Trimming Christmas Cactus Plants

By Heather Rhoades
Published: December 1, 2016 | Last updated: May 4, 2021
Key Takeaways

With its brilliant blooms providing a splash of welcome color over the holiday season, a Christmas cactus is a pleasure to have around the house in the winter. But what if it grows too big for the space you've allotted for it? We have the solution...

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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. The solution is to prune the plant.


Christmas cactus pruning is not just for large plants, either. Pruning a Christmas cactus, large or small will help it to grow 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 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 anytime 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 is give the stems a quick twist in 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 one or two of the end 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.


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Written by Heather Rhoades

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Heather Rhoades is the founder of Gardening Know How, where she continues to write articles and answer questions relating to gardening.

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