The Christmas Cactus (Schlumberger or thanksgiving cactus) is a common indoor flower, the buds of which are formed on fresh growths, that is, on the tips of the shoots. To obtain a lush flowering plant, it is necessary to provoke the growth of these shoots with the help of fertilizers. Let’s talk about how to feed the Christmas Cactus flower so that it feels good and blooms luxuriously.
How to feed the Christmas Cactus so that they bloom steadily
Timely feeding helps prolong the life of the plant. A single well-cared bush can live up to 20 years with abundant flowering every year. For the growth of shoots and flowering of the Christmas tree, it should be fed from March to October. In winter, after flowering, the Christmas Cactus begins a period of rest – at this time he is not fed.
See the guide on what Kind Of Potting Soil is needed for Christmas cactus.
What To Feed Christmas Cactus?
Let’s look at What To Feed Christmas Cactus, how to feed the Christmas Cactus flower, and what types of fertilizers are used to feed the flower.
Boric acid as feed for christmas cactus
Boric acid helps to achieve abundant flowering of the plant. This substance accelerates the growth of the flower and nourishes the buds. Boric acid solution (0.1%) can be purchased at the pharmacy. To prepare top dressing, add a gram of acid to a liter of hot water. Spraying with the agent begins during the budding period of Schlumberger and continues until the end of its flowering (with a frequency of once every 2 weeks).
You need to spray in the early morning or evening so that the plant does not get sunburn.
Wood ash is another excellent top dressing for the Christmas Cactus during the budding period. The ash contains almost all the trace elements necessary for the flower, except for nitrogen, which the plant does not need during the dormant period. The fertilizer contains a lot of potassium, which helps with the yellowing of the leaves.
How to prepare wood ash solution for Christmas Cactus:
- Add 2 tablespoons of ash to a liter of boiling water;
- Mix everything thoroughly and leave to infuse for 2-3 hours;
- The Christmas Cactus is periodically watered with the resulting solution, alternating with watering with clean water and other dressings.
Sugar as fertilizer
Sugar is a very useful supplement used by many growers. Once in the soil, it breaks down into glucose and fructose, which are beneficial for plants. Often pouring sweet nectar on a Christmas tree is not worth it. Midges or other pests can flock to fertilizer. One sugar feeding per month will be enough for the flower.
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Glucose gives energy to the plant.
For a liter of water at room temperature, you need to take 2 tablespoons of sugar, completely dissolve them, and water the plant with the agent.
Hydrogen peroxide saturates the soil with oxygen, helps to strengthen the root system of the Christmas Cactus and prevents rotting processes in the roots. He begins to actively grow and bloom. Root feeding with cross-fertilization is carried out no more than once a week. To prepare a working solution, add a tablespoon of peroxide to a liter of water.
Use constant water at room temperature: the solution must be applied immediately after preparation.
Read Cactus Transplant methods and procedures.
Tea infusion for christmas cactus
The tea infusion is the most affordable top dressing, provoking the laying of more flower buds. Stimulates Schlumberger to bloom. The tea leaves help to bloom even those plants that have never bloomed before. Prepare the infusion as follows:
- For 1.5 liters of boiling water, take half a glass of tea leaves;
- Then the mixture is insisted. When the water has cooled, the infusion can be used;
- The flower is watered at the root, without diluting the infusion with water. Do not water the plant often, alternate with watering with plain water.
Yeast activates the vital activity of microorganisms in the soil. At the same time, the soil begins to actively release phosphorus and nitrogen, which stimulate the growth of the Christmas Cactus roots. To prepare a working yeast solution, 10 grams of dry yeast and a teaspoon of sugar are taken per liter of warm water. All this is thoroughly mixed and insisted in a warm place for 2–4 hours. Christmas Cactus is watered without diluting with water.
An infusion of citrus peels also stimulates plant growth and flowering. The crusts from any citrus fruits are cut into small pieces and poured with boiling water in a ratio of 1: 3, then they are allowed to brew for a day. The resulting solution is filtered and diluted with pure water in a ratio of 1: 2. The resulting solution can be watered with the Christmas Cactus every 2-3 days with a break for two weeks.
Mineral fertilizers for feeding Christmas Cactus
Liquid complex fertilizers, which are sold in stores, contain a balanced set of all microelements and vitamins necessary for a Christmas party. The range of suitable products is quite wide. They are used strictly according to the instructions from the manufacturer.
With each use of fertilizer, slightly reduce the dosage so that an excess of elements does not appear in the soil.
Ideally, a balanced, all-purpose flowering fertilizer should be used. It is well suited for the Christmas Cactus during the flowering period. It contains phosphorus, potassium, some nitrogen, humic acids, and saline solution.
The solution is quickly absorbed by the plant and improves the soil structure. In addition, it can be used as root and foliar dressing.
Topdressing of Christmas Cactus in fall
In September-October, it is necessary to feed the Schlumberger well so that it blooms profusely in winter.
In autumn, boric acid and ash infusion are used for the flower. Universal complex fertilizers are also perfect for a flower during this period.