According to Keira Kay, it will take six to eight weeks for the buds to form and another eight to twelve weeks for the plant to reach full bloom. “Each bloom should last between five and seven days, although the plant’s flowering period can last between three and six weeks.”
How can I maintain the blooms on my Christmas cactus?
They favor direct, bright light. As the plants start to burn in full light, the leaf segments might turn a dark red color. The two factors of light and temperature are the “secret” to getting Christmas cacti to bloom the years after purchase. These two hold the secret to the realm of flowers.
A Christmas cactus can it bloom year-round?
In November or December, your Christmas cactus plant blossomed profusely, and now you’re wondering if you’ll have to wait a whole year for it to bloom once more. The unexpected response is: Nope! The appropriate (and somewhat severe) conditions can cause holiday cactus to bloom once more after the season has passed. What must be done to ensure a repeat blossoming in February?
What causes the Christmas cactus to bloom?
At the Information Desk, we occasionally receive inquiries that appear more complicated than they actually are. “Why is my Christmas Cactus flowering in March?” was this week’s riddle. This is actually pretty easy to answer: Because it is an Easter Cactus and not a Christmas Cactus.
Most people imagine Christmas Cactus when they see this plant. By the end of the year, you can get them almost anywhere – in grocery stores, big-box retailers, or even in white, red, or pink hues.
Three distinct cactus from the same family have collectively come to be known as “Christmas Cactus.” What most people mistakenly believe to be a “Christmas cactus” is actually a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter cactus. How do you distinguish between the two? Is it currently in bloom? Which month is it now? Is it early November, late December, or the end of winter/beginning of spring? You may get a major hint from that. The leaves, though, are where you can really tell them apart.
The leaf parts of all three plants are mushy and flat. The edges of the leaves on Thanksgiving cactus are longer and curled. The Easter cactus has only gently scalloped leaf margins, whereas the Christmas cactus has smaller, more right-angle-like projections. These succulents are part of the Schlumbergera genius of succulents (although Easter cactus has multiple accepted names: Schlumbergera gaertneri, Phipsalidopsis gaertnerii, Rhipsalidopsis gaetneri or Hatiora gaetneri). The Brazilian woodlands are home to all three.
These cacti have a very long lifespan and are frequently passed down within families from one generation to the next. This image is from a Bismarck Tribune article about a family’s cactus, which is 111 years old. Writer Ann Parr wrote about her family’s 150+ year old cactus in response to a news article about a 145 year old cactus owned by a family in Bozeman, Montana.
“Christmas Cactus” is a deceptive popular name. These plants are not drought-resistant, sun-loving cactus. Due to their native habitat of the treetops of Brazil’s coastal mountain ranges, they want bright, filtered sunlight and regular watering to prevent their potting soil from drying up altogether. They thrive in pots, which makes them much simpler to care for since they don’t need to be replanted.
They should be cared for like a houseplant once the blossoms have faded. They should be watered frequently and should be in bright light but not direct sunlight. If their pots are put in dappled shade, they are watered frequently, and they are taken inside before nightly lows of 50 degrees Fahrenheit, they can be cultivated outside during the summer. You may have a healthy, happy plant by fertilizing it once a year in late spring or early summer.
How to get Christmas Cactus to bloom again after the first year is the most typical query people have about them. Cooler temperatures and extended nights are necessary for blooms. Because they are short-day plants, these cacti bloom when it is a long, cool, dark night. For between 3 and 6 weeks, they require between 14 and 16 hours of nonstop darkness and 8 hours of daylight to form flower buds. You can either choose a room in your home that is rarely used at night and install them near a window, or cover streetlights and interior lights each night to maintain their required darkness cycle. It will be much better if the room’s temps are a little lower. Their preferred overnight temperature ranges from 50 to 68 degrees. You can return the plant to its original location in your house as flower buds start to form along the leaf edges so you can enjoy the blossoms.
Be cautious while including them in drafts. Bud decline may result from drafts. A few buds falling off is typical, but if the plant loses all of its buds at once due to a draft, you’re out of luck for another year.
You may get a lovely, free leaflet about the maintenance and growth of Holiday Cactus from Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University here.
What should I do with a blooming Christmas cactus?
