False Christmas Cactus
4.6 out of 5 (283 experiences)
About False Christmas Cactus
Did you know plants in the Schlumbergera genus are actually leafless? Instead of leaves, they use modified stems to capture sunlight! Unlike the Easter cactus, this species flowers in the later autumn or winter. They also have pointed wings at the corners, where its counterpart has more rounded edges. In the wild, they are epiphytes, meaning they grow on tree branches or rocks! 🌳 🪨
Also known as
Holiday Cactus, Crab Cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus
How to care for False Christmas Cactus
How often to water your False Christmas Cactus
False Christmas Cactus needs 0.5 cups of water every 12 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot located in Oakland, California.
Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.
Water 0.5 cups every
Check the growing potential in your area
A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.
Finding light for False Christmas Cactus in your home
False Christmas Cactus may have difficulty thriving, and will drop leaves 🍃, without ample sunlight.
Place it less than 3 feet from a south-facing window to keep it happy during this time of reduced sunlight intensity in Oakland, California ⛅.
How to fertilize False Christmas Cactus
Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.
By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.
To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your False Christmas Cactus after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.
False Christmas Cactus is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!
False Christmas Cactus thrives in dry soil and should be watered sparingly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.
False Christmas Cactus may have difficulty thriving and will drop leaves 🍃 without ample sunlight. Place it less than 3 feet from a window to maximize the potential for growth. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.
False Christmas Cactus is not known to cause harm to humans or pets. Regardless, if you, a family member, a cat, or dog has ingested any plant material, please consult a doctor or a veterinarian.
False Christmas Cactus prefers dry environments. Providing extra humidity or misting your plant allows water to linger on leaves, which can create the perfect environment for harmful types of fungi.
False Christmas Cactus is very sensitive to wet soil, so choose a potting soil that drains very well and doesn’t retain too much moisture. A good soil will have lots of perlite or vermiculite for drainage and some organic matter for nutrition. A few handfuls of perlite added to regular store-bought cactus soil will do the trick!
False Christmas Cactus grows very slowly and doesn’t require added fertilizer. Replacing your plant’s potting soil once a year should provide them with more than enough nutrition. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!
It’s common for False Christmas Cactus to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.
False Christmas Cactus is native to Southeastern Brazil.
Yes, you may see your False Christmas Cactus bloom with the right amount of sunlight and water.
False Christmas Cactus grows vertically and new growth will emerge from the top of the plant.
USDA Hardiness Zone
False Christmas Cactus can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10a-12b. Find your local hardiness zone here.
False Christmas Cactus can be propagated by the stem method. To propagate:
- Make a cut just above the node. The node is the break in the stem where the leaf emerges.
- To get the cutting to root, you can either:
- Place the cutting in water until roots emerge and are ~2” long and then transplant into well-draining soil, or
- Place the cutting directly into well-draining soil and water when dry.
Overwatering is a likely cause of issues with False Christmas Cactus. These plants are very sensitive to wet soil so if you notice your plant becoming squishy or translucent, overwatering is the likely culprit.
Cut your plant just past where the rot ends and allow it to callus over for a few days before replanting it in fresh, dry soil. Download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!
Care Summary for False Christmas Cactus
False Christmas Cactus
0.5 cups every 12 days
< 3ft from a window
Repot after 2x growth
Based on your location in Oakland, California, the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.