The Q&A Archives: Christmas Cactus So8il

Question: What type of potting soil best suits a Christmas cactus? Should I use special soil made for cacti?

Answer: Christmas cactus is a forest cactus which, unlike its desert cousins, thrives in rich, moist soil. Provide a light, peat-based potting soil rather than a dry, sandy soil, and your Christmas cactus will reward you with new growth. In order to bloom profusely, your Christmas cactus will need a resting period where water and warmth are decreased, and a spell outdoors during the summer to condition it soit can develop flower buds. Here's the timetable for a good performance: After flowering (usually January), reduce watering and keep cool (about 55F). Beginning in April water more frequently, making sure soil is thoroughly moistened each time you water. Take the plant outdoors from June through August, placing it in a shady, protected spot. In September take the plant indoors and allow it to rest, reducing the amount of water it gets, keeping it cool, and allowing it to form flower buds. In November increase watering and air temperature. Your plant should begin flowering from mid-November through mid-January.

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