Christmas Cactus And Propagation And Soil - Knowledgebase Question

New York, NY
Avatar for dpengel
Question by dpengel
December 7, 2000
Yesterday I saw a lavendar christmas cactus in full bloom. I wish to steal a piece of it in order to propagate for home. Need helpful advice: where to cut, what medium.
Also, last year a friend gave me a piece of deep red christmas cactus...I put it into water, and when roots showed, planted it. No movement yet. Is that normal?

Answer from NGA
December 7, 2000
These plants can be started from cuttings about four to six inches long set into barely damp soilless potting mix. Roots will form at the "joints" in the stem, so cut the piece so that there is a joint at the end of it and set the cutting deep enough into the soil so that about two joints are covered and it will stand on its own. Keep the soil barely moist, set the pot in a warm bright location but out of direct light and roots should form in anywhere from one to three months. Once roots form, move the plants into brighter light and fertilize regularly with a water soluble fertilizer according to the label instructions. Despite the name "cactus", these plants need ample bright light, adequate moisture and fertility in order to grow actively, so your plants may have been lacking one or more of those factors.

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