Your Christmas cactus may bloom on its own, but if it doesn’t, here’s what you need to do. Getting your Christmas cactus to bloom may take some effort, but it’s worth it when it’s filled with blooms.
If your plant doesn’t bloom in its first year, one reason may be that it’s simply adjusting to the dry air in your home. Finally, they are grown in a greenhouse with high humidity.
Remember, this is a tropical cactus, not a desert cactus. Christmas cactus plants do not grow well in dry conditions.
Christmas cactus, is a popular cactus with a flat stem divided into leaf-like segments and beautiful purple-red flowers. No other plant seems to rival its bizarre beauty or the number of questions its frustrated owners have about its care. With the Christmas cactus, the question is not how to grow it, but how to get it to bloom.
Here’s how to get your Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus blooming again:
1- Give him 12 to 14 hours of darkness every day. Light needs to be reduced approximately 8 weeks before desired flowering. As the sun changes and the days shorten, the plants I grow in my garden naturally experience periods of complete darkness.
If you want it to bloom around Thanksgiving, you need to start in early October.
2- Store in a dry place. Wait until the top quarter to half of the soil dries out before watering. This can be done every 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the temperature, mix, and the size and type of pot the plant is in.
3- Temperature between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, a cool room is best.
Place the plant in a bright location, away from direct midday sunlight and drafts. Try to make this space almost permanent, as Christmas cacti don’t like to move. Choose an east or west window as the best location for your plant. South-facing windows with shades are the next best solution.
How to Water
As a jungle plant, it requires more water and shade than most other cacti. But the term “more moisture” is relative. The soil should be moist, but not too wet. Never place plants in a dish of water. Too much water can cause root rot. Occasionally allow the soil to dry well before potting to prevent the soil from becoming acidic.
A few weeks without water won’t hurt him. In fact, too much care can be dangerous for plants.
How to fertilize
The growth of new leaves begins in spring. If this is the case, you can start fertilizing with a high-quality liquid fertilizer about every two weeks, following the instructions on the package.
Potting and repotting
The soil itself should be slightly richer in nutrients than other cacti. However, avoid using lime or bone meal as the plants prefer slightly acidic soil. A mixture of 2 parts high-quality cactus potting soil, 1 part coarse construction sand, and 1 part peat moss is ideal.
Use a pot that is not much larger than the diameter of the plant. Add a handful of soil. Insert the plant and spread out the roots. Now fill the pot to within half an inch (1.3 cm) of the edge and compact the soil firmly with your fingers.
Late spring is the best time to repot if necessary. Transfer the plant to a pot one size larger than its current size. Then place it outdoors in a cool place for the summer.
When the nights are cool in early fall, move the plant indoors and let it rest for 30 days. Place it in a cool, dark place and refrain from watering it for about a month. Then gradually increase exposure to sunlight and water supply outdoors.
Christmas cactus are short-day plants. As the days get shorter, flower buds begin to form. Most mistakes lead to delayed flowering or complete failure.