Christmas cacti are beautiful blooming cacti with stem segments topped with gorgeous flowers. Once you learn how to keep them happy, you will want to get more.
But, can we propagate the Christmas cactus on our own to get more plants? Let’s find out.
Christmas cactus can be propagated by soil as well as water. You can use stem segment cuttings to grow more Christmas cacti. Start by pinching stems with 2-4 segments and put them in soil or water. The roots will emerge in a few weeks, which you can later move to soil and water.
Read the article to know all the methods of propagation. You will learn the ways and steps in detail so that you do not lose any of your stem cuttings.
Let’s get deeper and further you will also learn the basic requirements of your Christmas cactus to grow and develop happily.
When to propagate Christmas cactus
Propagating Christmas cactus at the right time is essential. The best time for the same is 1 -2 months after the plant has completed blooming.
That is the best time to propagate the plant if you want a healthy and growing Christmas cactus.
If you propagate in fall around and during blooming, there are high chances the bloom may be disturbed and the plant will not bloom.
The plant will also suffer from stress and may suffer from several problems.
The propagated part will grow if propagated at the right time, and the conditions need to be proper to support their growth.
Also, make sure the cuttings are taken from a matured plant.
Supplies needed to propagate Christmas cactus.
We will discuss all the ways and steps to propagate the Christmas cactus, but before that, you need to know a very important part of propagation.
That part is the supplies you need to carry out the propagation process.
Let us see what they are:
- Sharp and disinfected scissors/pruners
- Container/glass jar for water propagation
- Soil mix
How to propagate Christmas cactus?
There are two ways to propagate the Christmas cactus. You can choose from them or use both ways to propagate your Christmas cactus, as you like.
Let us see what the processes are:
- Propagating through stem cutting
- Water propagation
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Propagating Christmas cactus through stem cutting
Follow the instructions below to propagate your Christmas cactus through stem cuttings:
Select the cutting
Take a look at your Christmas cactus and find healthy stems for your cuttings.
Though you have to give much thought to deciding the stem you want your cuttings from, the plant is all about stems.
Take the cutting
You can use a pair of sterilized scissors or your hands to clip the cutting. It is advised to use hands to clip the cuttings for a clean cut.
Pinch or twist two or more items from your Christmas cactus.
Each cutting is maybe 1 – 4 segments long. Pinching the cuttings will give you clean cuttings that will encourage the growth of the roots.
Place the cutting in the soil.
Take the cuttings to plant in a pot. Prepare the pot by adding the soil mix and make sure the pot has a proper drainage system.
Place the broken end of the cutting in the soil about one and a half-inch deep, and use your fingers to make a hole to place the cuttings.
Dab around the cuttings to help it stay upright.
Provide ideal conditions for growth
Keep the planted cuttings in ideal environmental conditions.
Please keep them in a brightly lit space, not direct light, at room temperature between 65°F-85°F.
Water the plant when needed. Don’t keep the soil soggy or dry.
Keeping the soil evenly moist and other environmental conditions in check. Overwatering will kill the plant, and underwatering will inhibit root growth.
Wait for the root to come out.
Let the roots grow, which may take a few weeks. Be patient, as it will take time for the roots to develop and grow.
Though you may not be able to see through the soil, you may not know if the roots are growing.
Here, it would be best if you were a little patient, let the roots grow, and avoid taking out the cuttings to check the roots.
Once the plant has grown big enough, you can move it to a bigger pot to let the roots grow and develop easily.
Water propagation of Christmas cactus
Propagating Christmas cactus in water is the easiest way to grow roots. Here you will need a glass jar and clean water.
Let us learn the steps to propagate Christmas cactus in water.
Choose the stem
Check for the healthy stem segments. Healthy stem segments will give you a healthy plant.
If the cuttings are unhealthy or sick, there are high chances of the unhealthy plant.
Take the cutting
Take the cutting from the stem segments; it is best to pinch or twist the stem segments to get a lean cut.
