How to keep your Christmas cactus in bloom longer for a ‘profuse floral display’

Christmas cactus pruning isn’t just for the larger varieties. Pruning a Christmas cactus large or small will help the houseplant grow fuller and more bushy, resulting in more blooms in the future. So whether you are simply looking to reduce the size of your plant or want to make your plant look even more beautiful, gardening experts share their top Christmas cacti pruning tips.

The experts at the Garden Lover’s Club said: “Thanks to its long blooming season and exuberant floral display during the winter months, Christmas cacti have long been considered a seasonal staple among houseplants.

“However, people who purchase this plant at the beginning of the holiday season, when it begins to bloom, often find themselves at a loss as to how to care for it—and without the proper care, their Christmas cactus plant will be next to nothing.” may fail to bloom. year.”

While these houseplants do great in indoor home environments, they have a few conditions they must meet “if they’re going to perform at their best,” according to the pros.

One of these situations involves pruning. Experts said it is a “mandatory requirement” that if not done correctly “can kill or prevent flowers from forming the following year”.

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When pruning these houseplants and any other plant, gardeners should use a sharp, sterile pruning knife or clippers for the job.

The pros at the Garden Lover’s Club say: “The pruning knife you use should be very sharp to prevent tearing the delicate plant tissue.”

He also suggests that pruning tools be sterilized in a commercial solution designed for use on gardening tools or a homemade mixture of one part bleach to nine parts water.

The experts also advise: “You should also wash your hands thoroughly before pruning – these precautions help prevent the spread of plant disease.”

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When trimming their houseplants, it is important to “always” trim them at the gap between segments.

Professionals assure that it should be easy because these are the most vulnerable parts of the plant. Some prefer to twist the section to remove the leaves instead of using a knife, but this approach works best on new growth.

One thing to never do when pruning is to prune no more than “one third” of the foliage.

For those who have recently purchased this plant and it is still small, they only need to remove about an inch. Experts said: “The end result should be that each stem is approximately the same length.”

Pruning provides an “excellent opportunity” for plant owners to thoroughly inspect their Christmas cactus for any pests or pathogens. If they see any they can treat the plant to “prevent any further damage”.

Once these houseplants have been trimmed, pros caution that it’s “never” a good idea to leave any leftover material in the pot.

When materials decompose, they become attractive to a variety of pests and pathogens. Alternatively, experts recommend simply throwing them in the dustbin or compost bin.

Gardeners may also consider using cuttings for further propagation of these houseplants. To do this, let the cuttings sit in a cool, dry spot for a few days before placing them in a container with potting soil, then water sparingly until the new plants develop a root system.

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