It’s easy to get more flowers on your Christmas cactus by pruning it the right way. Learn how to prune your Christmas cactus for more flowers with these easy instructions.
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If your Christmas cactus is looking a little worse for the wear, it might be time for a trim. But don’t worry, with a little bit of know-how you can give your plant a makeover that will have it blooming beautifully come holiday season. Here’s everything you need to know about how to prune your Christmas cactus for more flowers.
First things first, you’ll want to gather up your supplies. You’ll need a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears, as well as a bowl of water big enough to fit all of your cuttings. It’s also helpful to have some sort of rooting hormone on hand, although this is technically optional.
What is a Christmas Cactus?
A Christmas cactus is a succulent plant that belongs to the genus Schlumbergera. These cacti are native to rainforests in Brazil and are known for their ability to bloom indoors during the holiday season. Christmas cacti typically have segmented stems with fleshy, green leaves. The flowers of a Christmas cactus can be white, pink, red, or purple and they usually bloom in early winter.
If you want your Christmas cactus to produce more flowers, then you will need to prune it regularly. Pruning helps to encourage new growth and also promotes better circulation of air and light throughout the plant. When pruning your Christmas cactus, you should remove any dead or dying leaves or stems. You can also trim back any leggy or overcrowded segments. It is best to prune your Christmas cactus in the spring or early summer months when the plant is actively growing.
How to Prune Your Christmas Cactus
Pruning your Christmas cactus can help encourage more blooming. The best time to prune is after the plant has finished blooming. You can cut back the stems by a third or even half. Be sure to make clean cuts and avoid damaging the plant.
Step One: Wait until after the blooming season
Once your Christmas cactus has completed its blooming cycle, usually in late spring, you can begin the process of pruning. It’s best to wait until after the blooming season because that’s when the plant is done producing flowers for the year. If you prune too early, you risk cutting off buds that haven’t had a chance to open yet.
Step Two: Cut back the stems
Now that you have your supplies, it’s time to get to work. Begin by cutting back the stems of your Christmas cactus. You’ll want to make each cut at a 45-degree angle, about ¼ inch above a leaf node. (A leaf node is the point on the stem where a leaf is growing.) Make sure to use sharp pruning shears or a knife so that you don’t crush the stems.
Step Three: Re-pot your cactus
Re-pot your cactus in fresh potting soil. Choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the current one. Be sure to use a well-draining pot with drainage holes.
Fill the bottom of the pot with potting mix, and then gently remove your cactus from its current pot. Place it in the new pot, and fill in around it with more potting mix. Firm the mix gently around the base of the plant.
Water your cactus well, and then place it in a bright location out of direct sunlight. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Pruning your Christmas cactus is a great way to encourage more blooms. Be sure to prune early in the season, before the plant starts to set buds. Use sharp, clean shears and cut away any leggy or damaged growth. Remove about one-third of the plant’s overall growth to encourage bushier growth and more flowers.