This cactus is nicknamed the Christmas cactus because it typically blooms between Thanksgiving to New Years.  This cactus has fleshy stems, and brilliant flowers.  It is ranked among the most popular flowering house plant and is easy to grow!

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Soil, Light, and Temperature:  They enjoy bright, filtered light with a rich, porous soil.  Maybe some coarse sand, peat moss and leaf mold would be a good mix.  They do well with cooler weather, 50F.  During the winter, keep them from getting frozen because this will damage it.  The blooms come during late autumn or even winter, hence the nickname it’s given, Christmas Cactus or Thanksgiving Cactus. Fertilize every couple of weeks while it’s in bloom with a liquid formula.  To ensure a good bloom for this plant, make sure it’s in cooler temperatures of about 50F and it will bear many beautiful rosy purple flowers in the Autumn/Winter depending on the weather.

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Water: Give the cactus regular water to keep the soil somewhat moist but, do not let water sit at the saucer in order to prevent root rot.  In fact, if outdoor, you may not need to use a tray/saucer at all.   Ensure that there is some moisture in the soil however because this cactus does prefer a bit more than other types of cactus.  The blooms last about 2-3 months.  After they have died, cut back a little which seems to help it bloom the next year.

Propagate: What a great cactus to share with friends due to the ease of propagating it!  If prepared in time, it makes an excellent and bright Xmas gift given its tendency to bloom during this season.  Roots prefer to be crowded and in a wide pot.  The pot does not have to be deep but, tall enough that when it flows over it looks nice.  Two main ways to propagate this cactus.  First, the best way is to dig out one piece from the larger plant along with its roots and put directly into dirt in a new pot.  Another way is to cut a Y-shaped portion from the stem tips – but usually do this in the spring/summer and not when it’s blooming.  Put the cutting directly into a sandy soil and place in indirect light.  After a few weeks if should have developed some roots.  You’ll be safe to put it in a larger pot with the same soil mix as the main plant it came from.

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Some compare this to an orchid due to it’s nature to live on trees.  Given the right temperatures and lighting, this beautiful plant will give you happy, bright blooms that you can share with friends and family.  Thanks for reading and please feel free to share with your friends or anyone else interested in plants!