best fertilizer for christmas cactus

5 Best Fertilizer for Christmas Cactus: Supplies for the Growing Season

Introduction

Christmas cactus as the name suggests bloom when it’s Christmas. In winter, when everything feels a bit gloomy, this plant fills households and gardens with its colorful hues. 

However, when the growing season comes around, you have to use the best fertilizer for Christmas cactus to ensure the proper growth of the new leaves. 

With enough care and top-graded fertilizers, any Christmas cactus would grow to be a wonderful house plant. That’s why I came up with this list of fertilizers. 

I handpicked these making sure they were all perfect for this plant. So, without further ado, let’s see what’s in the bag- 

Comparison of Our 5 Best Fertilizer for Christmas Cactus

Image Product Features Price
RECOMMENDATION

Schultz Cactus Plus Liquid Plant Food

Schultz Cactus Plus Liquid Plant Food

N-P-K Ratio: 2-7-7

Weight : 4 ounces

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EDITOR’S CHOICE

Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food

Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food

N-P-K Ratio: .5 – 1 – 1

Weight : 8 Ounce

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PREMIUM CHOICH

EarthPods Premium Cactus & Succulent Plant Food

EarthPods Premium Cactus & Succulent Plant Food

N-P-K Ratio: 1.3-1.1-1.2

Weight : 100 capsules(2.6 ounce)

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TOP PICK

Espoma Organic Cactus Plant Food

Espoma Organic Cactus Plant Food

N-P-K Ratio: 1-2-2

Weight : 8 ounce

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BUDGET PICK

Grow More 3130 Cactus Juice

Grow More 3130 Cactus Juice

N-P-K Ratio: 1-7-6

Weight : 16 ounce

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What type of Fertilizer Does Christmas Cactus Need?

When choosing a fertilizer for Christmas Cactus, try to go for a balanced fertilizer. In fact, houseplant fertilizers work well for these plants. So, I’d say a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer would be enough for a Christmas cactus. 

Start applying the fertilizer in late winter and continue till late summer. But make sure to use the fertilizer once a month, no more than that. Although you could go for slow-release fertilizer and continue nourishing the plant a bit more. 

However, traditional fertilizers won’t be enough for a Christmas cactus. That’s why gather up Epsom salt. Every month take 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt and mix it with a gallon of water. 

The magnesium in the Epsom salt will fill up the magnesium need in no time. However, stop using all kinds of fertilizers in late summer. That’s when the flower starts going into flower production. Doing otherwise will hamper the flower production. 

Other than that, you don’t use any fertilizers in the winter. As the plant won’t be actively growing in that time, using fertilizers would be kind of pointless. 

Overall, I’d advise you to look out for fertilizer usage. Whatever you do, remember not to overuse fertilizers. Otherwise, you’ll have a salt buildup. And if you do, wash away the soil and repot the plant.  

When to Fertilize Christmas Cactus?

Christmas cactus plants are relatively easy to take care of. Provide it well-draining and quality soil, it’ll grow on its own. But you won’t get to see flowers and rapid growth with standard care. 

You see Christmas cactus grows mostly from April to October. This is when you need to use fertilizers. Give it an adequate amount of plant food in this growing season and it’ll bloom flowers in no time. 

However, you can stop using fertilizers if you don’t want your plant to grow big. Although it’s better to know that without fertilizers or plant food, the plant might survive for that long. 

Anyway, when Christmas comes, you’ll start seeing flowers. But the buds should appear in fall when the cold is just starting. 

Make sure you keep the plant in darkness every day for 12 hours. This will ensure the buds come out properly. 

After this long and hard journey, the plant starts putting out hot pink or red flowers. And trust me when I say, that is something one fine scene to look at. 

1. Schultz Cactus Plus Liquid Plant Food

 

First off, we have a liquid plant food from Schultz. If you already didn’t know, liquid plant foods are better for plants such as cactus and other succulents. 

This one’s even better with its package of micronutrients. Once you start applying, you’ll notice more and more healthy leaves coming out. 

In fact, it only takes 2 days to start working. After a month of usage, you should see that the entire has growth all over it.

However, that’s not even the best part. As it’s liquid plant food, you only have to 7 drops every time you use it. So, if I do some math, you should get around 29 gallons of fertilizers filled water. 

That’s plenty of supply even if you have a small-sized garden of Christmas cactus. 

Pros
  • Plenty of supply for a lot of plants
  • Start working in only 2 days
  • Comes with an easy-to-use dropper
Cons
  • The packaging needs some improvement

 

2. Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food

 

Next up, we have the Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food. This plant food is the head to head competitor of the first product on this list. I mean, all the specs are basically the same too. 

Like the Schultz plant food, you’ll also have to use it every 2 weeks. Another similarity is the quick working process. This too takes only 2 days to start showing results. 

However, there’s one difference. Depending on who you are, this might be an advantage or a disadvantage. With this plant food, you can put the drops directly into the soil. 

Although they didn’t forget to keep the other option open. So, you can mix it with water if that’s what you want. 

Pros
  • Can be applied directly to the soil
  • Works excellent with propagating plants
  • Start showing new growth in only 2 weeks
Cons
  • The pump could’ve been better

 

3. EarthPods Premium Cactus & Succulent Plant Food

 

Let’s take a break from liquid plant foods. The EarthPods fertilizer spikes are no doubt one of the top-rated fertilizers for cactus plants. 

Looking at their customer satisfaction I can say that their own organic formula has been effective for cactus and succulents. And it’s safe to say there are reasons behind it. 

