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Christmas cactus soil?

curtisconners

Greetings from the netherworld.
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
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Columbus Ohio, U.S.
Hey all, I want to re-pot my Christmas cactus this year. What kind of soil should I use? When should they be re-poted? Thanks for the help.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
973
Location
Athens, GA
I prefer orchid mix cut with about 1/3 to 1/2 sand. It lasts a long time before repotting. Clay pots help, too. This mix will lack fertilizer, so make sure you give them osmocote or liquid feed. You can also splash a handful of potting soil into the mix to add nutrition as well, but in general organic matter becomes a long-term problem for xmas cactus as it rots.

My proof of competence with this system, a 10-year-old plant that is one of the first houseplants I ever grew:

A lot of other folks get away by using straight potting soil, or cutting potting soil with pea gravel/sand/perlite/styrofoam, but I find it's easy to rot plants this way. They're also mostly sold this way, which I feel is a disaster waiting to happen. All comes down to growing conditions, especially light and watering.
 
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curtisconners

Greetings from the netherworld.
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
923
Location
Columbus Ohio, U.S.
That thing is awesome! I hope mine gets like that one day. The store mix isn't a total disaster, I've had this plant for several years in its original pot and it flowers and is pretty happy. Sadly, last summer a ground hog ate most of it, it's making a steady recovery in my windowsill though and should be good by the end of the summer. Thanks. By the way, those nepenthes in the background are some of the most amazing I've ever seen, what kind are they?
 
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Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
973
Location
Athens, GA
That thing is awesome! I hope mine gets like that one day. The store mix isn't a total disaster, I've had this plant for several years in its original pot and it flowers and is pretty happy. Sadly, last summer a ground hog ate most of it, it's making a steady recovery in my windowsill though and should be good by the end of the summer. Thanks. By the way, those nepenthes in the background are some of the most amazing I've ever seen, what kind are they?

Thanks for the kind words. The Nep in question is a Nepenthes x dyeriana--check out my photo thread in my signature to see the whole range of plants in that room. Pretty neat stuff.
 

DragonsEye

carnivorous plants of the world -- unite!
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
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1,662
Location
Michigan
These plants are epiphytes in nature and, as Kevin indicated, should not be potted in soil. Bark or coconut husk chunk based orchid mixes can be used. Depending upon you growing conditions, it may be beneficial to have some sphag in the mix.
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Messages
170
Location
North QLD Australia
I don't grow these, but the parents do and when I re-potted them for them I just used the same mix they had, 2 part premium potting mix (just standard potting mix) and 1 part sand.
They have dozens of happy specimen and are pretty neglectful letting the rain water them, so these plants seem pretty tolerant.
They also seem to set an awful lot of seed and cuttings have been 100% success so far.

I have never seen any rot in them, but as stated earlier, this could be luck.
They get a few hours sun (about 3-5hours from midday onwards otherwise just bright light) and the average humidity is easily 60-80% as they are on the side of a rainforest mountain.
 
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