My christmas cactus is kind of disgusting.
Many years ago, I had this (less than) genius idea to plant my cactus in a clear glass vase. I thought that the layers of rocks at the bottom with soil on top, permeated by the roots would be some sort of beautiful ant-farm-like terrarium of underground interest.
I was wrong, in fact it almost immediately got cloudy, then the roots and dirt starting mixing a little too much. Some algae grew, other wierd and ugly stuff happened and ultimately I’ve had this gross, manky, little science project sitting in my kitchen window for way too long.
It is a testament to the toughness of Schlumbergera (commonly called Christmas Cactus) that it didn’t die. You should think about planting one if you are someone who is scared of killing plants. They really don’t die easily.
When method (the soap people) asked if I had a project that would require getting my hands dirty (as in, get over it and #fearnomess) – re-planting the nasty little cactus immediately came to mind.
If you have a dirty little planting project here are some things to think about as you dig in.
Re-potting a Christmas Cactus
[ezcol_1fifth]Fall is a great time of year to re-pot houseplants that have spent the summer outdoors. They are generally in really great shape having soaked up summer rain and light and it is a good time to either split plants so you have more plants, or re-pot them so that they stay healthy and have room to grow. [/ezcol_1fifth] [ezcol_4fifth_end]
[ezcol_1fifth]Take the time to wash the plant. This cactus hadn’t had a bath in quite a while and plants don’t like that. Dust and grime really can start to interfere with photosynthesis. Gently give them a wash.[/ezcol_1fifth]
[ezcol_1fifth]Transplanting is a dirty job. Get over it. Get your hands dirty. [/ezcol_1fifth]
[ezcol_1fifth]Cactus likes well-drained soil. Rocks help with this. You can also add some sand, or perlite to the soil to keep it free-flowing and well draining. [/ezcol_1fifth]
[ezcol_1fifth]Look for opportunities to get two plants for one. In this case I was able to gently pull apart the roots and separate it into two smaller plants that will each grow bigger than the original. [/ezcol_1fifth] [ezcol_4fifth_end]
[ezcol_1fifth]I don’t have a potting table. Instead I work on the floor or a counter top but to help keep the cleanup easy, I like to use a flat rug underneath. It’s much easier to shake it off than to wipe up potting soil.
[ezcol_1fifth]Clean up with method hand wash, all their products are biodegradable and made from 100% recycled materials and they are 100% recyclable when you are done with them. Plus they smell nice. I’m a super smell sensitive person and I like when products aren’t overly sweet and they actually smell like the things they are meant to smell like (not chemicals or fake versions of a smell). [/ezcol_1fifth]
Goodbye dank science project, hello pretty plants and fall decorations. One more little tip – if you have a christmas cactus – make sure it doesn’t get too much water or sun at this time of year (autumn). That will help to ensure that it blooms in December — when it is supposed to!
images: Rochelle Greayer
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by method. I am not an employee of method and all opinions are my own.