Christmas cactus soil – When you hear the word cactus, you might think and imagine it as a thorny desert plant.
However, there are types of cacti that are far from your imagination.
It is a Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) that grows with beautiful brightly colored flowers ready to decorate your home.
Just like cactus in general, Christmas cactus are succulent plants, meaning they are able to hold water in their stems, so they can last a long time without being watered.
With these unique characteristics, the Christmas cactus requires certain care, including choosing the right soil.
In this article, we will provide complete information about the best Christmas cactus soil for plants that grow well.
Christmas Cactus Soil Requirements
In its native Brazil, the Christmas cactus is an epiphytic plant where it grows naturally by attaching itself to the trunks of larger trees.
It sinks its roots into rotting leaves or plants debris that clings to the sides of the tree as the soil where it grows.
The Christmas cactus gets most of its moisture from the medium in which it lives.
However, due to its small volume and high position in the air, the soil dries out easily even with daily rainfall.
From this information, it can be concluded that the best Christmas cactus soil is well-drained soil.
Although they are tropical flora that usually thrives in constant humidity, Christmas cactus needs to be kept aerated to allow their roots to breathe.
Meanwhile, if you use garden soil or potting soil that is designed to retain a lot of moisture, it will only suffocate the roots and hinder their growth.
How to Make the Best Potting Soil for Christmas Cactus
Making your own potting soil allows you to ensure your Christmas cactus gets comfortable with being in the best growing media.
This will certainly make your Christmas cactus happy and grow optimally.
To make the best potting soil for your Christmas cactus, you need to meet their four basic needs, namely a pot and substrate, a supply of nutrients, water, and good airflow and drainage.
You can start by mixing sterile compost or garden clay with perlite and ground peat.
The use of sterilized materials will prevent the entry of nuisance organisms such as pests and diseases into the soil mixture.
Mix them in equal ratio.
All of these mixtures will support plant growth because the mixture will produce a well-drained planting medium with sufficient moisture.
It is also able to retain nutrients that will help them grow more optimally.
Also, when making potting mix for your Christmas cactus, adjust the pH level of the soil.
Adding limestone or powder to your potting mix can bring it to the pH level your Christmas cactus wants.
Christmas Cactus Care
In addition to using the best Christmas cactus, doing some additional care can make this plant grow well and give you its beauty.
To grow Christmas cactus in pots, make sure you use a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom.
This allows excess water when watering to flow out through the hole to prevent root rot.
As previously mentioned, this Christmas cactus is a succulent in that it has the ability to retain water in its stems when not watered for a long time.
However, it’s a good idea not to let the soil dry out completely.
Water your Christmas cactus whenever the soil dries out.
Discard any excess water on the dripping pot to prevent your Christmas cactus from sitting in a puddle.
Also provide additional nutrients by providing fertilizer for your Christmas cactus.
Fertilizer that you can give is a 20-10-20 or 20-20-20 fertilizer that has been diluted, then apply to the soil once a month during the growing season.
You can also add a mixture of a teaspoon of magnesium sulfate with a gallon of water to pour into the soil once a month to fertilize the soil.
Avoid applying this magnesium fertilizer in the same week as regular fertilizer so that the plant does not get confused when given different nutrients.
Also read Basil Water Requirements
Best Christmas Cactus Soil Brand
You may not have enough time to mix your own potting soil for your Christmas cactus.
Buying potting soil will be more practical and instant to do.
However, which brands have good potting soil for your Christmas cactus?
Some of the ones we mention below have been recommended by several people.
1. The Next Gardener Organic Succulent and Cactus Soil Mix
This type of Christmas cactus soil is one of the best at an affordable price but with good quality.
The composition used for this Christmas cactus soil is 75% substrate, 25% perlite, and low fertilizer.
It is an organic mix optimized for slightly more acidic soil than regular potting soil, i.e. with a pH level of around 5.5.
Some have proven that this type is very light and can drain well.
In addition to good quality, this type also has good packaging and is easy to close again.
2. Hoffman 10410 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix
The combination of Canadian sphagnum peat moss, reed sedge peat, perlite, and sand in this type of Christmas cactus soil makes it have good drainage.
In addition, the limestone composition in this product is also able to balance the pH which is specially formulated for cactus plant species.
With an affordable price, this product is quite worth it to use.
However, this one is quite heavy, so you might find some twigs and rocks in the mix.
Even so, you will be quite satisfied with the results because this soil works very well without any problems causing your Christmas cactus.
From the information we provided earlier, you can see that growing this Christmas cactus is fairly easy.
The most important thing for this Christmas cactus plant to grow well is to make sure that you use the right type of soil as suggested.
Buying potting soil instantly or mixing your own potting soil can be an option.
Do not forget to do additional care so that they grow in more optimal conditions.