Within the package, you 100 fertilizers or capsules filled with nutrients. Simply put down one of those near the dripping line and that’s it. After some watering, the capsules will break down on their own, slowly releasing nutrients into the soil.

Even though the price is a bit higher than other products, you’ll have to consider that there’s no mess or hazard. Moreover, you’re getting 100 capsules. For a single plant, that’s like 6 years of supply. 

Pros
  • Capsules slowly release nutrients into the soil
  • Easy to apply
  • 100% eco-friendly fertilizer
  • 6 years of supply for a single plant
Cons
  • Overusing can burn plants

 

4. Espoma Organic Cactus Plant Food

 

The Espoma Organic Cactus Plant Food is a premium plant food for all types of cacti and succulents. It comes with all the necessary nutrients you need for your Christmas cactus plant’s proper growth. 

Apart from the major nutrients, it has additional micronutrients that are just as important. While the main nutrients will ensure healthy greens, the micronutrients will deliver rapid growth. 

Like all other liquid plant food on this list, this one also works instantly. After a few days of usage, you should start seeing some improvement in your plant. Although the change becomes quite noticeable after you’ve used it for a month or so. 

As for the usage, it couldn’t be any simpler. Simply mix it with water and it’ll be ready for use. But if I were really nitpicky, I’d say you can’t use it like the Micro-Gro plant food. Directly using it on the soil might result in some terrible burns. 

Pros
  • Comes with all necessary nutrients
  • Starts working almost instantly
  • Makes weak plants healthy
Cons
  • The smell could bother some people

 

5. Grow More 3130 Cactus Juice

 

Finally, let’s talk about the final entry on this list, the Grow More 3130 Cactus Juice. While this might seem like any other plant food but there’s a significant difference. 

You see this plant comes with added calcium. If you already didn’t know, calcium is vital for any cacti growth. But that’s not all. 

Alongside the calcium, it also has other necessary nutrients. After applying this plant food for a month or so, you’ll notice that the plant’s health has improved quite a lot. 

However, I should warn you again not to use this product not more than twice a month. Other than being a houseplant, the Christmas cactus is also a cactus. So, overusing fertilizers might do more harm than good.  

Pros
  • Affordable compared to other plant food
  • Brings back lush color to cactus
  • Needs only 2 applications every month
Cons
  • Needed a bit more potassium

 

How to Care for Christmas Cactus? 

Using fertilizers is only a small part of the Christmas cactus care. While it’s true that you can’t avoid using fertilizers, you’ll have to keep in mind the other factors that’ll ensure the proper growth of your precious plant. 

Blooms

Christmas cactus can produce a number of colored blooms from yellow, coral, fuchsia to bi-colors. However, the number or quality of the blooms depends mostly on how much darkness it’s getting rather than the fertilizers. 

That’s why you should come up with ways to keep the plant in darkness every day for more than 10 to 12 hours. There are many ways you could do that. My suggestion would be to do some research to find out about these things. 

Start placing it in darkness in the middle of October. Apart from the darkness, there’s also temperature control. Make sure the temperature stays between 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 

After you continue this period for 4 to 8 weeks, you’ll start to see the blooms coming. Once the buds are all here, you can put it back to its regular place and routine.  

When the plant returns to its growing season, you start putting the fertilizers again. Whatever you do, make sure you properly mix the fertilizer with enough water. 

It’s a houseplant so it’s better you don’t overdo it with strong fertilizer. Even regular fertilizers should be toned down to make them compatible. 

Seasonal Care

When the plant is blooming, you don’t have to use any fertilizers. In fact, you shouldn’t use fertilizers in that period. Starting applying fertilizers from April and continuing till October. 

Applying fertilizers every 2 weeks or monthly should be enough for your plant. When the new leaves start showing up, these plants need the most food. So, make sure you use a top-graded fertilizer or plant food. 

However, Christmas cactus requires a high amount of magnesium. That’s why you’ll have to do something extra for that. My suggestion would be to use 1 tbsp of Epsom salt and 1 gallon of together. This solution should be enough to supply adequate magnesium. 

But you don’t ensure that you don’t use fertilizers at the same time you’re using this solution. That could result in a bad situation you don’t want. 

Other than that, you could also use coffee grounds from time to time. Although it’s better to know you shouldn’t use more than 1 or 2 tbsp. Simply put down the coffee ground around the drip line and that’ll do it. 

Finally, don’t forget to water down the coffee grounds or any amendments for that matter. 

Additional Care

Many people think it’s better to put all plants under direct sunlight. Well, never think of doing that for Christmas cactus. You see, these plants do their best when facing indirect bright light. So, the perfect spot would be beside a window. 

Apart from that, don’t put these plants near air conditioners or heat ducts. These things change the temperature around drastically, making it hard for these plants to grow. 

When the plant isn’t flowering, it’s better to limit watering. Only use water when the soil is completely dried. But when the buds appear, don’t forget to keep them moist. Otherwise, you might risk losing the buds. 

Apart from all that, Christmas cactus needs to be repotted every 3-4 years. This is also an advantage as you get to put down fresh soil and all kinds of organic fertilizers into the pot. 

Parting Words

When it’s about fertilizing Christmas cactus, remember one thing; less is more. I can’t stress this enough but never overuse strong fertilizers or any fertilizers for that matter. 

Nonetheless, I hope you could figure out the best fertilizer for Christmas cactus. I’ve tried to provide an in-depth analysis. But there might’ve been some lackings. Whatever it is, don’t forget to comment down below. 

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