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Taking and Planting Christmas Cactus Cuttings

Posted on April 29, 2011 by Katie Flickinger There have been 6 comment(s)

I got my middle name, Marie, from my great grandma. I'm told that I got my sewing and gardening skills from her. She passed away around the time I was born, so I never got to meet her. My parents recently went to Chicago to visit with family, and they brought home a cutting of a Christmas cactus. The Christmas cactus used to be my great grandma's, so I was super honored to have received it. Since I am only 24, I am amazed that this cactus has been alive for so long! It is definitely a cactus that I would like to keep alive for sentimental purposes and because it's a new cutting that I've never tried before.

Here is what the Christmas Cactus cutting look like when I got it.

Cut the Christmas Cactus into 2 to 3 segments with a clean, sharp knife or pair of scissors.

After making the cut on the Christmas Cactus, you'll see that there is some liquid coming out from it. Allow it to callus (sit out and dry) for about a day before planting the cutting.

Here are the cuttings I took from the large cutting of the Christmas Cactus. I had the main stem, 3 single segments, 1 double segment, and 7 of the 3-segment cuttings.

While you wait for your cuttings to callus, you can prepare your pots. I use clear plastic cups, so I can see when the cuttings start to root. I put regular potting soil into 9 pots. I decided to put the four little cuttings in 1 pot to save space. Using a pencil, or something similar, make a hole in each one of your cups.

This is a 3-segment Christmas Cactus cutting. I buried 1 segment in the soil, and kept the rest above the soil. I firmed the soil around it so that it would stay up, and then watered the cutting.

I buried the Christmas Cactus stem piece about 2 inches into the cup.

I put the single segment cuttings of the Christmas Cactus around the outside of the cup, and buried them halfway. For the 2-segment cutting, I buried 1 segment in the soil and left 1 segment above it.

Now, I just have to wait and see which types of cuttings root the fastest, and I'm hoping that they all take! I put them on my heating mat, with the assumption that cactus like heat. We'll see! I read that cuttings can take from 3 weeks to as long as 3 months to root, but I'll stay patient. I also read that they can flower within a year from cuttings, so that is inspiring in itself!

This post was posted in Taking and Planting Cuttings and was tagged with cactus, Christmas, Christmas Cactus, cutting, cuttings, how to, plant, planting, root, rooting, start, starting, take, taking

6 Responses to Taking and Planting Christmas Cactus Cuttings

  • Eirien
    Eirien says:

    Awe, this is so lovely. A nice way to continue your great grandmother's memory for everyone. I hope every single little one takes root.

    I've been nervous about transplanting cacti types recently as a sanseveria I cut up early this year seemed vehemently opposed to the idea. I think maybe I just need more patience. :0

    Thank you for the post!

    Posted on April 29, 2011 at 7:39 am

  • meemsnyc

    This is so awesome. How wonderful that it was your great grandmother's plant! My mom has a Christmas Cactus too, that is over 12 years old. I didn't know you could take cuttings and put them into soil and it'll grow roots. I can't wait to see if it roots for you!

    Posted on May 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm

  • MrBrownThumb

    Some good tips, more people should root cuttings from this because it is so easy to get to root and bloom.

    Posted on May 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm

  • Outdoor Garden Decor

    I can imagine how you cherish this cactus since it's your grandma's plant. I hope those cuttings will develop to a new plant that hopefully someday your grand kids can cherish.
    Paula Jo

    Posted on May 23, 2011 at 11:12 am

  • Love Plants

    I like to know, what kind of soil for christmas cactus? Your instruction is very good and helpful. Thanks

    Posted on July 28, 2011 at 11:55 am

  • Katie Flickinger

    Well, I used regular old potting soil in my experiment, and I believe that the soil burned the roots of the cactus. Since then, I've read about using gritty sand and a perlite mixture and that worked much better. I have also used cactus potting soil (that you can find in most garden centers) and that seemed to work well as well. Hope you have success!

    Posted on August 1, 2011 at 7:35 am