House plants

Christmas Cactus Pruning – overgrown and general trimming

Last updated on January 21st, 2020

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If you are growing a Christmas cactus in your home, you no doubt are excited about the colour added 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 but 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 having to unsheath your garden pruners. However, as they age they can get a big leggy and the older the plant the more chances 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

Trimming leggy plants

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

Removing full stems from congested plants

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

When to prune Christmas cactus

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

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

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