Whether you want to make your Christmas cactus bloom in time for the festive season, or simply want to know how to make it bloom if it seems to have stopped producing flowers entirely, we have expert advice below.
© Getty Images
Usually, Christmas cactus, also known as Thanksgiving cactus or holiday cactus, blooms from November to January, but if you know how to grow a Christmas cactus, you will also know that getting it to bloom again will depend on getting both room temperature and light levels right. Plus, can you ‘force’ the plant to bloom again?
We’ve rounded up top tips on watering, lighting and the perfect temperature below so you can enjoy your Christmas cactus’ blooms again.
How to make a Christmas cactus bloom
The Christmas cactus can be made to bloom again if is subjected to:
The right light conditions – a week’s worth of short days and long nights. A typical northern hemisphere winter will give you approximately 8 hours of daylight and 16 hours of darkness. Put it on a windowsill in a room that’s rarely used, since even artificial lights will confuse it.
The right room temperature – Christmas cactus likes cool temperatures, no higher than 60ºF.
Keira Kay, Bloom & Wild plant expert, explains how to make a Christmas cactus bloom: ‘For a second flowering, you will need to reduce the amount of light it’s subject to each day, ensuring it’s in the dark 12-14hrs, and stored in a cool room, with a temperature around 50-54ºF (10-12ºC).
Rachel Martin, of Patch Plants, adds: ‘Christmas cactus likes quite a cool temperature and will produce more flowers if kept below about 68ºF (20°C), so keep her well clear of radiators.’
The right level of watering – ‘You would also need to cut back on watering, being careful to only water the top inch, and only watering again when it’s dry to the touch, this change in conditions will force the plant into a dormancy period – which is vital for new spring flowers.’
The right fertilization approach – knowing when to fertilize Christmas cactus is important: the quick answer is to do so in growing season, from spring to fall.
If you do all this you should make your Christmas cactus bloom again.
When does the Christmas cactus usually bloom?
The Christmas cactus is a winter-bloomer and comes into flower from November through January.
How many times a year will a Christmas cactus bloom?
The Christmas cactus will bloom typically once, however, you can prompt your plant into flowering again in spring with the correct conditions, for example by ensuring it has a short-day, long-night environment and cool room temperatures.
Article by Ruth Doherty for Homes and Gardens
Source: How to make a Christmas cactus bloom – from Thanksgiving onwards (msn.com)