Christmas cactus care: Houseplant expert shares ‘ideal’ position for your plant

Royal Horticultural Society gives advice on Christmas cactus

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The Christmas cactus, also known as schlumbergera, is a delicate-looking cactus with bright, bauble-like flowers that bloom during the festive period. There are six to nine species of the impressive cacti that are often found in the coastal mountains of Brazil. Similar to orchids, the Christmas cactus grows on trees or ricks on the wild in high humidity.

Despite its name, the Christmas cactus is actually very dissimilar to its cousins which prefer hot, dry environments like deserts.

Michael Perry, also known as Mr Plant Geek, has shared his tips for caring for the popular festive houseplant.

Mr Plant Geek is a “hortpreneur”, speaker and gardening expert who often appears on television to share his plant expertise.

In a video for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in 2019, the plant pro shared the “ideal” location to put your Christmas cactus in your home.

Michael said “whether you’re a fan of Christmas or not”, the Christmas cactus is “the plant for you”.

He added: “It’s a plant that puts on a wonderful eye-catching floral carnival of blooms over the Christmas period and makes a really nice Christmas gift, even when not in flower.”

The gardening expert said the houseplant is “really easy to care for” and looks like a succulent.

But unlike some succulents, the Christmas cactus is not a “sun-lover”.

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He continued: “Even though this is called a cactus, it’s technically not a sun-lover because it originates in jungles and woodland and it’s a plant that often attaches itself to trees in semi-shady forests.

“The ideal location for your Christmas cactus would be out of direct sunlight but still in a well-lit area.

“So we’re talking about a sideboard or a dining table.”

If you don’t have cut flowers or lots of table decorations, the Christmas cactus would be a great centrepiece for your Christmas table.

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However, you need to make sure the plant is kept in humid conditions.

The plant doesn’t like to dry out completely but also shouldn’t be left to sit in water as this could lead to root rot.

Michael explained: “You still need to give it a humid atmosphere though.

“You can do this by spraying your plant once a day with water or placing it on a saucer of pebbles so that you get moisture up and around the plants.”

Your Christmas cactus should be kept away from radiators and fires where it’s likely to dry out.

If they’re too dry, they can drop their leaves and buds.

If your Christmas cactus is receiving too much light, they can become stressed.

Their leaf segments can turn pink or yellow.

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