Christmas cactus is aptly named because it blooms just in time for the holiday season, although older plants may keep an erratic blooming schedule. Starting a new Christmas cactus is an ideal way to ensure that you enjoy its festive blooms on time. You can actually start a Christmas cactus by taking a stem cutting from an already established plant, which ensures that your new cactus takes on the same characteristics as its "parent" plant.


Locate a healthy stem with three or more segments on a Christmas cactus. Grasp the stem by the base and gently twist it away from the cactus. Allow the stem to dry on a paper towel overnight.

Prepare a planting pot. Select a pot with plenty of drainage holes in the bottom, and set it on a tray. Fill the pot with a mixture of 2 parts peat moss, 1 part sand and 1 part potting soil.

Brush aside some of the planting medium so you can plant the stem. Press the stem into the planting medium with the lower one-fourth to one-half of the bottom segment -- where you twisted it from the original plant -- sitting below the soil. Gently water the stem with a spray bottle.

Place the pot in an area that receives indirect sunlight. Don't be alarmed if the stem starts to show signs of wilting. This is normal, and the stem should spring back to good health, with signs of new growth within a week or two.

Spritz the cactus once a day until it starts exhibiting new growth. When this happens, you can begin watering it as you normally would. Wait until the soil is dry, then water until it's moist. You should also move the plant into direct sunlight.