Christmas cactus houseplants offer beautiful winter blooms indoors and barely require any maintenance. As they grow bigger, though, you should plan on transplanting Christmas cactus into a bigger pot for a healthier plant!
Replanting Christmas cactus plants is something you can generally do in a matter of minutes. As long as you have some potting soil available and a larger pot, it’s pretty quick and easy to repot a Christmas cactus.
I am happy to share some tips and tricks for potting up Christmas cactus plants when they need more space to grow.
What is a Christmas cactus?
Christmas cactus is a cactus plant that is popularly enjoyed indoors as a houseplant. As its name suggests, this plant generally blooms in the winter months around the holidays. Christmas cactus flowers may be red, pink, white, yellow, orange, or purple.
What is the scientific name of Christmas cactus?
Christmas cactus belongs in the cactus family, with the scientific name of Schlumbergera truncate. This popular winter houseplant is also called Thanksgiving cactus or holiday cactus, and sometimes even crab cactus.
When to Transplant Christmas Cactus
You may notice your Christmas cactus has grown too big for its pot. Christmas cactus doesn’t need to be repotted frequently, as that could actually hurt your plant. Leave three or four years in between transplants. The best time to transplant Christmas cactus is after blooming in the wintertime or early spring. Do not attempt to replant Christmas cactus when it is in bloom. Wait until the flowers have faded and dried or begun to shrivel.
Of course, if you are trying to propagate Christmas cactus, you can pop those babies in some potting soil anytime! Be sure to check out our post on propagating Christmas cactus for more details on how to get many baby plants from one mature one.
How to Transplant a Christmas Cactus
Figuring out how to replant a Christmas cactus is not too hard!
Simply follow these steps for replanting Christmas cactus plants in a matter of minutes!
- Choose a flower pot that is at only a little bigger than the previous pot. Surprisingly, Christmas cacti don’t mind being just a bit enclosed.
- Fill the new planter about halfway full with a potting mix specifically for succulents and bromeliads, or a 2:1 blend of potting soil and sand. (Use your best judgement on soil depth based on the size of your Christmas cactus.
- Gently free the Christmas cactus from its own pot.
- Lightly squeeze the root ball to loosen it up a bit so the roots aren’t totally constricted.
- Replant the Christmas cactus in the new planter. Lightly fill the pot around the roots with potting mix or the sand and potting mix combo.
- Lightly pat the soil surface to help it settle.
- Water adequately.
- Place the repotted Christmas cactus in a shady area or semi-dark room for a few days so your plant can acclimate to the new pot without other stressors.
- Return the plant to its normal location and continue caring for it as you did prior to repotting Christmas cactus.
These steps for transplanting Christmas cactus should help to avoid shocking your plant.
Replanting Christmas Cactus
Now that you know how to transplant a Christmas cactus, I hope the process is quick and easy for you!
Repotting Christmas cacti once every three or four years is such a small price to pay for such a lovely reward.
By the way, I’m just going to leave this here – apparently there are some tips on how to get a Christmas cactus to bloom from Michigan State University’s MSU Extension office.
The lush greenery and the gorgeous flowers are reason enough to ensure your Christmas cactus is in great health. Add in the easy care and effortless propagation and you really can’t find a better beginner houseplant in my humble opinion.
Do you have any questions on transplanting Christmas cactus? Are you able to offer additional tips?
Feel free to ask questions or share favorite advice in our comments below! We can all learn from each other, and we love hearing from you!