How To Transplant A Christmas Cactus

If you have a Christmas cactus that has outgrown its pot, it’s time to consider transplanting it. Transplanting a Christmas cactus may seem like a daunting task, but with a little know-how, you can do it easily. In this article, we will discuss how to transplant a Christmas cactus and ensure its healthy growth in its new pot.

When to Transplant a Christmas Cactus

The best time to transplant a Christmas cactus is in the spring, just after it has finished blooming. This is when the plant is actively growing and can adjust to its new environment quickly. However, if you notice that the plant is root-bound or the soil is depleted, you can transplant it anytime during the growing season.

Choosing the Right Pot

When selecting a new pot for your Christmas cactus, it’s essential to choose one that is slightly larger than the current pot. The new pot should have drainage holes, and the material should be porous, allowing excess water to escape. Terra cotta pots are an excellent choice as they are breathable and allow air to circulate around the roots.

The Transplanting Process

To begin the transplanting process, remove the Christmas cactus from its current pot carefully. Gently loosen the soil around the roots, being careful not to damage them. If the plant is root-bound, you may need to cut off some of the roots. Place the plant in its new pot, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the top of the pot. Fill the pot with fresh potting soil, pressing it firmly around the roots.

Watering After Transplanting

After transplanting, water the Christmas cactus thoroughly. However, be careful not to overwater the plant. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering. This will prevent the roots from becoming waterlogged, which can lead to root rot.

Light and Temperature Requirements

Christmas cacti prefer bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves and cause them to turn yellow. During the summer months, you can move the plant outside to a shaded area. However, be sure to bring it back inside before the first frost.

Fertilizing Your Christmas Cactus

To ensure healthy growth, fertilize your Christmas cactus every two weeks during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 formula. However, avoid fertilizing the plant during the winter months when it is dormant.

Pruning Your Christmas Cactus

To keep your Christmas cactus looking its best, prune it regularly. Use sharp, clean scissors to remove any dead or damaged branches. You can also pinch back the tips of the branches to encourage bushier growth.

Common Transplanting Problems

Transplant shock is a common problem when transplanting a Christmas cactus. Symptoms include wilting, yellowing leaves, and stunted growth. To prevent transplant shock, be sure to water the plant thoroughly before transplanting and avoid disturbing the roots too much.


How often should I transplant my Christmas cactus?

You should transplant your Christmas cactus every two to three years or when it has outgrown its current pot.

Can I propagate my Christmas cactus during the transplanting process?

Yes, you can propagate your Christmas cactus during the transplanting process. Gently remove a few stems from the parent plant and root them in a separate pot.

How do I know if my Christmas cactus is root-bound?

If the roots are growing out of the drainage holes or the soil is dry and crumbly, your Christmas cactus may be root-bound.


Transplanting a Christmas cactus may seem intimidating, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be a straightforward process. Be sure to choose the right pot, water the plant correctly, and provide the right amount of light and fertilizer. With a little care and attention, your Christmas cactus will thrive in its new home. Remember to transplant your Christmas cactus every few years to ensure healthy growth and vibrant blooms.