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Christmas Cactus

Are there any other good plants besides Poinsettias which can be enjoyed inside the home during the holidays?  With colorful blooms during the winter, the Christmas Cactus can be a nice choice.  A variety of colors can be found. 

How do I take care of one?  Place it in bright indirect light, as full sun will burn it.  Indoors, this would be about 6 feet from a southeast or southwest facing window.  Water when the soil feels dry, but make sure the soil drains well to prevent rot.  After blooming, plants will benefit from pruning up until mid-summer.  Fertilize once a month from April to September.  These plants need to be a bit root bound, so no need to buy large pots.  Avoid environmental changes to prevent bud drop.  Like the Poinsettia, the Christmas Cactus must have 12 hours of darkness without artificial light from October to December.  If outside, they will need freeze protection. 

The Master Gardeners are available in the Plant Clinic to answer questions about your Garden! If you have always wanted to learn more about your own gardening problems, the Plant Clinic is the perfect place to visit. Master Gardeners are ready to help you with research base information. In addition to the UF publications, there is a whole library of books just sitting there waiting to be used.

We have two plant clinics, one in Osceola Heritage Park and one in Poinciana. The Plant Clinic in Osceola Heritage Park is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 3pm and is located at 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane, Kissimmee FL 34744, you can call to speak with a Master Gardeners Volunteer 321-697-3000 or email them at osceolamg@ifas.ufl.edu. And if you are in the Poinciana area, we have another Plant Clinic at the Mary Jane Aquatic Center located 625 Country Club Drive, Poinciana, Florida 34759. Mater Gardeners Volunteers are available only on Thursdays from 10am to 1pm.

Sandy Switek, Master Gardener & Eva Pabon, Master Gardener Coordinator

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