Asked on Dec 22, 2013

Potting more than one Christmas Cactus in the same pot

by Vetsy
My sister bought me two small Christmas Cactuses as a gift for Xmas. I'm debating on whether or not I should place both in the same pot... I'm thinking that they may over crowd one another as they grow.... What do you think??
My new Christmas Cactuses "Sunset Dancer"
  47 answers
  • Christine Hendrix Christine Hendrix on Dec 22, 2013
    I have that same cactus it blooms at least 3 times every year. I would put them together. I think they bloom better if the are root bound and use fertilizer for acid loving plants. I am getting ready to plant a pink and white together. I hope it will do good.
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Dec 22, 2013
    @Christine Hendrix .... You brought a smile to my face because you happen to have the same one! I'm so geeked! I haven't purchased the pot for them yet... What type of pot are you using for them... Thank you for the tip on the fertilizer...
  • Jajohnsey Jajohnsey on Dec 23, 2013
    I got a gift of two different colored ones for Christmas last year, quite nice. They have been blooming since about a week before Thanksgiving, and are still doing nicely.. I am not so sure about the pot bound advice, when I put mine in a MUCH bigger pot they went crazy, probably got 4 times bigger in just about a month.I also fertalize with Jobes spikes and not the acid loving kind. Not sure this is actually a cactus. Merry Christmas.
  • Deborah Hippler- Rohde Deborah Hippler- Rohde on Dec 23, 2013
    I potted several starts from my mother in laws plant last Christmas and just about two weeks ago the first teeny tiny blooms appeared, Christmas is in two days and I am hoping they will open up by then. My MIL's has been blooming full tilt since Thanksgiving ;-)
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Dec 23, 2013
    Christmas cactus can get quite large, so keep that in mind if you are going to put two in the same pot. Use a good cactus and bromeliad mix for planting them.
  • Betty Guidry Betty Guidry on Dec 23, 2013
    i would definitely combine them! Maybe even try to find a white one to put in the middle. It may take a larger pot but when they bloom it will be gorgeous!
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Dec 23, 2013
    @Jajohnsey...... Thank you for the tip on the Jobes spike fertilizer... and Merry Christmas to you too! @Deborah Hippler-Rohde... Thank you for your comment...these are great pass-along gifts, I hope they open for you this Christmas.. Merry Christmas! @Douglas Hunt.... Thank you Douglas I'm going to get some tomorrow... Merry Christmas! @Betty Guidry ..... " Ooo that sounds like a pretty mix.... So far I haven't been able to find any White ones but I'll try that idea when I do.... Thank you for the tip.... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!
  • Nancy Hinds Nancy Hinds on Dec 23, 2013
    Good advice on a 3rd plant in the re-potting...3's are more symmetrical in a pot. First of all- wait till after they are finished blooming to re-pot. Just keep them together in a pretty basket or pot to hide the pots. If there are any roots coming through the bottom, it's definitely time to re-pot, soon. Ease them out of the current pots and check how much soil is in the root ball. If there is more soil than roots, then you're okay, for now. If there are tons of matted roots, you'll need to gently cut into the root ball with a serrated knife to just open up the ball, maybe 3 times around the ball. If I am seeing 4 " pots in the photo, I would get a 3rd plant and put them into a 10" diam. pot. Add soil in the bottom to keep the plant at the same soil level as it is now. Add some soil to the inside of the cut ball and place them into the new pot and surround with new soil till filled, not packed in. Gently add warmed water to settle the soil and add more if needed. Fertilize with 1/2 strength fertilizer for a few months, then full strength after that. Northern exposure is best if it's not too cold in the window. Most all plants love being misted... Our Post Office has a huge one in their window-in full bloom! Good luck...
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Dec 24, 2013
    @Nancy Hinds ..... Thank you very much.... " Wait until they are finished blooming, Thanks for that tip as well as the others.... What happens if one is to re-pot while these plants are blooming dose it interfere with the blooming stage? Thank You and Merry Xmas!
    • Nancy Hinds Nancy Hinds on Dec 28, 2013
      @Vetsy The blooms might not like the disturbance in their cycle and may fall off.
  • Patricia Patricia on Dec 24, 2013
    Years ago, after my father's funeral, I brought cuttings of all his Xmas cactus plants home with me, clear across the country. I was too busy to find separate pots for them, so they ended up in a large, pretty glazed pot/saucer from China. Nearly 20 years later, they're still in it and must be 3' wide. When in bloom, they stop people in their tracks, despite old, surely spent soil and just a monthly dose of regular fertilizer and SuperThrive.
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Dec 24, 2013
    What an awesome story! Thank you for sharing it and for the tips... Merry Christmas!
  • April E April E on Dec 24, 2013
    Christmas cactus likes to be a bit crowded and there is no reason not to put them togather and although douglas hunt is very knowledgeable about almost everything plant this 1 he got wrong forget the "cactus and bromeliad soil, a zygo cactus does 1000 times better in a regular potting mix actually many cacti and most succulents do better in a regular potting mix. what they do not need is regular feeding maybe 2 times a year. the cacti mix is what we always explained as a gardening legend people use it because it has sand and usually perlite but those are not needed for healthy cacti what IS needed is good drainage and never letting them set in water. the way we have always explained this to the public is while a human can survive in a card board box and food hand outs they thrive with decent shelter and regular meals same with cacti while the survive in a lean basically crappy soil they thrive in a good mix and great drainage. and I won't even go into commercial bromeliad mixes............................
