The Christmas cactus gets its name because it blooms in the winter and is often available in stores and nurseries during the holiday season. The plant has long green stems that often trail down over the sides of the pots but can also be erect. The flower blooms appear at the tips of each stem and are typically bright pink in color. If you have a Christmas cactus stem that has broken off, plant it to grow a whole new cactus.
Examine the broken stem and note the oval-shaped lobes along the entire length. Use hand pruners to prune off the bottom lobe, where the stem broke off, making a clean cut straight across. The resulting stem must have at least two or more sections remaining to root successfully.
Lay the cut stem on a paper towel and place it out of direct sunlight. Leave it there for three to four hours until the cut section is no longer wet to the touch.
Fill a 6-inch-diameter plant pot with a mixture of half peat and half sand until it is 1 inch below the rim. Alternatively, you can use 100 percent perlite in the pot.
Poke a hole in the center of the soil material using your finger and making it 1 inch deep. Insert the cut end of the cactus branch into the soil and then push the soil up around it to hold it in place.
Water the soil mixture until it runs out of the bottom of the pot. Slip a clear plastic bag over the top of the pot to hold in the water.
Set the pot in an area that receives indirect sunlight but not direct sunlight. Check the soil daily and add more water if it begins to feel dry. The Christmas cactus branch will root in approximately six to eight weeks.