The Christmas cactus is not very demanding in terms of nutrient supply. As a child of the rainforest, he copes well with nutrient-poor substrates. If you want to fertilize it, you should be careful and not do too much of the good. This is a Christmas cactus fertilizing guide.
When to Fertilize Christmas Cactus
Christmas cacti are at home in humid rainforests. There they thrive with little nutrients. This fact should be taken into account when fertilizing Christmas cacti. Less is often more here.
As a rule, you don’t have to fertilize a Christmas cactus at all, as you should repot it annually.
If you still want to fertilize, make sure you avoid overfertilization. Fertilization is used throughout the year. Only during the short rest period after the flowering period you have to do without fertilization completely.
- Fertilize a maximum of every fortnight
- Reduce fertilizer quantity
- Do not fertilize after repotting
- Keep a rest period after flowering
Christmas Cactus Fertilizing After Purchase or Repotting
Immediately after buying or repotting a Christmas cactus, you should refrain from fertilizing altogether. The substrate is so nutritious that additional fertilizers would simply be too much. In the worst case, the Christmas cactus may end up dying.
You do not need to fertilize until the cactus has grown in the same substrate for a year. If you have to repot it anyway, you can do without fertilizing completely.
It may be useful to repot a Christmas cactus immediately after purchase. Often the soil is very dense, very nutritious or completely soaked. In this case, you should pot out the cactus, rinse the old substrate and put it in fresh soil.
The Best Fertilizer for Christmas Cactus
You can use normal cactus fertilizer to fertilize a Christmas cactus. However, a liquid fertilizer with a high potash content is also sufficient.
Reduce the quantities indicated on the pack by one third to half. This way you avoid overfertilization of the Christmas cactus.
You can also use a homemade fertilizer for Christmas cactus. Read our guide here on using coffee grounds as fertilizer for the plant.