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The Gift of Growth: Christmas Cactus Seeds for Festive Home

Christmas Cactus is a popular plant that produces beautiful flowers. But did you know you can grow them from seeds?

Generally, you can extract Christmas Cactus seeds from ripe fruit or seed pod ready to fall off. To germinate the extracted seeds, use fresh seeds immediately or stored seeds after soaking for 30 minutes before sowing.

However, you should know the basic requirements and procedures to propagate the seeds successfully.

Continue reading to find out how to grow lush Christmas Cactus.

Christmas Cactus Seeds Overview

Christmas Cactus are epiphytes in their natural habitat, which use their roots to cling to other plants or rocks for support.

Here is a brief overview of Christmas Cactus seeds.

ShapeFlattened pear shape
Size3 to 4 mm long
WeightApproximately 0.004 gram
Fruiting SeasonLate fall through mid-winter
Fruit ColorRed when harvesting
Flowering SeasonDuring Christmas
Harvesting SeasonOne year after the fruiting
Germination TimeTwo to three weeks

It would be best to plant the seeds fresh to get a high germination success rate.

How Do You Extract Cactus Seeds?

The pink fruit that the Christmas Cactus produces is attractive and will grow at the base of the pollinated flower.

If you wish to hand pollinate the flowers, identify the Stigma and Anther on the flowers.

Then rub the anther of a flower with a cotton swab to collect the pollen and rub the same cotton swab onto the sticky Stigma of another Christmas Cactus flower.

After pollination, you will soon see Christmas Cactus fruit or seed pod forming.

When the flower blooms, the Christmas Cactus seed pod is green, which takes a year to become ripe and turns bright pink.

When the Christmas Cactus fruit or seed pod turns bright pink and starts to fall off, it indicates viable seeds.

The germination in Christmas Cactus is negatively impacted by harvesting and seed extraction before reaching maturity.

After the seeds mature, you will need a paper towel to absorb moisture, a zip-lock bag to collect seeds, and labels for labeling them before extracting them. 

Steps to Extract the Seeds from Christmas Cactus

  • First, handpick the fruits when they are ripe or wait until they drop off.
  • If you have multiple fruits produced, it is better to choose the ripest.
  • Squeeze one end and squirt the seeds onto a paper towel.
Christmas cactus
Christmas cactus is a good decorative plant to have indoors.
  • Place them in a sieve with tiny holes under running water, and wash the seeds to clean the pulp.
  • Rub the tiny black seeds around the paper towel to dry and separate.
  • Put the seeds on white paper and store them in a zip-lock bag to avoid losing them.
  • Finally, keep them in a cool and dry location away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

Christmas Cactus Seeds for Sale

You can easily buy them online if you don’t want to go through the hassle of extracting tiny Christmas Cactus seeds from the seed pod.

ShopsDelivery Period
AmazonWithin 4 to 5 days
EtsyWithin1 to 2 weeks
ebayEstimated between 13 days to 1.5 months
Windowsill CactusVaries according to location

Can You Grow Christmas Cactus from Seeds?

The most popular way of growing Christmas Cactus is through stem cutting. However, you can easily grow the plant from seeds.

The Christmas Cactus seeds are ready for propagation instantly after extraction from their ripened seed pod. But you can also plant them during spring by saving the seeds during harvesting.

The best season to plant Christmas Cactus seeds is during the spring. You can put the harvested seeds in a plastic zip-lock bag for sowing them in spring.

Christmas Cactus Seeds
Christmas cactus seeds are tiny, so you must be careful while extracting them from the seed pod for propagation, or they might get lost.

It would take approximately 2 to 3 weeks for your Christmas Cactus seeds to germinate.

You will need a seed starter mix, a seed tray, gloves, and a plastic bag to propagate the seeds correctly.

Steps to Propagate Christmas Cactus via Seeds

After successfully extracting seeds from the fruit, follow the steps below for Christmas Cactus propagation.

Step 1: Preparing the Seeds

The freshly extracted seeds do not need to be prepared. You can directly sow them in the potting mix.

Similarly, if you store the seeds for later, store them in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for a month.

It helps increase germination rates by imitating a natural winter dormant period.

Additionally, if you have stored the seeds for months, it is better to soak them for a few hours to rehydrate.

Step 2: Sowing the Seeds

  • Before sowing, disinfect the germination tray to prevent the seeds from fungal diseases.
  • Sow the fresh seeds in a tray containing equal parts of moistened, finely milled sphagnum peat moss and perlite.
  • You can also buy a commercial potting mix for your cactus.
  • Press the seeds lightly into the medium, but do not cover the seed.
Christmas Cactus
You should not fuss much over the care of the Christmas plant as it is an easy-growing plant.
  • Cover the seed tray with clear plastic wrap or enclose it in a plastic bag to maintain high humidity levels.
  • Move them to a location where it gets bright, indirect light for germination.
  • Maintain the temperature between 70 to 75°F to see the seedling sprout.
  • If you live in a frigid climate, using a heating pad to boost germination is better.

It would take 2 to 3 weeks to germinate the Christmas Cactus seeds.

Step 3: Transplanting the Sprouts

The last part is transplanting the sprouts into the pot or your garden. 

  • Only transplant the sprouts when it grows about 2-3  inches.
  • Likewise, the pot can be clay or plastic with a good drainage hole, but not in glazed ceramics.
  • Ensure you do not damage the roots when transplanting them into a pot. Handle the plant carefully.
  • You can plant them in a hanging pot near a window to get the cascading effect.
  • Finally, after the successful transplant into the pot, provide them plenty of water.

Glazed ceramics should be avoided as they are not porous, as Christmas Cactus cannot obtain oxygen from the surrounding air.

Tips to Care for Christmas Cactus Seeds During Propagation

  • Move the pot to a location where it receives bright, indirect light. It should not get direct sunlight for more than 3 hours as it can damage the plant.
  • Do not let the seeds dry; mist them regularly and avoid overwatering.
Ensure the potting soil is well-drained, as they do not like sitting in a pool of water.
  • Place the pot in a small water bowl and let the soil absorb the water via the drainage holes if the top soil appears dry.
  • During the germination, maintain a temperature of 70-75°F.
  • If you live in a colder climate, use a heating pad underneath to boost germination.
  • You can use a humidity dome or a humidifier to maintain an overall humidity of around 60%.

The Christmas Cactus roots will form in 2-3 weeks after you sow them.

Tips to Care for Christmas Cactus Seeds After Propagation

  • A location within three feet of large south, east, or west-facing window with 8 hours of indirect sunlight would be ideal.
  • You can use artificial lighting in a darker apartment without natural light.
  • Christmas Cactus like higher humidity; hence, you can keep them in a bathroom or kitchen.
  • The pot should have suitable drainage holes in the bottom.
  • In the fall, when shoot growth stops, let the soil surface dry out in between waterings to reduce the likelihood of root rot.
  • Use all-purpose 20-20-20 fertilizer every 2-3 weeks from spring to ensure proper nutrients for your plant.
  • Maintain a stable temperature of 60-70°F.
  • Your plant may be susceptible to mealy bugs, so dab the cotton swab in 70% or less solution of rubbing alcohol in the infected area.

Christmas Cactus will bloom around 18 months after planting from seed under ideal conditions.

After the blooms, each Christmas Cactus flower will last at least six days. Similarly, it will continue to give new blooms for four to six weeks. 

Editor’s Note

Growing Christmas Cactus from seeds is as easy as you read above. Follow the steps and requirements mentioned above.

You can enjoy its beautiful blooms if you give them little love.

Good Luck!

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