Repotting Houseplants to Hydroponics  . . .  
Repotting Christmas Cactus

Repotting Christmas Cactus into a hydroponic system is fun and easy. And your plants will love it!


Technically speaking, Christmas Cactus are "tropical" cactus, which makes them different from typical "desert" cactus.

Our Hydroponic System is an excellent way to grow Christmas Cactus. A water gauge tells you when and how much to water and the LECA pebbles promote excellent air flow through the plant's root system. 



Grower Tip: Repotting Christmas Cactus from soil to hydroponics can be risky for large, mature plants (more than 16-18" across). Christmas Cactus have delicate roots that get damaged when the soil is removed. Damaged roots can't deliver the moisture large plants need and the plant becomes stressed. Some plants simply can't recover. For these plants we recommend repotting into a terraponic system



Related: Plant Care for Christmas Cactus and Coaxing Them to Bloom



Repotting Christmas Cactus into Hydroponics

Best time for transferring Christmas Cactus is after blooming.

1. Always start with healthy plants.


2. Carefully remove plant from its grow pot.

3. Notice delicate root structure for these plants.

4. Soaking roots in water overnight helps loosen the soil and minimizes root damage.

5. Take your plant to sink and remove all the soil from the roots.

6. Root system with soil removed.

7. Choose a culture pot that's about the same size as existing pot. These plants grow best when root bound.

8. Fill botom of culture pot with LECA pebbles that have been soaking in water.



9. Position Christmas Cactus on top of pebbles.



10. Plant a little deeper than soil for stability. Hold plant in postion and gently push down.  Then add pebbles around roots.


11. Pack down pebbles. Be aggressive - no air gaps allowed!


12. Insert water gauge into culture pot.


13. Put plant in outer pot. 


13.  Good job! Your new Christmas Cactus will be happy in it's new home!

Plant Care After Repotting


Repotting Christmas Cactus into Terraponics


What is terraponics?

To avoid damaging the roots and stressing the plant, terraponic growing can be used for some plants. This is especially true for large, mature plants with delicate roots. If your Christmas Cactus is more than 10" across terraponic growing might be best. See Terraponic Growing for details.


1. Christmas Cactus have delicate roots that damage easily. With "terraponics" the entire root ball - including soil - is transferred to a hydroponic system.

2. Because we're keeping the entire root ball we need to choose a culture pot one size larger than existing pot.


3. Fill bottom of culture ppot with pebbles that have been soaking in water.


4. Position root ball (including soil) on top of layer of pebbles.


5. Add pebbles to fill the gap between the root ball and culture pot.


6. Pack down pebbles. Be aggressive - no air gaps allowed!

7. Root ball is sitting in a bed of LECA pebbles that will keep above the water reservoir. Pebbles will wick the nutrient solution up to the plant. 


8. Insert water gauge


9. Put culture pot and plant in outer pot.


10. New Christmas Cactus growing in a "terraponic" system.


Grower Tip: Terraponic plants require longer intervals between waterings because the soil root ball in the center stays wet longer. Always error on the dry side when growing with terraponics.



Plant Care for Christmas Cactus