The Q&A Archives: Propagating Christmas Cactus

Question: I would like to propagate a Christmas cactus and I'm not sure how to go about it. Will a cutting root in water and if so, how should it be planted once it roots?

Answer: Christmas cactus propagates quite readily from cuttings or from root divisions. It's best to divide in the spring, or take cuttings in the summer, when the plant has finished its resting period and is growing well. Propagate by simply unpotting and cutting the root mass into several sections, repotting each section in moistened potting soil, or by taking stem cuttings. Remove the leaf 'pads' from the stem and allow the exposed ends to dry and callus over for a few days, then place them, callus side down, in moistened potting soil, in individual pots. Bury only the bottom 1/3 of each leaf pad in the soil. Roots will develop and new growth will appear on the top surface of the leaf in a few weeks. Don't try to root your cuttings in water - they'll turn into a slimy mess!

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