Whether you’re trying to get your Christmas cactus to bloom in time for the holidays, or you’re just wondering how to get your blooms to bloom when they seem to be gone, here’s expert advice.
Typically, 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’ll also know that whether it blooms again depends on proper room temperature and light levels. Can you “force” a plant to bloom again?
Below we’ve compiled our top tips for watering, lighting, and optimal temperatures so you can enjoy Christmas cactus blooms again.
How to Make a Christmas Cactus Bloom
Proper lighting conditions – a week with short days and long nights. In a typical northern hemisphere winter, there are about 8 hours of daylight and 16 hours of darkness. Put it on a windowsill in a room that’s rarely used, because even artificial light can mess it up.
Proper room temperature – Christmas cactus like cool temperatures, no higher than 18°C.
Bloom & Wild plant expert Keira Kay explains how to get a Christmas cactus to bloom: “For a second bloom, you need to reduce the amount of light it receives each day and make sure it’s kept in the dark for 12-14 hours.” In a cool room at –12 °C.
Rachel Martin of Patch Plants adds: “Christmas cacti like cooler temperatures and bloom more when the temperature drops below around 20°C (68°F). So keep them away from radiators.”
Correct Watering Rates – “You also need to water less and be careful to only water the top inches and only water again when it feels dry to the touch. This change in conditions forces the plants into a dormant period -” This is essential for the growth of new flowers in spring. ”
The Right Way to Fertilize – It’s important to know when to fertilize your Christmas cactus: The quick answer is to fertilize during the spring to fall growing season.
If you’ve done all this, your Christmas cactus should be blooming again.
When Do Christmas Cactus Usually Bloom?
Christmas cacti are winter bloomers, blooming from November to January.
Christmas cacti usually bloom only once, but you can encourage your plants to bloom again in the spring with the right conditions, such as short days and long nights and cool room temperatures.
How long does it take for a Christmas cactus to bloom again?
Keira Kay, plant expert at Bloom & Wild, said: “It takes six to eight weeks for the buds to appear and another eight to 12 weeks for the blooms to bloom.”
“Each bloom should last five to seven days, while the plant itself can take three to six weeks to bloom.”
Why is my Christmas cactus blooming but not sprouting?
Reasons for a Christmas cactus to bloom but not sprout include: the room is too hot, too cold, or well ventilated; too much moisture; and too many buds.
Root rot may occur if the Christmas cactus is grown in moist soil. Ideally, let the top inch of soil dry out before watering again—and make sure the pot drains well. Otherwise, you should consider replanting your Christmas cactus into a more suitable container.
In terms of room temperature, secondary sprouting requires a cooler room than primary sprouting – 10-12°C for secondary sprouting; 15 to 21°C (60–70°F) for primary sprouting.
If the plant is too full, consider pruning – removing older stems at the base. You can propagate Christmas cacti, so this is a great opportunity.
Some Reasons Why Isn’t Your Blooming
1. The weather is too Warm
Christmas cacti need to experience a drop in temperature to let the plant know it’s time to bloom. If your plant is in the warmest part of your home, near a south-facing window, try placing it next to a north-facing window or near a door. Cool air coming from an open and closed door should be a sign that winter is coming.
2. You gave it much love all summer
Until I started my gardening blog, I never understood how much people love watering their plants. While your Christmas cactus may need a glass of water every week or two, it can get through the summer if neglected. It sounds counterintuitive, but the plant actually needs a period of near-dryness before it can signal to start blooming in winter.
Blessed are the lazy drinkers! Finally there’s a plant that won’t die even if you forget about it for a month.
3.No need to be repot
Christmas cactus actually like to be rooted. who knows
Wait until the plant is 3-4 years old or the roots start to grow through the drainage holes before repotting, and choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the current pot. Finally, make sure to use a high-quality potting soil made specifically for succulents.
4.It’s not actually a christmas cactus
Did you know that there are actually three different types of cacti that look like Christmas cacti? There are Thanksgiving Cactus, Christmas Cactus, and Easter Cactus. If you’ve tried everything in this article and still haven’t bloomed, you may just have a different cactus than you first imagined.
Credit: Home Gardening