Could one of you help me with rooting a cutting from a christmas cactus if it can be done at all?
Remove a two or three segment piece from the mother plant, cutting (or breaking) at the joint. Use a very coarse, fast draining potting medium (with added perlite or Turface). Insert the stem about 1/2 up first segment into the soil and water in thoroughly to insure tissue to soil contact. Place in a warm, well lit (not full sun) location and be patient.
I typically root three such segments into a small clay pot, ending up with a nice multi-stemmed plant for a finished product.
Keep the medium reasonably moist but never over watered. Covering the cuttings while rooting has never been something that I have done, and at a 100% success rate, I won't recommend it, lol. Know that if you root your cuttings at this time of year, it will take quite a bit longer than if you did it in the spring or summer. All the more reason to be mindful of your watering practices. Be sure to remove any flowers or buds if making cuttings now.
Reasons for failure would be: mucky or heavy potting medium, over watering, under watering.
Chazncs, The best time to propagate ones Christmas Cactus is after it's done blooming for the season. Then proceed to propagate ones plant. And it would also be very helpful for you to only do this in the spring of the year.
I'm rooting a bunch of them right now and they root very quickly. Just keep the flower buds snipped off so energy doesn't go into blooms.
I've always rooted them at this time of year, too. For some reason I assumed that they'd get going even faster in the Spring, but perhaps not! Anyway, Chaz, they are very easy to root, as long as you don't use a mucky potting medium.
Maybe a 70x30 mix of perlite and soil?
As long as you're familiar with perlite and how fast it dries out....many folks use a 50:50 ratio. That's enough peat to keep some moisture in the soil. (I use all perlite for some things, but you've gotta have some practice, I think. The cutting shouldn't be deprived of moisture.) Have you rooted some other plants successfully? If so, Xmas Cactus will be a snap.
What would you use? I am familiar with the nature of perlite, but my rooting experience isnt anything to write home about. If you have any advice I would appreciate it.
If I had regulation potting medium on hand (with no additives like fertilizer or water absorbing crystals), I'd use it to make a 50:50 mix with perlite. I think that you will find it quite forgiving....meaning that it will be very difficult to over water, lol! Avoid vermiculite, as it doesn't hold its structure, defeating the purpose.
Personally? I use a commercial brand of potting mix that is already very coarse. Plus, I add perlite and Turface. My potting medium has a large percentage of bark fines and not very much peat.
But somneone with limited experience would still stand a better chance with the christmas cactus rooting easier for them in the spring as I have posted. And the normal time to do christmas cactus is in the spring of the year. It doesn't matter what people do or when they do it, it's all about timing and technique.
I'd agree with you, terry, but for the fact that we're talking about a plant that is soooooo easy to root at any time of the year! Other plants can be tempermental (finicky), but this one is ideal for novices.
And since he's going with a high perlite mixture, I wouldn't expect that he'd have any problem with fungus or algae.
i have a cutting of a cactus ,but i would like to know what a christmas cactus looks like.
What many refer to as Christmas Cactus, isn't what used to be considered Christmas Cactus. The link below is a great source for proper identification.
Here is a link that might be useful: RECOGNITION and CULTURE of the HOLIDAY CACTI
evryone seems to have their own formula I agree with getting at least three segments and planting a few per pot but my propagation mix is fairly simple and works. I live in the eastern sieras its in the mountains but I live in a desert. so sand is plentiful cheap wellll free. for all cuttings I mix 50% peat moss 50% indoor high quality potting soil. no fertilizers though IE Avoid miracle grow soil!!! then I take my first mix and mix 1/3 soil, and 2/3 sand. this drains well, supplies nutrients, and seems to work well with starting seeds, as well as being an easy mix remember. With stem cuttings or seeds I start em in a south facing window and my swamp cooler keeps a high humidity in the house. Good Luck.
I think the original conversation has pretty much ended and I'm not sure some of the original participants are even still around. Gilda 9 might should have started a new thread in a more appropriate group (the Cacti & Succulents Forum, the House Plants Forum, etc), but I just went ahead and answered her question here.
As for a propagation medium for this plant (and it's close relatives), I have had pretty much 100% success using just plain ordinary potting soil. I think I used Miracle Grow most of the time and can't keep the cuttings (anywhere from 1 to 6 leaves) from rooting. This plant roots at least as easily as any plant I'm familiar with.