A Y-shaped cutting with 2-3 segments attached is perfect.
Even if the cutting is not Y-shaped, it should be 2-4 segments long.
Let the cuttings sit in warm and good air circulation to be ready to propagate for 2-3 days.
Put the cutting in water.
Now take the glass jar and fill it with water.
Now place the cuttings in the jar, so the very bottom touches the water. The other part should be above the water in the jar.
Wait for the root growth.
Now be patient to see the growth of the roots. It will take 4-6 weeks to root.
Make sure the water is not evaporating. If the water level decreases, then pour the required water.
Keep changing the water every week. Just be patient, as the rooting depends on the conditions around the plant.
After the roots have grown, you can plant them in a pot.
Use a well-draining, light, and organically rich soil mix to plant your now-rooted cuttings.
Take care of the plant.
Keeping the plant in ideal conditions, especially adequate light, is important for the plants to grow.
Water the plant when the soil is dry, do not soak them, and keep the pot at room temperature.
Why are Christmas cactus not growing roots?
Your Christmas cactus may not be growing roots due to the following reasons:
- Saturated potting mix
- Lack of humidity
- Insufficient light
Your Christmas cactus need an abundance of bright light to grow.
They also need high humidity to develop faster, but sogginess should be avoided. Avoid over-watering no matter what.
Make sure the soil mix is right for the plant. Otherwise, it will create problems in the growth of the plant.
How to take care of newly propagated Christmas cactus
If you want your Christmas cactus to thrive, you must provide them with proper care.
By knowing the requirements of your plant, you will be able to check if your plant is receiving them or not.
Christmas cactus like a lot of light to thrive and grow faster.
They need indirect bright light to develop; direct light can lead to sunburn and adversely affect plant growth.
Keep your plant in a place where it can receive 5-6 hours of light daily.
If you lack natural light in your home, then you can use an artificial light source.
Use grow lights and lamps to fulfill the light needs of your Christmas cactus. If the light is insufficient, it will inhibit the plant’s growth.
Christmas cactus grow bigger and need water in the right amount at the right time.
The leaf pads need moisture to stay thick and healthy. They need water but should not be kept soggy in any case.
A drowning Christmas cactus will soon die as the entire plant lacks nutrients, water, and oxygen, which are required for all the processes to be working smoothly.
Keep checking the soil moisture before you decide to water the plant.
Following a routine blindly may lead to water-related problems. Water only when the soil is dry.
Soil is the growing medium of your Christmas cactus. If the soil is not ideal, the plant will keep suffering.
The plant will stay wet if the soil is heavy, even with the right watering routine. This will lead to problems like root rot, yellowing, etc.
Use organic matter in the soil to make it well-draining. You can buy soil mix formulated for cactus if you are unsure about the soil mix you are using.
You can make the ideal mix for Christmas cactus by mixing 1 part of regular potting soil and 1 part of perlite.
Christmas cactus does not need much fertilizing to thrive, and they can grow and thrive in their growing medium is nutrient-rich.
If you wish to fertilize your Christmas cactus, you can use a balanced houseplant food by diluting it with water to half the strength.
Water the plant one day before you fertilize the plant to allow the nutrients to distribute evenly.
Follow your plant’s health and growth to understand if they are happy with fertilizing or not. This way, you can decide what is best for your plant.
Christmas cacti thrive at room temperature, which is important for their growth. The ideal range is between 65°F to 85°F.
If you maintain this condition, you will notice your Christmas cactus growing faster.
Keep them at a temperature level during cooler months, not below 50°F.
If the climate is freezing, move your plant to a warmer spot indoors or create one. Also, protect them from hot and cold drafts.
For Christmas cactus, you must maintain a humidity level of around 50% – 60%.
The humidity should not be too high as it can encourage fungal diseases and pest infestation.
You can use a humidifier to maintain the ideal humidity around them. Grouping plants also help to raise the humidity level around the plant.