By Millie Hurst published
The Christmas cactus is a real fan-favorite thanks to its bright winter blooms and distinctive silhouette. It's also a natural sleep remedy - because it emits oxygen at night, it might just help you get a good night's sleep.
We think the Schlumbergera is one of the best Christmas plants for anyone looking for ways to add natural color into their homes, as it propagates easily and you don't need to be a plant expert to keep it alive.
Christmas plant that helps you sleep at night
James Folger is a plant expert and founder of The Stem. 'The Christmas Cactus is a fascinating plant,' he says. 'It releases oxygen at night instead of throughout the day, which we think is great news for quality of sleep!'
James says there is also evidence that cacti fight bad bacteria, and also significantly reduce harmful air ionization, such as those emitted from TVs and computers.
'We’d suggested banning screentime at night, adding a cactus or two, alongside some more air-purifying superstars, such as a snake plant or a peace lily, for the most sublime sleep ever,' he adds.
When it comes to how to grow a Christmas cactus, you'll be pleased to hear you can generally leave it to do its thing. You're more likely to kill it with kindness by overwatering it than anything else.
Daniel from rare plant retailer House of Kojo says you should keep the soil evenly moist. 'Allow some direct and indirect sun, near an east-facing window would be perfect,' he advises. 'To encourage your Christmas cactus to bloom again make sure it gets 10 hours of light and 14 hours of complete darkness,' he says.
Although the red and pink varieties are the most common types, you can also find Christmas cacti with white, purple, and orange flowers. Take note of our simple tips on how to make a Christmas cactus bloom to make sure yours is looking its best.
It blooms with flamboyant flowers for six to eight weeks in winter, making it a great gift. Likewise, it would make a lovely idea for a dining table centerpiece or a hallway side table. The rest of the year you can enjoy its green foliage.
Millie joined Gardeningetc in early 2021. At this time of year, she enjoys getting festive with some wreath making and loves creating a vibrant display of containers in her small urban garden. She loves picking up new plants at the local garden center and is never without some fresh flowers at home. Her favorite houseplant is her variegated pothos that's currently climbing its way over her bookshelves.
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