Prune Christmas cactus at right time or ‘blooms will never appear’

Learn how to care for Christmas cactus and poinsettias

Christmas cacti are beautiful houseplants which can easily live for decades if given the proper care, but will not flower if gardeners do not know what they are doing. 

This holiday plant should be placed in an area of the home well-lit but not under direct sunlight as well as somewhere humid to make sure it remains healthy, but also must be regularly pruned in order to blossom. 

Linda Parker is an expert in organic gardening and has warned that without proper care after Christmas, this festive cactus will not reach its full potential. 

On Gardening Soul, Linda wrote: “When you purchase your Christmas cactus plant at the start of this holiday season, keep in mind that you have to take care of it well.

“Without proper care for its first few months and even years after that initial purchase–the blooms will never appear on what seems like such a beautiful cacti!”

Read more: Make Christmas cacti ‘explode with blooms’ this holiday season

How to prune a Christmas cactus 

Christmas cacti are named as they bloom in late November to late January, making it the perfect festive plant. 

If you wish to keep your cactus healthy into the next year, then Linda has warned that it must be pruned after January when it was flowered. 

Linda wrote: “Pruning this plant is important, and they should be pruned no later than one month after the flowering has passed. 

“Cutting off between leaf segments will help you maintain an even shape and keep your plants healthy!

“After the beautiful Christmas Cactus blooms, it enters its growth period where new foliage forms and pruning helps create a bushier plant by forcing outwards rather than upwards.” 

To prune a Christmas cactus you will need a gardening knife or clippers which are “sharp and sterilised to prevent tearing delicate plant tissues” according to Linda. 

She added: “It’s important that your hands are clean, too! These precautions help protect against spreading disease when working with plants or their flowers.” 

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Pruning is essential to a Christmas cati if you wish for the flower to bloom, but cacti must be pruned regularly to keep its shape due to the type of petals and leaves it has. 

Linda wrote: “Christmas cactus is a unique type of plant that has no standard stem and leaf system. 

“Instead, the flower’s petals are attached together at their base with short segments called ‘leaflets.’” 

To prune a Christmas Cactus, you will need to cut in the gap between these leaf segments, which are also the most vulnerable part of the plant and need to be done regularly to maintain the plant’s health. 

Linda added: “We don’t advise pruning more than 1/3 of the existing leaves from your Christmas cactus plant. 

“If you’ve just bought your Christmas Cactus, be sure to prune it back at least one-third of the way. Each stem should be approximately the same length.” 

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