Christmas cactus are beautiful plants blooming in the holiday months. They can live in varied environmental conditions, so people often like to experiment with their placement. But what is the right spot for a Christmas cactus? Let us find out.
Christmas cactus prefer indirect bright light and a well-ventilated spot where they can get average humidity and warm temperature levels around them. They are mildly toxic to children and pets, so you need to consider this while placing them in your home.
We are here to inform you about their needs and conditions so that you can find the right spot while experimenting with their placement.
To find out that spot, read the article below:
Factors determining the placement of the Christmas cactus
Christmas cactus can thrive in different cultural conditions, and they can be kept indoors, outdoors, as per your choice.
They will not complain until any extremities. If favorable conditions are not possible, you can experiment with the placement of your Cactus.
They need a favorable living environment to thrive and maintain their health. It is important to keep those conditions in mind while deciding their placement.
Light is the most crucial factor for growing your Christmas cactus. Light converts oxygen, water, and nutrients into carbohydrates (energy), which is required for the plant to grow, develop and bloom.
They will adapt most of the light arrangements without complaining. But they might not love all those conditions, and as a result, their growth might slow down.
Let us study different light conditions and find out the best for your Christmas cactus:
Low light: Christmas cactus can live in low light but may not look their best.
Many functions, such as photosynthesis, chlorophyll production, etc., due to the plant cannot maintain its health. The leaves start turning yellow, plant’s growth will be affected.
Due to lack of energy, the stems look dull, and the flowering will be affected. Low light is not the best option for them if you want good health and growth.
Indirect Light: Christmas cactus enjoyed the light and will be happiest if exposed to indirect bright light.
They should grow healthy, generate energy to have green stems, and flower in cooler months.
Enough indirect bright light will save the plant from fungus and diseases, as the soil will dry fast, and any bacteria sticking in will die. Give them 5-6 hours of light for optimum health.
Direct light: Even as a desert plant, the Christmas cactus doesn’t prefer direct light.
There is always scope for acclimating them to such conditions. If you expose them to harsh direct light, they will suffer sunburn, and their growth and health will also deter.
South-facing, east-facing, and west-facing windows are the best choices to provide ample light to your Christmas cactus.
However, it is also better to analyze the best light for your Christmas cactus as per their need.
For outdoor growth of Christmas cactus, keep them under a shade or under trees to save them from harsh winds and sun.
Christmas cactus enjoys warm temperatures during summer and cool temperatures during winters.
They thrive the most in temperatures ranging between 60°F to 75°F.
They can tolerate different levels of temperature but may react adversely to extremities.
If the temperature is freezing outside, you need to move your Christmas cactus indoors.
The best time to move them is during early winters to acclimate them to new conditions.
While during summer, when the sun is strong and, hot drafts are blowing, the Christmas cactus may suffer.
Since they are away from their native environment, they are not used to high-temperature levels.
Keep them indoors or under a shade outdoors to protect them from hot drafts and high temperatures.
Due to high-temperature levels, the plant may droop, limp, or have sunburn.
Avoid keeping them near:
It is always safe to keep your Christmas cactus indoors if you are not sure about the conditions outdoors, whether it is right for them or not.
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Christmas cactus prefers average humidity, which is uncommon compared to fellow cactuses.
They prefer humidity of around 50%-60% to flourish, and they can thrive in slightly different humid levels.
They like arid areas as too much humidity is not best for them.
They prefer misting but not over-watering as it increases the humidity and chances of root rot.
If your home condition is arid, you need to increase the humidity levels.
You can use a pebble tray, fill it with water, and put the plant on the tray. It will help increase the humidity around them.
Keep them slightly dry between watering and in average humidity.
Though, high humidity for shorter periods around Christmas cactus is not harmful.
Things to keep in mind while placing a Christmas cactus at home
There are a few things a planter should keep in mind while placing a Christmas cactus at home:
Christmas cactus-like ample sun, but indirectly, the harsh sun is not well suited for them. You need to check the intensity of the light there are getting.
They live in the canopy of trees and get protected from the direct sun in their natural habitat. So, even indoors, they are not used to strong sun and need a spot where they can get indirect bright light.
Keeping them near a window with the direct sun can lead to sunburn and curling stems.
You can use sheer curtains if there is no other spot with indirect light. It will decrease the intensity of direct light.
It is also a good option to keep them a few feet away from the window where they will receive the right intensity of light.
Christmas cactus prefers cooler temperatures during winters but cannot tolerate freezing temperatures.
They can be kept near the window sill but should not be touching the window’s glass.
If the window receives light for a few hours during winters, you can keep your plant there.
Keeping Christmas cactus outdoors when the sun is weak is alright.
South-facing and west-facing windows are good options to keep your plant but always take your time to check if they are okay with that spot.
Keeping away from children
Christmas cactus is considered a non-toxic plant but may cause some irritation if ingested in a large amount. Planters with children in their homes should look after the placement of the plant.
