting Rare Exotic Plants? Is there anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to ask?
- Providing bright to medium lighting in your home can often prevent most of the problems.
- Be sure not to overwater especially during the winter months, I always check my own plants every few days.
- Wilting is a sign you need to increase watering, but again do this sparingly to prevent root rot.
- Direct sunlight is not the Christmas Cactus’s best friend, so be sure to keep a close watch as the seasons’ change.
- Cold drafts and too close to heating vents can cause problems, so remember to consider both of these are not too close to your plant.
- Fertilize 2 to 4 times per year with a 20-20-20 fertilizer, you can find special plant food for succulents and cactus if you prefer to use them.
Growing this houseplant is not nearly as complicated as many of the tropical plants, if you keep these tips in mind you will have a happy healthy plant for many years. Here is a Christmas Cactus care sheet, just click on the link to go directly to the page. I provided you this link because you can print this out if you desire to, so this is a good resource to pin up near your indoor garden?
Christmas Cactus Types
Did you know there are several types of this cactus, I feel this can be important for you to know? Let us learn about the different types, this could benefit you when shopping for a Christmas cactus for yourself or as a gift?
- The Thanksgiving Cactus
- Easter Cactus
- Christmas Cactus
Now you are aware of the types available, I am going to provide you more information about each of these? Understanding their differences can be a great help in choosing the right one, anyone planning on possibly adding one to their indoor garden should read this?
Staring with the Thanksgiving Cactus is as good as any place to begin, no time like the present to give you the information I have found? Before we start, I have some Olive Garden Free Coupons for anyone who loves to eat there. Just a little thank you for reading my article, now let us learn about this cactus?
- Pear-shaped leaves with pinchers on their leaf edges, you might have heard this being referred to as the Crab or Lobster Cactus?
- Two to three-inch flowers attract hummingbirds, so a good choice for those of you who love these little hummers? Place them in your favorite area, and enjoy watching them visiting you regularly?
- Blooms from Thanksgiving until late December, and some people have experienced them still blooming in January?
- Flower colors in yellow, white, red, and pink.
This is what I could find on this type of cactus, if you are interested feel free to do some extensive research on your own? Being limited I want to provide you the most important details, and this allows me to share the other types as well?
Our next guest is the Easter Cactus, let us find out more about this one next? You will want to know this is the most difficult of them all to grow, watering must be just right so a plant moisture meter is really needed? No guessing is allowed with this one, I would not recommend this beginner-friendly?
- Trumpet-shaped flowers
- Pink, red, and pointy petals
- Blooms in April and May
- Once in a while reblooms around Halloween
- Brightest flowers of all the types
- Flower colors can be red, pink, or royal blue
Well, two down and one more to go? We both know which type I left for last, so are you anxious to learn about our last one? This is the most popular of them all, ready or not here we go?
The beautiful and popular Christmas Cactus is our next guest, so let us see what we can learn about this holiday plant? My mother used to have several of these, I can remember as a little boy how bright the flowers were? It is a shame they don’t bloom year-round, but I guess that is what makes them special?
- Long living houseplant
- Easy to propagate and grow
- Blooms late November to February
- Hanging flowers is one of the best features
- Flower colors are red, white, and at times even yellow
- A great choice for an indoor hanging basket
Out of the types, the Christmas Cactus is the most popular holiday cactus. That is why around the holidays you can find these in many of your stores, now should the Pointsetta make room for this plant? At this time, the Pointestta still is the favorite holiday plant?
Christmas Cactus Diseases
Every houseplant experiences diseases now and then, and sadly this cactus is no exception? First, let us learn the diseases? Below there is a list of them, but look on the bright side there are not many of them?
- Basal Stem Rot
- Botrytis Blight
- Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus
- Phytophthora Root Rot
- Pythium Root Rot
Thankfully there are not more of these that can attack your plant, I want to next provide you more detail on each of these? This is extremely important to know to care for your cactus, so read on to learn the facts?
Basal Stem Rot
I want to provide you the symptom of Basal Stem Rot, here is how to tell if your houseplant is suffering from this?
- Brown spot at the soil line of your plant
- Will turn tan as the tissue dies
- You will then notice it falling away
Applying a fungicide is what you can do, now you hopefully understand what to look for and what to do? At least this does not sound very serious if you act fast, let us hope the rest of them are so easy to treat as well?
Remember the tomato blight that destroyed everyone’s tomato’s, I lost all mine to this blight several times? Hopefully, there is an easy solution to this one? What to look for is what you need to know first, knowing the signs is the first step to solving the problem?
- Flowers die
- Covered with a gray growth
- Stems also can be attacked in severe cases
Sure sounds like an ugly blight to me, now what can we do about this? Apply a fungicide, and lower the humidity, so another fairly easy treatment plan?
Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus
So far we have been very lucky, so are you wondering what this virus can do to our plant? Find out the symptoms and the treatment plan, keep reading to learn more?
- The cactus may turn a yellowish color
If one of my plants had these symptoms, I would have no idea what to do? Be careful of your other plants, sometimes the cactus shows no signs? In this case, there is a very good chance it is a carrier of the virus to your other houseplants. Oh my, this is not good, we only can destroy our infected plants and take the loss.
Phytophthora Root Rot
Let us hope this is nothing like the virus, none of us want to lose our houseplants? If this happened to my indoor garden, I would lose so many of my plants? What a loss that would be for anyone, so hold your breath as you read what is coming next?
- Roots Rot obviously
- The plant turns a grayish-green color
- Becomes wilted, then dies
This one doesn’t sound good as well, but keep your fingers crossed for an easy cure? Plant in pasteurized potting mix, again destroy infected plants. Apply a fungicide to healthy plants, I am wondering how common these affect this type of plant?
Pythium Root Rot
Are you as surprised as I am, I never would have thought a cactus could get such nasty problems? They seem so rough and tough, well time to find out about this last disease?
- No cure the plant just will die
Wow, we don’t even have a chance with this one? There are no warning signs our houseplant is even sick, plant healthy plants in pasteurized potting soil, destroy infected plants, and apply a fungicide to the healthy plants. This is a bit depressing to imagine this ever happening to our indoor gardens, I imagine overwatering and excess humidity could possibly create such problems?