When it comes to sharing and spreading, there are many plants that can be shared and spread on the mass level. One of them is the Christmas cactus. It is such a decorating and sharing material that you will love to share with your friends and family along with telling them how to grow Christmas cacti from cuttings.
Most gardeners, when they start the process of gardening to fulfill their dreams and keep their hobby enjoying and alive, they always have one clear goal in mind. The extension and sharing of the garden and plants.
They love to share and spread the garden to any extent possible. It is because when a person loves one thing, and also it is their hobby, they always try to practice it in most of the areas. They love to see it all around them.
What is Christmas Cactus?
You might be wondering from the name of the plant that here come the pure desert plants. When people listen to the cactus, usually there comes the desert plant is in mind. The plant has to face water scarcity and grow completely alone.
Actually, this is not the case with the Christmas cactus. It is a tropical plant that can grow and prosper in cold climates, as well as with other plants. It is usually adopted as a decorative plant in the garden.
Whenever it is discussed, people often complain about the blooming of the Christmas cactus. They will tell you that they haven’t seen any Christmas cactus blooming in 9 to 10 years. But this is not the case. You will be able to make them bloom, once proper care is done.
This plant is a tropical plant mainly used and grown for decoration purposes. It is native to brazil, and it has bell-shaped flowers. The color shades of these flowers are red, pink, and white. It has usually November to December bloom time, that’s why it is also known as the holiday cactus.
Most of the time this plant is grown in indoor settings. Because it is a decorative plant, it looks good indoors. It can also be planted in outdoor settings. In the US hardiness zones from 9 to 11, it can be easily planted.
It can easily grow in humid weather but is not good in sunlight. Be careful about this before planting it in the desired space.
Two main groups of Christmas cactus cultivators
One is Buckleyi group which blooms in December. And the other one is the truncata cultivators which bloom in November month. These are not official categories, but these are adopted as being with the blooming month.
Christmas cactus are easy to take care of. You can propagate it from the cuttings as well, besides using plants, and seeds. It is now commonly grown and it is also not such a harmful plant for pets.
How to propagate Christmas cactus?
Christmas cuttings can be grown and propagated from many sources. You can sow the seeds, as well as you can get the plants from the shop or horticultural settings. Moreover, this plant can also be propagated from the cuttings as well. Cuttings are neat and easy to propagate.
How to propagate the Christmas cactus from cuttings?
Propagation of Christmas cacti from cuttings is quite an easy and enjoyable process. You can easily do it by following some of the basic steps.
Get your Instruments/ Tools Right
Before cutting from the established plant of the Christmas cactus, you need to collect your tools. Make sure you have all the required scissors and blades. It is vital to note that you should use clean instruments.
It is good to swipe the tools with alcohol-based liquid with a cotton ball. it will take very little effort but it will save a plant from the transfer of any disease from the plant to the cutting to be grown.
Selection of segment to cut
Now you have to cut the cuttings to propagate it. Select the place of the plant where it is Y-shaped. Make sure it has three leave segments. Cut the piece of the Christmas cactus from the place where the two leaves meet.
This place of cut is called a node. From here the roots of the cuttings will appear and grow. If the section is cut properly the plant will grow steadily as well as the roots of the cuttings will well. Now you can cut the cuttings into re-pieces. Make sure there are always three segments in Y-Shaped.
Callous the cuttings
You cannot directly plant the cuttings into the soil. You need to make sure the cuttings are callous over. Keep them in a dry place, avoiding direct sunlight. In this way, you would be able to avoid the rotting of cuttings, once these are callous over.
Selection of pot
When grown from the cuttings, the plants go through some phases. It is the case with almost every plant. The first cuttings are planted in a small pot. When these grow up, these plants are then transferred to other pots, called repotting.
This new destination pot is usually the final place for the plants to grow and prosper. But here the plants are the Christmas cactus. You need to be very careful about them. Because these plants are very delicate.
When you will try to transfer the Christmas cactus plants to a new pot, you will end up with a lot of broken cacti. It will not be a good motivation for you. So select the pot carefully in a way that it survives and tackles them effectively.
Choose a pot of 6 to 8 inches. These pots are good for the Christmas cactus. Once cuttings are planted, you would see that quickly these pots will get filled. You will have even no need to repot the plants.
Filling the soil in the pot
Make sure there is good drainage in the pot and the soil you are going to add to the pot. It is because if there is no drainage you might end up with root rot in the Christmas cactus plants which will end the entire plant as well.
Ill the pot with soil, which is good in nutrients and is used in gardening regularly. Make sure you make the soil moistened before planting the Christmas cactus cuttings in it.
Plantation of the Christmas Cactus Cuttings
As of now, you have prepared the ground to propagate the cuttings of the Christmas cactus. Now it’s time to plant them. Poke the Christmas cactus cuttings in the middle of the pot. You can add a little amount of soil around it, pressing it gently.
It is suggested that you should plant multiple cuttings of the Christmas cactus in the same pot. These will grow well as well as they will be able to fill your pot quickly. Make sure about half of the node is in the soil because it is the place where the roots are going to be developed.
Can we propagate Christmas cactus in water?
Yes, you can. Many people go for it as simply because they like to watch the roots growing in the water. You have followed the same procedure. You will have to get the nodes to make it grow and get the roots. Actually, again you will have to replant it in the pot once the roots are grown.
It cannot handle a lot of movement and handling, as it is a delicate plant. So, when grown in water it will be transplanted into a pot for plantation. You might end up breaking the newly gown cactus or blooms of the plants.
Taking Care of the Christmas cactus plants
Taking care of the Christmas cactus plants is quite easy. You just need to follow some of the basic steps which are practiced, then you are good to go.
Water the plant when there is a need. Avoid over-watering because it can cause the loss of the plant. Water the plant when an upper one-inch layer is dry. You can use the spray in the bottle. Also, when there is not much humidity in the air check the plant for watering.
Place the plant in bright but indirect light. And it grows well in high humidity. Maintain this balance in the life of the Christmas cactus plant, because it is not good with direct sunlight.
Do add fertilizers, and houseplant fertilizers to make it grow well. You should wait at least two to three weeks when transplanted. Then you can add fertilizers and avoid adding fertilizers after mid-October. Add it in the non-blooming season.
In short, the Christmas cactus is planted with great ease and care. Once you have planted, increase its presence with cuttings. Once cuttings have got hold in the soil, you would see how it decorates the space. Then you will able to share the cuttings as well because people are definitely going to ask for them.