How To Propagate A Christmas Cactus The Right Way

sources: Flower Patch Farmhouse / HGTV via iStock/Nadezhda_Nesterova

If you’re an avid plant person (or even if you’re just getting into it), you likely know that cuttings from one plant can often be used to create multiple other plants. This process is called propagation, and is an easy (and free) way to grow your plant collection. Christmas cactus is a favorite indoor plant variety, and you can easily propagate this plant as well – as long as you’re following all of the appropriate steps.

source: HGTV via iStock/Nadezhda_Nesterova

Firstly, you only ever want to remove cuttings from a healthy plant. A plant with signs of disease will only spread disease to the new plant too. Once you’ve determined your Christmas cactus looks healthy, Rural Sprout advises that you’ll want to use disinfected scissors. Simply wipe the blades with a small amount of rubbing alcohol right before choosing your cutting.

source: Flower Patch Farmhouse

Rural Sprout also suggests choosing a Y-shaped piece of the plant with at least three leaf segments. This will ensure you have enough plant to stick in the soil. Once you’ve chosen your piece, cut the piece where two leaf segments join. You can then cut your main piece into smaller segments, so long as each piece has at least three leaf segments.

source: Flower Patch Farmhouse

The biggest mistake people make when propagating Christmas cactus segments is putting them directly into soil once cut. You need to leave them out of soil and water for two to three days before potting. Once it’s been a few days, select a small to medium pot with at least one drainage hole. Fill the pot with soil leaving about an inch between the top of the soil and the top of the pot. Water the soil so that it is damp but not drenched.

source: Garden Gate Magazine

Next, place the bottom part of your segment about 1/2″ deep into the soil so that the new roots are able to grow. You can place multiple segments in one pot for a big, voluminous plant, but be sure to space them out enough. Give the plant some water, then leave it out in bright but not direct sunlight. Resist the urge to water the new plant again until the soil has dried out. Your segments might look sad and weepy for the first few days, but eventually they will perk up and begin to grow quickly!

source: Gardening Know How via Cavan Images

Hopefully these tips have given you more confidence when it comes to properly propagating a Christmas cactus. Propagation is the gift that keeps on giving, and is an excellent way to expand your plant collection or gift plants to others. Enjoy!