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How to propagate a Christmas cactus

Want to turn your Christmas cactus into multiple plants? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to propagate your Christmas cactus through water, soil, or division.

Christmas cacti are beautiful green lush plants with flat, segmented leaves and gorgeous pink and red flowers that bloom – you guessed it – right around Christmas.

One thing that I really love about Christmas cacti is that they are super easy to propagate from stem cuttings.

Whether you have a Christmas, Thanksgiving cactus, or Easter cactus, propagating them is a rewarding way to expand your collection or share them with friends.

how to propagate a christmas cactus

Types of Holiday Cacti

Before we dive into the propagation methods, it’s essential to know that there are three main types of holiday cacti:

  • Christmas Cactus – Schlumbergera bridgesii
  • Thanksgiving Cactus – Schlumbergera truncata
  • Easter Cactus – Hatiora gaertneri

The good news is that all these holiday cacti can be propagated using the same methods. So, whether you have a Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter cactus, this guide will work for you!

thanksgiving cactus in a plastic pot

When to Propagate Your Christmas Cactus

The best time to propagate a holiday cactus is during its growing season, which typically falls in the spring or summer.

In the northern hemisphere, May to June is ideal. However, you can successfully take cuttings indoors year-round.

christmas cactus cuttings

How to Propagate Your Christmas Cactus

You can propagate your Christmas cactus in three ways: water, soil, or division.

Propagation in Water:

  1. Select a healthy segment of the parent plant with new growth, ideally at least 3 inches long.
  2. Cut the segment, ensuring a clean, sharp cut.
  3. Place the cut end of the segment in a jar or vase filled with water, ensuring it’s submerged.
  4. Position the container in bright, indirect light.
  5. Monitor the water level, refilling as needed, and change the water weekly.
  6. Roots will develop, typically around 2-3 inches in length.
  7. Once roots have formed, transplant the cutting into a pot with succulent potting soil and a drainage hole.

Propagation in Soil:

  1. Take a cutting from a healthy part of the plant as described above, ensuring it’s at least 3 inches long.
  2. Allow the cutting to sit on the counter for 24-48 hours to let the cut end callous over.
  3. Dampen the bottom 1-2 inches of the cutting and dip it in rooting hormone.
  4. Plant the cutting in a soil mix suitable for succulents.
  5. Place the cutting in bright, indirect light.
  6. Water the cutting weekly.
  7. As you’re propagating in soil, there’s no need to transplant the cutting once it’s rooted.

Propagation via Division:

  1. Consider division if your plant becomes root-bound or outgrows its pot.
  2. Gently remove the plant from its pot.
  3. Carefully separate the plant at the base into individual sections.
  4. Plant these sections in separate pots using a potting mix suitable for cacti or orchids, ensuring each pot has a drainage hole.
  5. Give the divided plants the care they need to thrive.
christmas cactus cuttings

Where to Cut a Christmas Cactus for Propagation

Unlike some other plants with nodes, holiday cacti have fleshy leaves with cladodes, the small sections.

To get the best results, make your cut between two sections, ideally getting a healthy cutting of at least 2-3 inches in length.

Now, you’re all set to propagate your Christmas cactus and enjoy the beauty of these holiday plants all year round!

Any questions about propagating a Christmas cactus?

Thanks for reading!

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