Christmas cactus

A Christmas cactus is part of a seasonally-named cactus group that springs into action about the time of certain holidays. (Easter and Thanksgiving cacti are two more examples.) But if your cactus never buds up or show flowers, here are a few ideas to give it a boost.

Tropical flowers and fruitThe problem could be watering or room temperature. These cacti are from the rainforest, so keeping them too dry might actually be counterproductive. Make sure they have well-drained soil that’s as close to its native soil as possible.

In fall, if the night time temperatures drops to 50 or 55 degrees for two to four weeks, you’ll have a flowering cactus for Christmas. If the night time temperature stays between 60 and 70, you can probably forget about having a flowering cactus.

For the in-between temperatures, 60 to 70, you may be able to force blooming. You can cover the plant to 15 hours from about October onwards, or put them in a place where they’ll get no light. This continues until buds form; avoid disturbing the plant as much as possible. Watch out for too-low humidity or drafts, as these can cause buds to drop off.

Also remember that homes are typically warmer than the outside, so you might be able to reduce the environmental temperature by having a room without heating or having the cactus close to a window. Some experimentation and TLC is required.

Do you have a Christmas cactus? Do you think it is going to flower? We’d love to hear about it in our comments below.

DaFlores does not, as it turns out, have Christmas cacti. We do, however, offer a wide variety of Christmas gifts, flowers and baskets. Just find your way to the Christmas category in each country, and see the wonderful, hand-arranged beauties you can send to you loved one’s doorstep.

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