How To Make Your Christmas Cactus Bloom For The Holidays
Now that the days are getting longer and the temps are cooling, the conditions are excellent for forcing Christmas Cactus bloom for the holidays. October is usually when Christmas Cacti will naturally begin forming buds, and to ensure the timing of your blooms, follow these simple steps:
Since all of the Holiday Cacti originate from the tropics, their requirements are a little different from the desert cactus. Christmas Cacti require even moisture, and if they become too dry, the buds will fall off.
1. A good rule of thumb is to water well when the top inch of the soil dries out.
Christmas Cacti also require a simulated “dormant period” in order to bloom.
2. Beginning in mid-October, make sure your Christmas Cactus gets about 12 hours of darkness per day for the following 6-8 weeks, or until buds form. Placing it in a room that you do not have a light on at night is the easiest way to do this, as the requirement for darkness corresponds to the naturally shortening days and lengthening nights of the changing seasons.
Christmas cacti do not tolerate extreme temperatures, so during the summer avoid prolonged direct sun, and during this time of year, avoid overly cold or drafty locations.
3. After the 6-8 weeks of daily, 12 hour darkness cycles described in Step 2 and once buds form, keep your Christmas Cactus in a light location allowing natural darkness cycles to occur at room temperatures between 55-75°F.
4. Pat yourself on the back and watch for a beautiful show of tropical color during the holidays!
My Pro Tip:
After your you enjoy your Christmas Cactus bloom, prune a few sections of each segment with your thumb to encourage it to branch out. If you lay the pinched segments in a empty pot of dirt, and keep it moderately moist, they will eventually take root and you can add to your collection or share with a friend!
If you find your Christmas Cactus frequently dries out or wilts, it may be time to move it to a larger container. Ideally, re-pot using a succulent mix, or make your own with a 2:1 mix of potting soil and sand or vermiculite.
If you like the Christmas Cactus, you may also like the Christmas Holly Goldfish Plant – both are available in our Greenhouse.
Order now and try the tips found in this blog for holiday Christmas Cactus bloom!
See you at Studley’s!