How to Prune a Christmas Cactus


I’ve had this beauty for several years, it has been in the spot where I keep her now. I haven’t had flowers since she left my office and came to my condo and that’s okay but in the past year she doesn’t look as strong,, her branches aren’t as firm and she’s droopy. How do I bring her back to a healthy state? Thanks Judy!


Hi Alex,

How to Prune a Christmas Cactus

It looks like your Christmas Cactus, Schlumbergera bridgesii, would benefit from a good pruning. This is usually done within a month after they have finished flowering. That brief rest encourages a Christmas Cactus to produce new growth and branch out. However, since your plant never bloomed, I think you should just go ahead and prune it now. You should never prune a Christmas Cactus once summer has begun.

Wash your hands before you start.

Select the area of the stem you would like to remove; holding both segments close to where they are connected, gently twist them apart. You can reduce the size of the plant by 20%-30% but not much more. If the stem area is very old, thick, and hard to twist, use a clean scissors or knife.

How to Propagate a Christmas Cactus

You can use the pieces you pruned to propagate new plants. The best way to propagate a Christmas Cactus is by using  Stem Cuttings  during the spring. Use a cutting that has at least three segments taken from a healthy stem. Allow the end of the stem cuttings to dry out for several hours before planting them to avoid stem rot.

You can read all my care tips for a Christmas Cactus, and how to get them to flower every year, in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.