Are clay pots good for Christmas cactus?

christmas cactus plant

QUESTION: Are clay pots good for Christmas cactus? I am repotting mine from the plastic pot it came in. – Linda R

ANSWER: Christmas cacti are well suited to clay pots due to their quickly-draining nature. Clay is a porous material, which provides good air circulation and conductive conditions. Clay pots absorb water, which makes checking the moisture levels of the soil a much easier task, as you can tell just by looking at the planter if the soil is moist, as the clay will turn dark when it is wet. 

Clay pots are also budget friendly, and are very easy to find in the same light brown uniform color, which provides consistency for decorative purposes. Granted, clay pots are not the most attractive containers you can use for your Christmas cacti, but they are cheap, accessible, quickly-draining, porous, and they look good, especially when used in groups. 

One negative about clay pots, however, is their durability. Drop a clay pot on a concrete surface, and it will shatter into pieces. Clay pots are especially fragile in the wintertime, as the cold weather stiffens the clay material, making the planters prone to cracking and even breaking due to cold weather exposure.

Clay pots also drain quickly, which is a positive in most scenarios, however, in the summertime, the quick-draining nature of clay pots can lead to the soil drying out much faster than normal. So, if you are using clay pots, pay extra close attention to the moisture levels in the soil to keep it from drying out. 

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