Christmas is typically not a time when desert-dwelling flora are highlighted because the holiday generally honors brisk pine tree forests, chilly temperatures, and snowfall. The Christmas Cactus is an exception, though, as it is indigenous to Brazil’s rainforests. It’s difficult to miss this plant during the season with its long flat stems and beautifully colored flowers. The Christmas Cactus will offer you tons of flowers in pinks, reds, purples, and white while it’s tough to get your other cactus to bloom. Possibly not always the colors of the season, but nonetheless lovely.
Perhaps you saw one at the florist or your neighbor decided to give you a Christmas Cactus as a gift in appreciation for your assistance in setting up the lights (well done!). You’re unsure of what to do with it as it sits in your living room, however it got there. You could be a little confused by the fact that it’s a cactus because they are frequently associated with moodiness around water. But unlike its relatives, this cactus is not terrified of water and has very few sharp parts, so it won’t bite. Discover how to take care of your Christmas cactus by reading on.
No life jacket requiredWatering your Christmas Cactus
The Christmas Cactus adores the water, contrary to what you might be used to (swimming, water polo, and perhaps even a little skinny dipping!) It prefers to have regular waterings that thoroughly wet the soil. Despite the fact that you should let the soil dry up a little bit in between your planned waterings, you should never let it become fully dry. This may impede the growth of your plant and lead it to lose all of the carefully tended flowers!
Warm hugsDon’t give your cacti the cold shoulder
The ideal temperature range for your Christmas Cactus should be between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius, despite the fact that hugging cacti is generally not advised. Like any warm-blooded plant, try to keep it away from drafts and vents. For these guys, a constant temperature is optimal. Although bright light is preferred, excessive amounts of direct sunlight can burn the stems.
A life after ChristmasWhat to do with your Christmas Cactus after the season
Deadhead all the wasted blooms to keep your cacti looking their best during and after the Christmas season. Additionally, this stimulates the plant to keep on blooming. You can continue to enjoy your cacti after Christmas until it eventually stops blooming. But once it does, don’t get rid of it! Whether or not they bloom, these cacti make stunning houseplants. And chances are it will blossom for you once more the next year, and occasionally even in the midst of the year. (Bonus!)
You can prune it at the start of the summer by cutting back a few of the stems’ lankier portions. Similar to getting a haircut, this fosters further growth and allows it to blossom once more.
Whether or not it is the holiday season, your Christmas Cactus will stand out from the rest of your houseplants thanks to its tall stalks and vivid blossoms! Enjoy its distinctive design in your house.
When a Christmas cactus is blooming, should you water it?
Maintain a comfortable temperature of 65 degrees. Watering: Mist your plant frequently when it is in bloom to keep the soil equally moist.
How long is the lifespan of a Christmas cactus?
During the holidays, the Christmas cactus may be seen everywhere, and with good cause. It’s a blooming succulent that requires little maintenance, produces lovely blooms, and, with the right care, can last up to 100 years! That is correct! This plant may endure for a long time, bringing color to your holidays for many years. For a plant that is as cheap and uncomplicated as the Christmas cactus, that’s a fairly great investment!
When should I illuminate my Christmas cactus?
Place the mature plant in a dark room or keep it covered (under a box or bag works good) for at least 12 hours each day in late September or early October.
How do I get my cactus to bloom?
Cacti and succulents prefer summer and winter seasons, as well as a clear variation between night and day temperatures. Succulents prefer colder outdoor nighttime temperatures of 50-550F (10-130C) or at least 60-650F indoor nighttime temperatures (15-180C). Succulents prefer a noticeable contrast between their night and day temperatures to imitate their natural habitat, with the low night temperatures playing a crucial role in the plant’s growth cycle, especially when kept in a controlled setting.
If you want to see your succulents and cacti bloom, overwintering is also crucial. For desert cacti in particular, this can be accomplished by keeping plants cool and largely dry over the winter. During the winter, keep them at a comfortable temperature of between 35 and 440 °F (1.5-70C). If maintained indoors during the winter, try to keep them in an unheated room or keep the temperature low to provide them the necessary cold winter season. This does not apply to holiday cacti, such as Rhipsalis, Schlembergera, and Hatiora, which have different moisture and temperature needs than desert cacti (see below for Holiday cactus blooming tips).
Make sure the plants are kept in a bright area and receive enough sunshine throughout the year, including during the darker winter months. Most succulents and cacti require at least 4-6 hours of bright sunshine every day, if not more. Some plants require filtered but bright light to avoid solar damage since they cannot withstand harsh, full sun. Lack of light causes plants to gradually etiolate, become paler, and spread out in search of more light. To provide adequate lighting, place indoor plants in windows with a south or east orientation. If more light is required indoors, think about using grow lights. Lack of sunshine stunts the growth of succulent plants, and they are unlikely to blossom as effectively.
