‘Perfect’ place to position your Christmas cactus or risk ‘scorching’

Royal Horticultural Society gives advice on Christmas cactus

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Christmas cacti come from South America and are known for their flattened stems and red, pink, and white flowers. The cacti produce a stunning floral display ready for the Christmas period. Usually, cacti found in UK homes are tropical cacti and not desert ones which means they prefer a warm and humid environment.

With this in mind, gardening guru at Miracle-Gro, Kate Turner has shared her advice for looking after Christmas cacti.

Christmas cacti like humidity and warmth so Kate suggested keeping them in the kitchen where temperatures are warmer.

Kate exclusively told Express.co.uk: “I’d suggest placing your plant in the kitchen where it can enjoy the warming temperatures from cooking as it’s the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

“Make sure it’s placed in bright light, but not direct sunlight, as otherwise, it will scorch the leaves.”

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Watering and feeding your Christmas cactus

When the plant flowers, it needs feeding once a fortnight and watered with room temperature water.

Kate suggested using Miracle-Gro Organic Pump and Feed All Purpose when feeding Christmas cacti.

She added: “It’s important that you don’t allow your plant to completely dry out, so make sure to water it when the top layer (think 1-2cm) is dry.

“Make sure your plant is well drained, so it doesn’t sit in cold damp compost – it won’t be happy otherwise.”

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One of Kate’s top tips was to place the pot on a tray of pebbles in the water so the plant stands on the pebbles, allowing the water to drain properly. This is also perfect for increasing humidity levels.

As the plant grows bigger, it’s always a good idea to re-pot it in a container one size bigger than the one it’s currently in.

A plant expert from Baby Bio® has also shared how to care for the “low maintenance” Christmas cactus including the best positioning, the best conditions and how to pot them.

They told Express.co.uk: “Many plant parents assume that cacti need full sunlight, but the Christmas cactus actually thrives best in bright but indirect sunlight.

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“Too much sunlight can cause its delicate leaves to bleach and burn, so a north-facing window is ideal.

“It also likes high humidity levels, so ensure you mist your plant regularly or place it on a tray of damp pebbles, particularly during the winter months when air in homes can become very dry thanks to heating systems.

“Even better, pop them in a kitchen or bathroom which benefits from high humidity compared to other rooms in the home.

“Like any other succulent or cacti, make sure your plant is potted in well-draining soil and water when the top inch or two of the soil is dry.

“During winter reduce your watering schedule to around once every few weeks, and if in doubt, wait one more day!

“The Christmas cactus prefers slightly acidic soil, so using a specific cacti feed like Baby Bio® Cactus Food is essential for maintaining the right soil conditions to help your plant flourish.

“Use fertiliser every couple of weeks from spring through to autumn, and during winter reduce the feeding to once a month to encourage blooming.

“Be sure to rotate your plant regularly and try placing them in a hanging pot to encourage full and even growth.”

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