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Marlene Link offers some tips on how to repot these plants

Many people wonder how and when to repot a Christmas cactus.

The Christmas cactus is a jungle cactus that prefers humidity and moisture. It’s not like its prickly cactus cousins that like warm and arid climates.

Usually a winter bloomer of different colours, they eventually require repotting.

So, when should you repot your cactus? In the spring when new growth begins and blooming ends. Never attempt to repot while it is blooming.

The Christmas cactus is happiest when its roots are slightly crowded. Usually every three to four years is adequate, or you can wait until the plant begins to look tired.

Use a lightweight potting mix, i.e. succulent soil. Repot in a slightly larger pot.

Remove the plant and gently loosen the roots and all the soil. Place in a new pot 2.5 centimetres (or 1 inch) below the rim and fill in with new soil. Pat lightly and water the plants to remove air pockets.

Place your plant in a shady spot for two to three days and then return to normal care.

Pink leaves indicate that your Christmas cactus has not received enough fertilizer, and unopened buds that dry up and fall off can be caused by changes in temperature and drafts. There are Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving cactus plants, and each one blooms when their names indicate.

Looking for a fun activity, or want to help out in your community? The Dunnville Horticultural Society is doing its annual Clean Up Day on Oct. 17. Join us by the east bridge parking lot at 9 a.m., when we will be removing all the annuals from our public flower beds in Dunnville.

Also, a quick shout out to all those weeders who assisted in keeping these gardens looking their best this summer – a big thank you!

More information about the Dunnville Horticultural Society is available on our website www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or our Facebook page. Happy gardening!

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.


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