    • See 1 previous
    • April E April E on Dec 25, 2013
      @Douglas Hunt I am not doubting that you have many sources but as a horticulturist with a degree and a few decades in the field, growing zygos and 1000s of other plant varieties, I can say without a doubt that sometimes the universities get it wrong I have worked closely with both texas a & m and osu for years and giving lectures to the academic staffs and professionals in the business, and even the professors will say that the academic point of view is quite often skewed to whomever is supplying the money for the testing. and will talk to the people who do the growing for the actual facts. case in point "researchers at osu say you do not need to add amendments to soil in Oklahoma to plant your trees this is joked at as the drop it and stomp it recommendation. this is very true for the river valley that the collage is in but just a few miles west is hard packed red clay that must be amended and usually bermed for new trees and shrubs to grow happily. so I am not trying to say anything about you or 95% of your advice I was just saying this 1 is not the best advice available for this particular plant type
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Dec 24, 2013
    @April E ....... " What they don't need is regular feeding maybe Just twice a year... And they like to be kept crowded.....Thank you April I'll keep these tips in mind... Merry Christmas!
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Dec 25, 2013
    @Douglas Hunt..... Thanks for the website...The Christmas Cactus owners have some very good questions concerning Xmas Cactus issues..I can refer to it in the future.
  • Pat Asaro Pat Asaro on Dec 25, 2013
    Great website.I used to have so many indoor plants. Now I have none and I realize I miss them after all the posts here on the Christmas cactus.
  • Marlene Wilson Marlene Wilson on Dec 25, 2013
    I don't know about flowers except they will get root bound if the pot is too little and not bloom.ALSO,I read in a book that if you pour mineral oil on your Christmas Castus in October they will bloom sooner.
    • Shawn B Shawn B on Jan 03, 2014
      No, no, no. Don't believe everything you read. These particular plants like little fuss, don't mind being crowded and thrive with the "less is best" methods.
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Dec 25, 2013
    @Pat Asaro, Thanks... I would love to become one of those people who have these plants for ages.. I'm giving it a try. Thanks for stopping by..
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Dec 25, 2013
    @Marlene Wilson.... Thank you, I also read on the net something similar to your tip..I read that one could give them Castor oil in October to make them bloom ...
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Dec 28, 2013
    @Nancy Hinds..... Okay Thanks Nancy..
  • Judith Monti Judith Monti on Dec 31, 2013
    I've kept mine in regular potting soil for 14 yrs and it is thriving.
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Dec 31, 2013
    @Judith Monti...14 years in the same soil...WoW! Thank you so much for sharing that! Happy New Year!
  • April E April E on Jan 01, 2014
    Christmas cactus blooms due to day length adding castor oil is not good for the plant it will coat the roots and "drown" the plant and any plant that feels like it is dieing tends to bloom as a last ditch effort to reproduce also I do not think Judith meant the same soil but just that she used reg. potting soil and not a "special" mix
  • Linda Smith Linda Smith on Jan 02, 2014
    can yo leave christmas cactus out side in winter months and just cover when very cold whether
    • Marilynn Marilynn on Jan 09, 2014
      @Linda Smith I live in Glendale, AZ and leave my Christmas cactus out side until the weather gets to warm. I do bring them in if we are going to get below freezing at night.
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Jan 02, 2014
    @April E.... OMG!! Thank you for the warning! the last thing I want to do is drown them!
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Jan 02, 2014
    @Linda Smith.... That's an interesting question....I hope someone here can answer that one for you..... So far I have learned that many of the Christmas Cactus owners have kept theirs outdoors until Oct or the first cold snap and bring them indoors soon afterwards....
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Jan 03, 2014
    Judith Monti..... Okay that's good to know thank you for your info... I appreciate it very much.
  • April E April E on Jan 04, 2014
    @Linda Smith the answer to your question is yes where you live in a good year but even as far south as you are there are occasional nasty cold spells that would require you zygo to be covered and moved into the garage (not the house as the drastic tempature change would shock the plant) also as the winter months are when most zygos bloom wouldn't you want it in the house to enjoy?
  • Cynthia E Cynthia E on Jan 05, 2014
    I have mixed mine before in 1 pot never had anything go wrong with themI have a mid size terracotta strawberry pot (plan on buying another same size) in 1 I will be planting my Red, Orange, peach and Yellow Christmas cactus's -- I plan on mixing them together in all holes, in 2nd one I will put my white, pale pink and hot pink Christmas cactus's (and think I have found a purple one on Ebay :) ) -- note I also have Easter cactus's in most of the colors so I plan on adding those into coordinating pots by colors--that way keeps pot in bloom for a longer part of the year.
  • Cynthia E Cynthia E on Jan 05, 2014
    Also I do take mine outside during Spring, Summer into early fall-- but I make sure they only get filtered sunlight, then when I bring them in before gets too cold (I don't leave them out if temps going below 50) they are in front of window for light but room is completely dark at night, seems to produce more flowers if no light at night.
