Trimming Christmas Cactus Plants: Steps On How To Prune A Christmas Cactus

Red Flowering Christmas Cactus
(Image credit: undefined undefined)

Because Christmas cactus plants are so easy to care for, it is not uncommon for a Christmas cactus to eventually grow to a monstrous size. While this is lovely to see, it can create problems for a homeowner with limited space. At this time, an owner may wonder if pruning a Christmas cactus is possible and exactly how to trim a Christmas cactus. Christmas cactus pruning is not just for large plants, either. Pruning a Christmas cactus, large or small, will help it to grow fuller and more bushier, which in turn results in more blooms in the future. So whether you are looking to simply reduce the size of your plant or are looking to make yours look even more beautiful, keep reading to learn more about how to trim a Christmas cactus.

When to Prune Christmas Cactus Plants

The best time to prune a Christmas cactus is right after it has bloomed. At this time, the Christmas cactus will be entering a growth period and will start to put out new leaves. Pruning a Christmas cactus right after it blooms will force it to branch out, which means the plant will grow more of its distinctive stems. If you are not able to do your Christmas cactus pruning right after it blooms, you can prune the plant any time from after it blooms until late spring without doing harm to the Christmas cactus plant.

How to Trim a Christmas Cactus

Because of the unique stems, pruning a Christmas cactus is perhaps one of the easiest pruning jobs there is. All you need to do to prune a Christmas cactus is give the stems a quick twist between one of the segments. If this seems a bit harsh on your plant, you can also use a sharp knife or scissors to remove the segments. If you are pruning a Christmas cactus to reduce its size, you can remove up to one-third of the plant per year. If you are trimming Christmas cactus plants to make them grow in more fully, you only need to trim the end one to two segments from the stems. The really fun thing about trimming a Christmas cactus is that you can easily root the Christmas cactus cuttings and give the new plants to friends and family.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.