How to Transplant a Christmas Cactus

Written by cynthia myers
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How to Transplant a Christmas Cactus
The Christmas cactus blooms near the holiday. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Christmas cactuses, Schlumbergera, are favoured as holiday gifts. With proper care, the plant will reward you with white, pink or red blooms each holiday season. The plants will thrive for decades. You shouldn't have to transplant your Christmas cactus too often: Christmas cactus blooms well when pot-bound, according to North Dakota State University horticulturist Ron Smith. Repot your Christmas cactus when you notice the plant frequently dries out or wilts.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Scissors or a sharp knife
  • Potting soil
  • Pot

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  1. 1

    Prune any dead or shrivelled branches from your Christmas cactus with scissors or a sharp knife. Pruning encourages branching and will help keep the plant compact.

  2. 2

    Fill a pot half-full of potting soil. Smith recommends a potting soil designed for bromeliads. This soil contains 30 per cent sand, which can help keep the soil from getting soggy. You also can use a potting soil mix designed for African violets. Select a new pot that's about 1 inch in diameter larger than the existing pot.

  3. 3

    Loosen the soil around the edge of the pot with a long knife. Run the knife all the way around the edge of the pot. Tilt the contents of the pot into your hand, supporting the plant with your hand. Carefully lift the plant out of the pot, loosening the soil further with your fingers if necessary.

  4. 4

    Set the Christmas cactus on top of the soil in the new pot. Use your fingers to move aside any excess soil until the plant sits at the same level in the new pot as it did the old one.

  5. 5

    Fill in around the plant with more potting soil. Tamp lightly with your fingers to help settle the soil around the roots.

  6. 6

    Water until the soil is damp to the depth of 1 inch. Christmas cactuses need regular watering, but don't like soggy soil.

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