There’s a good reason why the Christmas cactus is such a popular choice for a houseplant. When they come into bloom, they produce bright tubular flowers. They have lovely flowers, and their blooming period is quite long. Additionally, they require little attention.
I own a Christmas Cactus, and growing it has been a pleasant experience. Knowing the right way to water the plant is essential.
How to Water a Christmas Cactus
You may already be familiar with the process of watering your Christmas cactus. But from what level do you water? The top or the bottom? Experts say that the best method to water your Christmas cactus is not from the top but rather from the base of the plant. When watering a plant from the bottom up, you ensure that sufficient water will reach the roots and, ultimately, the plant itself.
If you water from above, the soil will stay saturated. Only a minimal amount of water will make its way down to the roots of your cactus since it will drip down from the plant. If you employ this strategy, you might believe that you are watering your plant appropriately. On the other hand, it may suffer from a lack of moisture. Bottom watering is the way to go. This ensures that your cactus receives the adequate amount of water that it requires.
How Often to Water your Christmas Cactus
When you bring cacti into your house, you learn that they respond uniquely to the changing seasons. The Christmas cactus is no exception. When deciding the amount of water to give your Christmas cactus, you must consider the weather and the time of year. You have to water your plant more frequently in hot and dry regions. Your watering frequency can range from twice to three times each week.
I recommend you water a Christmas cactus two to three times weekly when growing in hot and dry climates or during warmer seasons. It may be sufficient to water the plants once per week in a chilly and humid environment. If you want it to blossom in the winter and fall, you should water it much less than usual.
The location of your cactus will also affect how often you need to water it. If your cactus spends a lot of time in direct sunshine, the soil around it will dry up more quickly, and the plant will require significantly more water. It will require less watering if you place it in a humid and chilly environment.
Over-Watering and Under-Watering
Even though the Christmas cactus may require more watering than any other cactus, you can kill the plant by giving it too much water. If you give your cactus excessive water, it will have a fungal infection and eventually rot.
White rot is present in a cactus when the leaves begin to fall off, which is one of the telltale indicators of the disease. A cactus infected with the white rot will, in addition to shedding its leaves, appear to have white spots on its leaves.
However, the issue is not just caused by abundant water because insufficient water can also be a challenge. Christmas cactus, unlike other types of cactus, cannot tolerate being underwatered. If your Christmas cactus does not get enough water, you will notice that it begins to droop. You will also see that the flower buds on your cherished cactus will start to fall off. This is a natural process. This cactus cannot survive in soil that is too dry.
How To Care for your Christmas Cactus
Here are some points to note for watering and caring for a Christmas cactus. They include:
Pay Attention when Watering a Christmas Cactus
Maintenance of this plant can be challenging because you have to be careful not to overwater or submerge it. A Christmas cactus is a tropical cactus. In contrast to the majority of desert cacti, this particular type cannot survive in soil devoid of moisture. The plant will wither, and the flower buds will fall off if the soil is allowed to dry out too much.
Water the plants when the top inch and a half to two or a half centimeters of soil feel dry. After hydrating the plant, wait until it has dried out approximately three-quarters of the way before you do so again.
If the plant receives excessive water, white patches from rot will emerge on the leaves. Then, the leaves will most likely fall off. For optimal development, the soil should have a consistent moisture level. The general rule of thumb is that having too little water is worse than having too much water.
When you are watering the plant, make sure to do it thoroughly. Before attempting to water the plant again, ensure that the top inch of the soil has sufficient time to dry completely. In addition to keeping the ground moist, mist the leaves.
Make Seasonal Adjustments to your Irrigation Program
Determine how often and how much the cactus needs watering based on its surroundings and the season. When watering an outdoor cactus outdoors, when the weather is warm and sunny, water every two to three days. Water it every week when it’s humid/cool and the plant is indoors. During the fall and winter, water the plant less frequently than usual.
Stop Watering around October
During October, you will no longer be responsible for watering the plants. In November, you should slowly start giving your plant mild watering again. If the climate where you reside tends to be dry, feel free to set the pot on top of a tray filled with wet stones. If you follow this watering schedule, your plant will be ready to blossom just in time for the holidays.
After the plant produces flowers is the only other time you should refrain from watering it. Stop giving the plant more water to recuperate for the next five or six weeks. New growth will continue to occur, at which point you can resume your watering of the plant.
Keep an Eye Out for falling Buds
After the plant’s flower buds reach their full potential, an unfortunate thing can happen: they will fall off the plant. Some distinct situations might result in a bud drop. Over-watering is the most common source of this problem.
However, it can also lack humidity or an inadequate amount of light. If the problem persists, reduce the amount of water you give the plant and fertilize the soil in the container. It would be best if you moved it to a cooler place and away from hot radiators or vents. The new location should be where it can get a little bit more sunshine.