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Jan 05, 2014
    @Cynthia E..... "Ooo a terracotta strawberry pot.... I bet that looks very pretty! I've never thought of that.... Thank you for your tips..
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Jan 06, 2014
    @Judith Monti Thanks Judith for your input...I hope to have mine that long! I'm trying..I'm happy to know that as many of you have stated here that I can keep it going in regular potting soil.... By the way do you every feed it anything?
  • Judith Monti Judith Monti on Jan 07, 2014
    Yes I do feed all my plants. I like a foliar spray that I use in the summer when my cactus is outside called Spray-N-Grow. I pair it with the same company's balanced fertilizer called Bill's Perfect Fertilizer which I mix together. This winter I am giving all my plants a low dose of BIll's Perfect Fertilizer each month w/o the foliar spray. Good luck!
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Jan 07, 2014
    @Judith Monti Thanks a Million! Judith, My house plants are in need of some special nourishment! I'm making a note of it..
  • Denise Denise on Jan 09, 2014
    I inherited a Christmas cactus in September, and I live in Ohio. The soil is ROCK solid, can I transplant now or do I have to wait? Feel sorry for the little guy.
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Jan 09, 2014
    @Denise .... Hi Denise I'm just learning how to care for these plants. If I'm not mistaken these plants are in their dormant stages at this time of year so it should be okay to re-plant.... Hopefully our fellow bloggers here will add to this conversation and correct me If I'm wrong... We are learning together... Good Luck to you as well.
    • Marilynn Marilynn on Jan 09, 2014
      @Vetsy My cactus is still blooming and I have a few buds still waiting to open.
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Jan 09, 2014
    @Marilynn..... Hi Marilynn..Yes I have heard and have read that these plants can bloom anytime of year if conditions are right.... I have had mine bloom in May.. I tried to find that post and I have also searched my Q&A on this particular subject and for the Life of Me I Can't find it! Anyway..... In Denise's case if her's is still blooming she will have to wait until they are finished because I have heard that they don't like to be disturbed.... Never-the-less someone else here may have had a different experience... Thank You so much for posting your experience.. with your plant it helps us all learn and pick-up tips.
  • Wendy Ann Short Wendy Ann Short on Jan 11, 2014
    Very, very Pretty.
  • Vetsy Vetsy on Jan 11, 2014
    Wendy Ann Short.... Thank You Wendy I hope to have them as long as possible.
  • Penny Penny on Oct 27, 2014
    i had a bunch of succulants in small pots, so i bought one of those long planters and planted them all together, including my christmas cactus and they are thriving!!! i've got buds on it already!!!! and one flower so far this year...
  • Mary Barrett Mary Barrett on Oct 27, 2014
    Christmas/Thanksgiving/Easter cactus - there are different kinds - all like to be pot bound, that is, shoved in there tightly. So, putting two together would be fine. Just don't overwater!
  • Cindy Johnson Kline Cindy Johnson Kline on Oct 29, 2014
    I have about 4 Christmas cactus in one pot, they were small to medium size, now huge! I heard that if you put them outside in the summer they will blossom more once moved back inside. Also, they don't like to be moved around too much. I use Miracle Gro liquid plant food in the water and only water it when it is totally dry. I have numerous flowers on it right now! It is a cactus which is a desert plant, I know it likes the heat & the sun. It always seems to bloom before Christmas or after never during!!!
  • Susan Stodola Susan Stodola on Feb 16, 2015
    This is so refreshing to see so many folks that still enjoy these plants. My Grandmother alwys had one in the corner of her sun porch that she pretty much ignored. Didn't move it, Just watered it from time to time. It was HUGE and covered with blossoms. But she always did have an exceptional green thumb and that sun porch wasn't very deep and had a short overhang so was very good for plants. Another plant that she had that always fascinated me that I haven't seen in decades was a Gloxinia. It was dark burgandy-red with a white throat and looked like velvet. Gives me a 'warm fuzzy' just thinking about it.
    • Vetsy Vetsy on Feb 17, 2015
      Susan I was always afraid to purchase these because i consider myself a black thumb.... But so far I have managed to keep them alive... Thanks for stopping by..
  • Judith Monti Judith Monti on Feb 16, 2015
    I also keep mine outside spring thru fall. I have read the colder temps set the blooms. I leave mine out maybe a bit below 50, not sure. For those who do keep them outside I have to warn you what happened to mine last summer. Dagnabbit squirrels bit off several long stems. It ruined the shape of the plant. It is rather cock-eyed now. I have no luck discouraging squirrels on my deck because I love birds and feeders unfortunately bring on the challenge for this rodent. What ya gonna do? Suggestions welcomed.
  • Kathy Brown Kathy Brown on Mar 13, 2015
    I have planted two different colored Christmas cactuses together and they are still growing and looks so cool when they bloom one is red one is pink!!!
  • Amy Brooks Baull Amy Brooks Baull on Nov 12, 2015
    Mine has tripled in growth over the last 3 years. After last frost it goes out on the deck and back inside before first frost to sit in my dining room window for morning sun. I water it when I think about maybe once a week or 2. It will bloom 2, sometimes 3, times a year!
    • Vetsy Vetsy on Nov 12, 2015
      @Amy Brooks Baull Thank you Amy for your input..Mine has gotten a lot bigger since than as well.
  • Ale25320668 Ale25320668 on Jul 22, 2017

