House plants

Christmas Cactus Pruning – overgrown and general trimming

Last updated on March 11th, 2022

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If you are growing a Christmas cactus in your home, you are no doubt excited about the colour it adds to your interior come Christmas time, and again in the spring and summer. But what can you do when the plant isn’t looking its best? Give it a trim. 

Generally speaking, these plants require little or no pruning, however, overgrown plants can benefit from a little pruning to remove old stems or shorten long and leggy plants. You can grow them just fine for years without needing to unsheath your garden pruners. As they age they can get a bit leggy, and the older the plant, the more chance of it being congested, to a point where it doesn’t look as amazing as it once did. 

Read our detailed guide on growing Christmas cactus here.

Trimming Leggy Plants

To alleviate this and keep the plant in ship shape, you can remove the tips of the longest stems until the overall plant looks appealing again. This will help with leggy plants and is very simple to do. 

Removing the Full Stems from Congested Plants

To ease congestion, you can remove some of the oldest and/or the most damaged stems right back to the soil level. When doing this, you should remove entire segments. Each segment consists of leaf-like stems and when removed this helps rejuvenate older plants and give them a new lease of life. 

When to Prune a Christmas Cactus

All pruning is best done after flowering has finished when the risk of removing forming flower buds has passed. It could also be done at the beginning of the growing season, which is around March.

Beyond that, you won’t need to do too much, so sit back and enjoy the regrowth and revival of your cactus.

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