It would be best to keep them in a spot where your child cannot reach them.
You cannot let them play with your Christmas cactus. They may suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, intestine-related issues, etc.
Children are sensitive and naughty and may want to play with the plants.
If they touch your plants often, you may find them munching the leaves at any moment.
So, it would be best if you were extra careful before deciding the correct spot for the plant.
Even if the plant is mildly toxic for children, you should never take a chance risking your child’s health.
Keeping it out of reach of pets
Christmas cactus are non-toxic yet may harm your pets if ingested in large quantities.
Pets are uncontrollable and very naughty; they may pull and push things out of curiosity. You cannot always guard your plants against them.
If ingested in large quantity, your pet may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, intestinal irritation, gastric issues, nausea, etc.
This means you cannot keep them in areas that are easy to access for our pets. Also, avoid keeping them on any cloth, as your pets may pull the cloth, and the plant may fall.
It is always better to take preventive measures than to take a chance. Keeping Christmas cactus and other toxic plants in a safe spot are always preferred.
Avoid placing near a fireplace.
Christmas cacti are cactuses but do not tolerate extreme temperature levels. It would be best to move them to a place where the temperature levels are in control during freezing temperatures.
Due to this, many planters move them near heating arrangements such as a fireplace, which can be harmful to them.
The plant may suffer from stress, and the stems may burn, droop, turn yellow, brown, and dry.
They are already suffering from freezing weather, and keeping them near the fireplace is like voluntarily killing them.
You can keep your Christmas cactus near the fireplace with some checkpoints:
- Keep Christmas cactus a few feet away from the fireplace.
- Keep them to a distance where the heat is bearable.
- Keep your hand while moving the plant away from the fireplace to feel the warmth of the heat.
The temperature of the room
Christmas cactus ideally thrives in average temperature levels ranging between 65°F to 75°F and 45°F to the lowest.
That is a crucial part of their growth and development, which should be considered while placing the plant. Check the temperature level of the area you want to place your plant.
If the temperature level is high for a prolonged period, the plant will suffer. You might notice dry stems, yellowing, etc., as a sign of stress.
If the temperature is low for a consistent time, the plant will suffer and die of cold shock.
The sun is also weak, which adds to the stress, leading to consistent moist soil.
That facilitates fungal and bacterial growth, slowing down photosynthesis and other functions.
You need to consider these points while choosing an area in your home or even outside. Any unfavorable condition for very long periods can kill your plant.
Christmas cactus in bedroom
Christmas cactus will freshen up your bedroom by blooming during winters, which is rare in most plants.
They are a real beauty and resilient plants to care for.
Another great thing about them is they release oxygen at night instead of during the day, which is good news for planters to help them sleep peacefully.
These plants are easy to care for and will thrive with adjustments.
You can put Christmas cactus in your bedroom, but before that, read the following points to find the right spot in the room:
- Place them in or near a spot where they can receive an ample amount of indirect sun for 5-6 hours. Whether natural or artificial, it should fulfill the light dose of the plant.
- Please do not place the opposite AC to protect them from cold and dry air. Their leaves will start to dry out.
- If the AC is used for long hours, consider using methods to keep the humidity level around 50%.
- Avoid misting as the plant may suffer from leaf spots, browning, etc.
- Please keep them in well air circulation and turn them occasionally for even light distribution.
Christmas cactus in the bathroom
Christmas cacti are easy to care for, and they thrive in different conditions making it easier for planters to grow them. They like good air circulation and indirect bright light.
Also, their placement can be anywhere from the bathroom or bedroom to the living room. Planters willing to experiment with their placement can also opt for a bathroom.
Keeping them in the bathroom can bring some benefits like air freshness, breathable air, etc. Some of the points are there that you need to consider as well.
They like average humidity, preferably 50% to 60% around them. They are not too comfortable in high humid areas.
Bathrooms are usually wet and moist, with high humidity. So if you want to keep your Christmas cactus in the bathroom, you can still make some adjustments to work out.
The plant should not keep on getting watered now and then. The soil should dry between waterings.
They should receive a few hours of light, and there should be good air circulation around them. You can switch them with other plants occasionally also.
Some tips for growing healthy Christmas
A healthy and happy Christmas cactus is a planter’s responsibility. You need to make them comfortable and look after their needs.
Placement of the plant is as important as other factors. It may either help them flourish or die.
Place your keeping in mind several factors such as light, humidity, and temperature available for your plant.
Indirect bright light, average humidity, and warm temperatures are ideal conditions to keep them healthy and find the right spot for them.
Always check the plant is out of reach of your pets and children. The plant can be toxic to them.
Take appropriate steps to adjust the environmental conditions around your plant to make them comfortable.
Always observe yourself after placing the plant in a new condition; if it seems happy, you have got it.
Reference: NC State University, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County, Researchgate, Texas A&M University, Chicago Botanic Garden.