    I have quite a HUGE collection of these plants. Unfortunately ive had two issue's. The first is that I have medical issues. Can be quite debilitating at times so they tend to get neglected. I've started today using a calendar on my phone to remind me to water. However I have so many in pots and they are tightly close together on several plant stands including my kitchen counter. My first issue I noticed is that I was dropping branches off them. Still in pretty good condition. I have no clue what the color was so I started a pot to put random one's in. Glad to know you can mix the plants. I was afraid of possible crossbreeding. I'm assuming foliag dropping is b/c of lack of water??? My second issue is that I love succulents/ cacti. They have shared my counter space. I believe one of the succulents i purchased had spider mites??? Looks like lil white cotton. It unfortunately killed most of my succulents and it is now on my Christmas Cactus. I used 1:1 ratio alcohol/water on remaining succulents and just used a spray bottle and it worked. Is this safe for my Christmas Cactus's? Of course I isolated the infected ones. I tested a leaf w/ mixture and it seemed to tolerate but my fear is that it may be in the soil. These particular cactus have hard soil. I bought from a nursery on eBay and that's how it arrived. Even though it's been almost 2 years after watering more often they never get completely moist. Almost like cement. I've had to initially water them by holding them in a tub of water just so water could be absorbed. In saying that and believing the mites have managed to get in the soil. How do I treat these and kill the mites? Unfortunately, I did have a real Christmas Cactus that has bn infected & not sure it is salvageable. It waspassed down from generation to generation. We researched and it stops in the late late 1800's. I will try anything to save this particular heirloom Cactus....HELP PLEASE...Also just another side note I have a mother plant I use for cuttings from time to time. My elderly neighbor gave it to me and she received it from her grandmother in 1982. She knows it is older than that b/c it had bn passed down previously from at least 3 generations of grandmother's. So I definitely know these plants if taken care of have a very longevity life span. Sorry to be so long but wanted to share a few things an also ask how to treat my infestation :( I know I can repot & water the roots but the one's from the nursery are hard as a rock after over a 2yrs of watering. I might add they have still bloomed. Any help or advice greatly appreciated, ty!!!!

  • Vetsy Vetsy on Jul 24, 2017

    Alewis1095.. Thanks for sharing your history, experience, thoughts and issues concerning these plants. I wished I had a green thumb so I could advise you a lot better. As far as that cement like dirt... "I would change it and use a cactus mix.

    I personally like to use Scott's potting mix and I shy away from potting mixtures that hold water for fear that it will rot my plants.

    I have used the soap and water method in the past and have also used Neem oil.

    I found a link that I hope will be useful.