Is Your Christmas Cactus Not Blooming?
Is your Christmas cactus not blooming? The darn things are fussy I tell you, downright fussy! My first Christmas cactus I received as a gift. It met a horrible fate. I swore to stick with poinsettias.
My grandmother’s Christmas Cactus the other hand always had blossomed and bloomed each Christmas. It thrived. I asked for some advice. Wanting to give this plant another shot.
A Christmas Cactus Isn’t a Desert Plant
All along I had figured that the Christmas cacti were a desert plant. I assumed cactus and thought of desert. It ISN”T. The plant grows in moist, humid conditions. It needs moist soil at all times.
They Don’t Care For Change
If you purchase a Christmas cactus or receive one as a gift, assume it will lose all the blossoms it currently has. The cacti don’t like to be moved once it buds. The growing conditions will not be the same. A suggestion, if you want a wonderful blooming cactus for Christmas, purchase it around Thanksgiving. The plant will need to re-adjust to it’s living arrangements. After it loses its blooms, it most certainly can bloom by Christmas. Follow steps 3 and 4 below.
They Like It Outside
I live in Wisconsin. They love to be outside during the summer months, right up until late fall.
1.) Place the plant up next to your house or in a protected safe harbor from winds. Be sure this spot doesn’t get harsh mid-day sun.
2.) Allow the plant to live outdoors from 60 degrees, right up until fall of about 35 degrees. Normally, my nights start getting around 35 degrees in mid-October. The plant comes in at that time.
3.) Place the cacti in a sunny window on a porch or place that dips only around the 60 degree mark at night. If you have temps around the 65 mark you have to bag your plant at night. Yep, you read that correctly. It is not a mistake. Higher temp means you bag it. If it is 70 degrees or better at night, your plant will not bloom. Move the plant from the window spot to the cooler place at night if you have to.
4.) Be sure that after your plant blooms, you keep up the cooler nights. The plant needs the cooler nights to bud and blossom. After it blossoms for Christmas, the plant then can stay green for me – it has done it’s job.
Guess what! I can get the cacti to bloom now. It is just a matter of understanding what they want, when.