If you ask your friends or neighbors how often should I water a Christmas cactus, they might tell you to water them the equivalent of two pints of water a day. To most people, two pints is not enough water! They might tell you it takes ten times as much water to water their cactus properly, or ten times as much water to keep it alive! They’re really not using the correct terminology here, and if they did, they wouldn’t be using the language we know today to describe a cactus!
Watering your cactus is a pretty simple process. If you’ve never heard of “irrigation,” don’t feel bad – nobody really uses that word around here. “Irrigation” simply means you add water. Any type of water will do, so long as it has some natural minerals in it like potassium or magnesium. Once you’ve added the proper amounts of water, wait about thirty minutes before re-filling the cactus.
Once you have watered your cactus enough, you will need to remove any leaves or dry matter that you can. It will still be quite wet, but this will help keep roots and fungus from growing in your cactus. Carefully remove as much excess water from the plant as you can, then soak it overnight with clean water. Wipe away any remaining moisture the next day. Repeat this process until no more water is necessary.
When you are learning how to water a Christmas cactus, you will discover that you can easily do it yourself. All you need is a hose with an access point and some water. Simply place your cactus in a shallow tray, fill with tap water, and then soak the plant. You can actually do this over to make sure there is no dry matter left, and this is especially helpful if your plant has some particularly stubborn roots.
How often you water your cactus will depend on the type of plant and how it was planted. For most plants, a couple times a year is sufficient. However, for others, you may need to water them more often. For example, cacti that were grown in containers need to be watered quarterly. If you want to know how to water a Christmas cactus, this information is helpful.
How often you water your cactus will also depend on the other elements that may be present when you water it. For instance, the type of soil, weather, and altitude will all affect how much water your cactus needs. On the flip side, the amount of sunlight that the plant receives will also influence how much it sweats.
If you have a desert plant with short roots, you will need to water it more often than a cactus with long roots. This is because it takes more water to get rid of the moisture completely. Also, consider that the longer roots take to grow, the hotter they will get. If your plant is in direct sun for a long period of time, it will also need more water than a Christmas cactus that is in partial shade.
How often you water your Christmas cactus will depend on the conditions it finds itself in. If it is in a dry, desert environment, it will need less water than a cactus planted in a flood zone. The best way to find out what type of condition your plant is in is to water it if it seems to be discolored or looking dry. Discolored simply means that it needs water, but is otherwise healthy.
How often you water a Christmas cactus will also depend on how large the plant is and how much water you can get down into its root system. It is very common for small Christmas cactus to produce large quantities of leaves and die quickly. In such cases you can simply pick them up and water them down, but if the plant is large (over 5 inches) you will probably need to water it more often. This is because larger leaves are harder to water down.
How often you water a Christmas cactus also depends on how much sun exposure the plant gets each day. The biggest water consumption per day occurs during the morning hours when the sun is at its greatest strength. You will need to water your cactus no less than once a week, although the frequency will vary depending on how much desert exposure your plant gets each day. On extremely hot days you may need to water your cactus more often, especially if you leave it in the sun for extended periods of time.
How often you should water a Christmas cactus will also depend on whether or not it is indoors or out. Most plants prefer a well drained environment but if your cactus is an indoor plant you will need to follow the watering instructions on the plant tag. For outdoor cactus you can take it in the spring and place it in a shaded area with direct sunlight. It will need to be watered while it is still in its shaded location, but you don’t have to worry about a long drought as it is not likely that it will get dehydrated. As a rule of thumb you should water the Christmas cactus every two weeks or so, but you may find that you need to water it more often in the summer.