How Often to Water Christmas Cactus: A Complete Guide


One of the most well-known plants for decoration during the Christmas period is the Christmas cactus or Schlumbergera truncata. This beautiful succulent prefers good care and especially watering; therefore, to keep it growing well such a plant should be checked closely. In this exhaustive user guide, we provide more details on properly watering your Christmas cactus to be healthy through to the other seasons.

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Understanding the Christmas Cactus

It is, however, pertinent that one understands the Christmas cactus before going on to know about watering options. Originally, these species of pants were found in the rainforests of Brazil and they are species that grow on other plants but do not harm the host plant. This characteristic defines how often they need to be watered as they require moisture but are likely to become waterlogged.

Factors Affecting Watering Frequency

Environmental Conditions:

The outside conditions mainly influence the rate at which the soil in the growth environment dries up or is moistened.

Pot Size and Type:

They come in different occasions depending on the size where the plant is placed; the larger pots hold more water and hence take longer to dry and need frequent watering than the smaller ones.

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Soil Type:

A substrate that is specifically designed for succulents and allows the plants to dry out quickly between watering sessions is preferred as it has a poor water-holding capacity.

Seasonal Variations:

When the plants are growing, they need to be watered differently from when they are in their dormant period, which is winter.

Water Techniques

1. Frequency:

During Growth (Spring and Summer):

Water when the soil surface appears dry and looks like it requires watering, which usually means that the top inch of the soil is dry. This often leads to periods of watering ranging from once in a week to once in two weeks depending on the conditions in the growing environment.

Dormant Period (Fall and Winter):

Diminish watering to one-fourth or one-third frequency with average watering being one time in 3-4 weeks. Somewhat, the amount of water needed to keep the plant sane is reduced at this time as to their natural environment.

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2. Method

Thorough Soaking:

Water until it seeps out of the bottom of the pot. Water and allow the excess water to drain away to avoid pooling which can cause root rot.

Avoiding Standing Water:

Refill the saucers only to a certain level then pour the excess water away in order not to drown the roots.

3. Moisture Assessment

Finger Test:

Stick your finger into the compost to about the first joint. The criteria mainly used for checking the soil moisture status is the feeling on the fingertips: If it is dry, then it is time for watering. If it is moist, wait for another 3-4 days and then conduct a test again.

Weight of the Pot:

Lift the pot occasionally. It will be easier to lift or handle a pot without water than one that has been soaked in water and is consequently heavy due to water content.

Common Watering Mistakes to Avoid


This is the most apparent reason for Christmas cactus problems and can cause weak stems or lack of blooming if not addressed. For example, root rot occurs when too much water affects the plant by causing a decline in vigor.


It is very crucial to properly water at the growth stage because failure to do so may lead to wilting and stressing of the plant.

Inconsistent Watering

Such measures result in stressing the plant due to inconsistency in the availability of water to enhance blooming and growth.

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Additional Tips for Healthy Growth

Some other important tips to follow in the process of healthy growth are as follows:


These plants do not like high humidity levels, so they are best placed in environments that have moderate humidity. The plant should be placed in a humid area or you can make small water droplets to be sprayed at the plant base occasionally.


Excessive amounts of direct sunlight are not good for the plant as they tend to burn the leaves while inadequate amounts of light prevent blooms from flowering.


In the growing period, it is recommended that Christmas cactus is fertilized using a fertilizer that has a balanced nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium proportions which is also mixed with the water in a proportion of 1:2.

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Watering your Christmas cactus is more of an art; you have to look at its origins, and the different seasons, and give it a check. Following the recommendations presented in the current article, the Christmas cactus will be a bright and beautiful decoration of indoor floriculture all year round. It is, therefore, important to note that piano plants can be easily grown if it is regularly watered moderately.

Thus, no matter if you are a beginner or an experienced gardener, using the tips on the adequate watering of the Christmas cactus, you will achieve the splendid look of your plant and the long-awaited blossoms during the following years.