Cactus

How to reproduce the Christmas Cactus?

The Christmas Cactus is a cactus plant that becomes beautiful during winter. In the coldest months of the year, many beautiful flowers sprout from it, ranging from pink to white, through red, lilac and yellow.

In addition to being relatively easy to care for, it can be reproduced quickly and fairly easily. How? By cuttings. Find out how to get new copies at zero cost.

What are the care of the Christmas cactus?

Image – Flickr/ Maja Dumat

The Christmas Cactus, known by the scientific name Schlumbergera truncata or Zygocactus truncatus, is a cactus plant native to Brazil, where it lives in the humid and warm forests on the trunks of trees. It is, therefore, an epiphytic plant that grows in places where sunlight does not reach directly. For these reasons, it requires more water than most succulents (remember to let the soil dry before watering), and it does better than they do in indoor conditions.

But to have it beautiful throughout the year, we also recommend taking the following into account:

Location

  • Exterior: it must be placed in semi-shade, in an area where it does not get direct sunlight.
  • Interior: the room must be bright, but the plant must be away from drafts.

Earth

  • Flowerpot: it is preferable to use mineral substrate, such as volcanic sand ( pumice, for example). But if it cannot be obtained, the universal substrate mixed with perlite in equal parts will also work.
  • Garden: the soil must have a good drainage, otherwise the roots will rot.

Irrigation

Watering will be moderate, but you always have to make sure that the soil or substrate dries completely before watering again. For this reason, in general it will be watered an average of 1 time a week in winter, and about two or three every seven days the rest of the year. Of course, if you have it in a pot, it is important that you do not put a plate under it; In this way, you will prevent it from rotting.

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As it blooms in winter, it is interesting to fertilize it throughout the year, especially from summer. To do this, you must use a specific liquid fertilizer for cactus, following the indications specified on the product’s packaging since there may be a risk of overdose.

Pruning

If your Christmas cactus is growing too large, you can always prune it in the spring. Use scissors previously disinfected with alcohol or another disinfectant, and reduce the length of the stems as much as you consider necessary. Don’t worry if you prune too much, as it is a plant that will sprout well.

Plagues and diseases

It is very hardy, but snails and slugs seriously harm it by eating its stems. To avoid this, you can keep your plant protected with molluscicides, or, if you prefer to use natural products, with the remedies that we tell you in this article, such as attracting them to a glass of beer.

On the other hand, if we talk about diseases, we must control the risks and DO NOT spray/ spray its leaves. Excess moisture can weaken it, to the point that any virus, fungus or bacteria could kill the cactus. In fact, during the rainy season, or if it is suspected that it has been watered excessively, it is highly advisable to treat it with a fungicide, such as copper or powdered sulfur applied to the surface of the substrate.

Rusticity of the Christmas cactus

It is a plant that does not resist cold or frost. Due to its tropical origin, the minimum annual temperature must be 15ºC or higher. Now, if it is sheltered, it can hold up to 0 degrees, but not without damage.

How to multiply the Christmas cactus?

Image – Wikimedia/ Peter coxhead

Now that we know the care that this beautiful plant requires, let’s see how to multiply it in a simple way.

  1. The first thing to do is cut segments of the leaves that we like the most. They must be healthy and strong, otherwise they will have a harder time getting ahead.
  2. Afterwards, we let them dry for 24 hours by placing them in a dry place without direct light.
  3. The next day, we plant them in pots, nailing them upright with vermiculite or pumice for example, and a little wet.
  4. Ready! In a couple of weeks they will start to root.

If you want, before planting it in the pot you can impregnate the base with powdered rooting hormones, or with some homemade rooting agent. In this way, you will have a better chance of producing your own roots.

When can cuttings be made?

The ideal time to multiply our Christmas Cactus is in spring, but it can be done during the summer. If we live in an area with a mild climate, without frosts or very weak, we can also do it in autumn.

We hope what you have learned here has been useful to you. Enjoy your new copies .

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