Ask a Question forum→Christmas cactus

Views: 111, Replies: 7 » Jump to the end
Hancock, Wisconsin
JHallman
Jun 15, 2021 8:24 PM CST
I have Christmas cactus which is still thriving after 30 years but it is getting too large. I have attempted to look on Safari on how to trim it back but all answers refer to how to start a new cutting. I would appreciate any help you can give me.
Thank you!
Thumb of 2021-06-16/JHallman/7ebcce

Name: Peggy
Temple, TX (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Deer Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bluebonnets Irises
Image
Peggy8b
Jun 16, 2021 10:44 AM CST
I had one get that big some years back at my last house. It put out hundreds and hundreds of blooms during the holidays every year indoors. Then I actually moved it outdoors when it got to big for the indoor location I needed to keep it in, to a dappled shady spot by my patio (plenty of bright light) and it thrived outside! It even re-bloomed in April the year I moved it out there (when photo was taken), which it never did when it lived inside. Any chance you have a nice shady spot for it outdoors? The one in this photo actually got 1 hour sun a day and the cactus took it just fine. The leaves would pink up around the edges in the sun but seemed to go back green in the Fall. You just have to remember to bring the plant back inside before it gets cold in the Fall.
Thumb of 2021-06-16/Peggy8b/dbd3af

That said, since you can cut stems for cuttings/rerooting, I would think they would tolerate cutting stem length back to a more manageable size for your indoor setting. I dont' know if I would try to divide the central core of the plant, but I'm not that knowledgeable on cacti or their division capabilities. You might also want to ask this question on the Cactus and Succulent subforum. Lots of folks there will have more specific information.

My low-carb recipe website: www.buttoni.wordpress.com
[Last edited by Peggy8b - Jun 16, 2021 10:50 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2531897 (2)
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
Sempervivums Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
Image
plantmanager
Jun 16, 2021 10:50 AM CST
Years ago I had a plant almost that large. I did repot it and I divided it. It didn't miss a beat, and both plants kept on blooming. If you do it, be sure not to disturb the roots. Just fill in with some new soil underneath and on the sides. Keep up your normal watering regime. Good luck with your gorgeous plant!
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Hancock, Wisconsin
JHallman
Jun 16, 2021 11:54 AM CST
Thank you both for your suggestions. I do move my plant outside in the summer and, because we live in Wisconsin, move it back inside when the weather changes. I have cuttings started from stems I've take off the plant, and I hope these will take, and then decided whether to try divide my original.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Foliage Fan
Image
purpleinopp
Jun 16, 2021 11:54 AM CST
Hi & welcome! What a gorgeous plant!
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
Sempervivums Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
Image
plantmanager
Jun 16, 2021 12:13 PM CST
I agree Lovey dubby
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Port d'Envaux, France (Zone 9a)
A Darwinian gardener
Image
JBarstool
Jun 16, 2021 12:35 PM CST
That is a very nice looking plant!
If you are asking whether the plant can be trimmed back - as opposed to hacking through the root mass to divide and keep a smaller section - then, yes they take easily to being trimmed. Just remove a section (or sections) of each branch. Those pieces can, as you say, be easily rooted as new plants if you like. In fact, if you did it now you could pot three or so of those babies into small pots and grow them on to give at Christmas time.
Despite their name the plants are not cactus. They are not as drought tolerant or as sunshine loving as true cactus and as you already know they love a summer vacation outside in dappled sunshine.
Trimming the plant now and giving it a mild feed would probably not even interrupt its flowering this year as flowering is triggered by periods of darkness roughly equal to the periods of light during the day and by cooler temperatures in the 50 - 55 range. If you live somewhere too warm for these temperatures then you can often trigger blooming by increasing the darkness to something like 12 hours per day. I don't remember the horticultural term for this ... thermo-photoperiodic rings a distant bell I think.
You clearly don't need advice on how to care for the plant; it looks fabulous. Good snipping.
I find myself most amusing.
Hancock, Wisconsin
JHallman
Jun 18, 2021 9:18 PM CST
Thank you JBarstool, this is exactly what I needed to know!!!

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by arctangent and is called "Time for Bed"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.