Christmas Cactus Fertilizing 101: Simplifying the Path to Lush, Colorful Blooms

The Christmas cactus is a low-maintenance plant that doesn’t require a lot of fertilizer. As a native of the rainforest, it can thrive in nutrient-poor soils. However, with the right fertilizer, you can encourage lush, colorful blooms. Here’s an easy guide to fertilizing your Christmas cactus.

christmas cactus fertilizing

When to Fertilize Christmas Cactus

  • Christmas cacti don’t need to be fertilized every year if you repot them annually.
  • If you choose to fertilize, do so throughout the year, except during the short rest period after flowering.
  • Fertilize no more than once every two weeks.
  • Reduce the amount of fertilizer recommended on the package.

After Purchasing or Repotting

  • Avoid fertilizing a newly purchased or repotted Christmas cactus.
  • The potting mix is already nutrient-rich, and additional fertilizer could be harmful.
  • Wait until the cactus has been in the same soil for a year before fertilizing.
  • If you need to repot a newly purchased plant, rinse off the old soil and use fresh potting mix without fertilizer.

The Best Fertilizer for Christmas Cacti

  • Use a regular cactus fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer high in potash.
  • Reduce the recommended amount on the package by one-third to one-half to prevent over-fertilization.
  • You can also make a homemade fertilizer for Christmas cactus by using coffee grounds.
  • Avoid fertilizing after the flowering period until the plant resumes active growth.

By following these simple guidelines, you can provide the right amount of nutrients to your Christmas cactus without overdoing it. Remember, less is often more when it comes to fertilizing this low-maintenance plant.

Frequently Asked Question

Can I use orchid fertilizer on Christmas cactus?

While orchid fertilizer can be used on Christmas cacti, it’s not the ideal choice. Orchid fertilizers are formulated for different plant needs and may contain too much nitrogen for the Christmas cactus. It’s best to use a cactus-specific fertilizer or a balanced liquid fertilizer with a higher potassium content to promote blooming.