Plant Care Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

About 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! 🌳 🪨

Taxonomy

Schlumbergera kautskyi
Schlumbergera
Cactaceae
Caryophyllales

How to care for Christmas Cactus

💦 Water

How often to water your Christmas Cactus

Water needs for Christmas Cactus
0.5 cups
every 12

Christmas Cactus needs 0.5 cups of water every 12 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Christmas Cactus

Water 0.5 cups every
12

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

5"
☀️ Light

Finding light for Christmas Cactus in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Christmas Cactus: 3ft from a window
3ft or less from
a window

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 maximize the potential for growth.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Christmas Cactus in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Christmas Cactus

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Christmas Cactus: repot after 2X growth

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 Christmas Cactus after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Browse #Schlumbergera
💡 FAQs
💦 Water Needs

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.

Christmas Cactus Water Frequency →

Christmas Cactus Root Rot →


☀️ Sunlight Needs

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 🏡.

Christmas Cactus Light Requirements →

Christmas Cactus Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →


🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Greg does not have confirmed data on this plant’s toxicity. If you, a family member, or a pet consumes plant material of unknown toxicity, it’s always best to consult a medical professional.

If you or someone else ingested this plant, call Poison Control at US (800) 222-1222. If a pet consumed this plant, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA at US (888) 426-4435.


💨 Humidity

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.

Christmas Cactus Humidity Needs →


🪴 Soil

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!

Best Soil Mix for Christmas Cactus →

When and How to Successfully Repot Christmas Cactus →


💩 Fertilizer

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!


❄️ Dormancy

It’s common for 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.


🌎 Native Region

Christmas Cactus is native to Southeastern Brazil.


🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.


Care Summary for Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus


Greg recommends:

Water

0.5 cups every 12 days

Placement

< 3ft from a window

Nutrients

Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

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