When To Fertilize Christmas Cactus? ( A Simple Answer )

When to fertilize Christmas cactus? you need to fertilize the Christmas cactus during their growing season only. 

You need to feed them before they produce flowers. In other words, you need to feed them from April to October every year. 

If you fertilize them with the right amounts at the right time, it will help the plants to produce attractive flowers. If you wish to learn about the right fertilizers to use for Chritsmas cactus and how to use them, it would be worth reading this article.

When To Fertilize Christmas Cactus

Do you fertilize a Christmas cactus when it is blooming?

You can fertilize the Christmas cactus when they are actively growing so that they can produce flower buds. 

Ideally you need to feed them in April through October so that they can produce attractive flowers right in time for Christmas. 

It will boost the flowering process of the Christmas cactus. If you do not apply fertilizers for the Christmas cactus, chances are that it would perish when all the nutrients in the soil depletes. 

When you fertilize them, it would give them the right kind of stimulation and perk up the lethargic cactus.

Christmas cactus develop the flower buds during fall when they go through short daylight hours. To do that they need to have at least 12 hours of darkness to stimulate the flower bud formation. 

When you feed them during spring and summer, it will be beneficial for the plant’s vigorous growth. Consequently, it will help for the flower blossoming as well. Christmas cactus have conserved energy to support the flower bud formation of the plants. 

When you make the plants go through a darker period in cooler conditions along with minimum watering, it would help the plants to come up with attractive pink to red colored blooms. You could feed the Christmas cactus with a bloom formula fertilizer for this purpose. 

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Furthermore, you could use a diluted water soluble as well. It has to be a 20-20-20 or 20-10-20 one .They would suit these plants well. 

You may also use a time release of balanced plant food to feed them too. Moreover, you may also use a fertilizer which has a high component of phosphorus to enhance flowering of the Christmas cactus. You could feed the plants with them in mid to late summer. 

Can you use Miracle Grow on Christmas cactus?

Miracle-Gro® Succulent Plant Food is a specially designed fertilizer which could supply the right amount of nutrients for the Christmas cactus. 

To use it you may simply add 2 pumps for the plants which you have grown in small pots. On the other hand, you could put 5 pumps for the plants which you have grown in over 6 inches sized pots. 

However, you need to adhere to the labeled instructions as well. You may also dip the cuttings in the Miracle-Gro® rooting powder so that it will speed up the rooting process of the Christmas cactus.

How often do you water a Christmas cactus?

I suggest watering them once every two to three weeks during their active growing season. 

However, you still need to ascertain if their soil layer is dry and only then water. In other words, if you have grown them in 6 inches of soil, you need to first check whether the first two inches of the soil are dry and then apply water. You may use your fingers to check on the moisture in the soil. 

Christmas cactus adapted to growing in hot and dry growing conditions. As such you need to ensure that you do not water them when their soil is moist and if you accidentally do so, it could lead to root rot.

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Best thing you could do is to water them when their soil is dry only. Further after you complete the watering session, you need to make sure that the excess moisture is draining away from the pot drainage holes. 

Christmas cactus hate to be in soggy and waterlogged conditions. If you do so, it would result in over watering which could consequently lead to root rot. 

Furthermore, you need to water them based on the weather conditions, the size of the pot, the quality of the soil mix and depending on the sunlight exposure for the plants as well. If you water the plants properly it will help the plants to grow firmly and vigorously.

What does Epsom salt do for Christmas cactus?

Epsom salt would help to make bigger blooms on the Christmas cactus. However, it would not make the plants flower. 

Christmas cactus have a significant demand when it comes to the Magnesium mineral when you compare them with other plants. In this context, feeding them with Epsom salt would be ideal. 

To make the solution you could add 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt into one gallon of water and then apply.

However never feed the plants with Epsom salt in the same week you apply the rest of other regular fertilizers. If your Christmas cactus runs out of essential nutrients, they would tend to turn their regular foliage color into different colors. 

If you come across such a situation you need to realize that they are lacking the nutrients. So, when you apply the Epsom Salt, it will fulfill the Magnesium and the Sulfur nutrients.

In addition to that Epsom soil, it will help the plants to absorb more Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium nutrients as well. 

Consequently, it would help the plants to look greener and vibrant in colors too. Epsom salt would be more like a secondary fertilizer as they do not supply the main nutrients. 

As such you cannot consider Epsom salt as a substitute for the Christmas cactus. Do not over feed the plants with Magnesium also as it will lead to feed burns in the plants.

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What Kind Of Soil For Christmas Cactus

Why are the leaves on my Christmas cactus limp?

Your Christmas cactus leaves may become limp mainly due to two reasons. Their leaves may be limp due to flowering of the Christmas cactus. 

Once they produce flowers, they consume a lot of energy for that purpose. Consequently, the plant’s leaves may tend to become limp and droopy after they finish flowering. 

So if you go through this condition, you need to first let them rest for a few weeks where you don’t feed them and apply minimal water. So, after a few weeks’ time you would see how they grow as normal plants.

Improper watering is what could be another reason for the plants leaves turning limp. So, if your plants didn’t flower recently and if you still experience this condition, you need to realize that improper watering has caused the plants leaves to become limp.

Are coffee grounds good for Christmas cactus?

I recommend growing the Christmas cactus in Coffee grounds as it would be beneficial for the plants growth. 

They would ensure that your cactus is booming in the right season. Further it may also help the plants to revive the drying cactus as well. 

Coffee grounds have several nutrients included. For example, they have potassium and Nitrogen included. In fact, coffee grounds act more like a nitrogen source to improve the soil structure too. 

However, do not apply coffee grounds if their soil is moist as it would lead to mold. Best is to use black coffee for the Christmas cactus. Further ensure that you use cold coffee grounds on Christmas cactus.

Conclusion

Before wrapping this up, trust you found this article useful for you to equip yourself on how to fertilize the Christmas cactus.

Credit to : Orchid Whisperer
Read Next : Why Is The Christmas Cactus Turning Red?
About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.

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