Re-Potting Christmas Cactus

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.

Re-planting the Christmas Cactus with Method Hand Soap by rochelle greayer

If you have a dirty little planting project here are some things to think about as you dig in.

Re-potting a Christmas Cactus

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. 
Re-planting the Christmas Cactus with Method Hand Soap by rochelle greayer

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.
Re-planting the Christmas Cactus with Method Hand Soap by rochelle greayer

 

Transplanting is a dirty job. Get over it.  Get your hands dirty. 

Re-planting the Christmas Cactus with Method Hand Soap by rochelle greayer

 

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. 

Re-planting the Christmas Cactus with Method Hand Soap by rochelle greayer

 

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.

Re-planting the Christmas Cactus with Method Hand Soap by rochelle greayer

 

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.
Re-planting the Christmas Cactus with Method Hand Soap by rochelle greayer

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).  

Re-planting the Christmas Cactus with Method Hand Soap by rochelle greayer

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!

Re-planting the Christmas Cactus with Method Hand Soap by rochelle greayer

images: Rochelle Greayer

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by method. I am not an employee of method and all opinions are my own.

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About Rochelle Greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

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