Updated: Dec 7, 2019
Tricks to Get Your Christmas Cactus to Bloom Again
The Christmas cactus, or Schlumbergera buckleyi, is a beautiful and vibrant succulent. It has become an increasingly popular plant to have in the house, thanks to its wide range of colorful flowers and its bright bloom that happens around Christmastime. These amazing cacti can live for as many as 20 to 30 years. But maybe you’ve noticed that your Christmas cactus isn’t blooming like it did before. If that’s the case, here are some crafty tricks to make sure your cactus’s next bloom is as big and bold and beautiful as ever.
1. Watch your light exposure
The amount of light you provide your cactus with will ultimately have the biggest impact on whether it will bloom again or not. To start the blooming process, the cactus must be kept mostly in darkness, usually for at least 12-14 hours at a time. And that really does mean darkness. Even turning on a light in the evening during this 12-14 hour period can throw the buds off their blooming course. There are clever ways to get around this, like cover the cactus with a bag or place another flowerpot over top of it. This darkness is essential in allowing the flower buds to set. For the rest of the day, place the cactus in an area that is well-lit and out of any direct sunlight. Too much direct sunlight could risk drying out the stems. This cycle of prolonged darkness and brief sunlight needs to take place for about 8 weeks before the time when you want the flowers to bloom.
2. Keep a consistent temperature
Second most important to how much light the cactus gets is the temperature in which it’s sitting while this happens. The ideal temperature for a Christmas cactus to thrive is between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, while you want to keep the cactus away from sources of heat, like furnaces and fireplaces, you also want to keep it away from places that are prone to drafts. Sudden changes in temperature do nothing good for a budding Christmas cactus.
Want your Christmas Cactus to bloom like this?
Feed it with Organic Christmas Cactus Plant Food
3. Don’t overwater
The third thing to making sure your Christmas cactus will see another bloom is to dry it out a little. Overwatering the cactus can run the risk of enticing bugs with too much moisture and causing plant-related diseases. But how can you know when it’s time to water? The trick is simple: wait until the top ½-1 inch of soil is dry to the touch, then water it just enough to dampen the soil. Another thing you can do to keep your cactus thriving is to mist it. The Christmas cactus hails from Brazil and, unlike a desert cactus, is used to a more humid environment.
After following each of these steps, it should take about another 4 weeks before the flowers begin to bloom, but boy is it worth it. And while these are the top 3 tricks to helping your cactus bloom, you can also take other steps throughout the year to keep your cactus healthy, like fertilizing it and maintaining consistent environmental conditions.
Live toxin-free and feed your cactus a natural plant food. Buy Organic Christmas Cactus Plant Food made specifically for your Christmas Cactus exclusively by WLH.