Giving your plants the nutrition they require instead of fertilizing them will assist maintain healthy growth and promote blooms. Flowers require a lot of energy to grow, therefore giving plants more nutrients during flowering season will assist meet their nutritional requirements. The best time to fertilize is during the active growing season, which is in the spring and summer. Fertilizers work best when applied every two weeks at a quarter- or half-strength. Avoid fertilizing during the winter and towards the conclusion of the fall growing season. It is acceptable and typical to use a balanced fertilizer blend that has been diluted to half strength. Cacti and succulent-specific fertilizer mixtures are also appropriate.
Although cacti and succulents can store water, they still require frequent watering during the active growing season. Regular watering helps to guarantee that they don’t lose all the water they need to store for growth. Regular watering also improves their ability to resist the hotter summer sun. Water plants thoroughly during the active growing season until water begins to leak out of the pot’s openings. Don’t water again until the soil has dried out. Before watering, check the top inch of the soil for moisture. During the hot summer months, watering should be done more frequently; during the chilly winter months, less frequently. Succulents and cacti suffer from overwatering, so make sure to let the soil dry out in between waterings.
Succulents and cacti require a well-draining soil in addition to suitable watering methods. Cacti and succulents don’t like to sit in water. If left moist for too long, their roots are prone to rot. The capacity of a succulent potting mix to drain efficiently is its most crucial requirement. You have the option of using store-bought potting soil or making your own for succulents. Giving them the proper medium increases their chances of flourishing and blossoming. Keeping your plants content will boost blooming.
After my cactus blooms, what do I do?
BEFORE removing, look for seeds that could procreate. If you are familiar with the names of the flowering cacti in your yard, do some research to discover if they are capable of producing seeds. If so, seeds may be found inside the flower or in a pod close to the flowering area. Before being planted, seeds may need to mature. This is an excellent method of expanding your current cacti.
when it is 30 years old or older, it blooms. Others require specific circumstances, such as certain
Does Christmas cactus benefit from Epsom salt?
The winter solstice, which occurs on December 21 in the Northern Hemisphere, is the day and night with the shortest lengths of the year.
Christmas cacti, poinsettias, kalanchoes, and chrysanthemums are a few common plants that people give as gifts during the holidays. Their flowering is perfectly timed for the shorter days that we enjoy during this season.
The development of flower buds in many plants is influenced by how much light the plants receive. “Photoperiodism” refers to a plant’s response to the length of the day. While some plants flower as the days get shorter, others do so as the days become longer. Some plants are neutral, meaning that day length has no direct impact on flowering.
Brazilian Christmas cacti are common indoor plants that come in a wide range of hues, including red, rose, purple, lavender, peach, orange, cream, and white. In shaded rain forests, these plants thrive as epiphytes among tree branches, and their cascading stems make them an excellent choice for hanging baskets. If the plants are managed at a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit, flowering can last seven to eight weeks.
During this time of year, customers frequently phone the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office upset because their Christmas cacti or other short-day indoor plants did not bloom. They are frequently shocked to discover that if these plants are kept indoors year-round, the artificial light in the home can interfere with their natural cycle of exposure to sunshine. In order to simulate natural daylight exposure with shorter days, it becomes a difficulty.
One option is to put these plants near a window in a room that receives only natural light, turning off the artificial lighting at night. A different choice is to keep these plants outside as long as you can in the fall and then bring them inside just before the risk of freezing weather. In the Atlanta region, this typically means keeping the majority of tropical indoor plants outside until close to the end of October. Short-day plants are already set to begin flowering during the approaching holidays at this point.
On his porch, my grandfather used to keep a Christmas cactus all summer long in a hanging basket before taking it inside just before the first freeze each year. It was a large plant that would blossom in large numbers between Thanksgiving and Christmas. He maintained this plant for almost ten years, and it gave him a lot of Christmas delight.
A Christmas cactus has the advantage of not losing leaves like poinsettias or other houseplants, which is one of its many advantages. Because Christmas cactus lack genuine leaves, photosynthesis takes place inside the green stem segments known as phylloclades. To encourage branching terminals for more flowers, pinch back the stems in the first few weeks of June. You can also utilize stem portions with three to five segments to root new plants.
Temperature control and photoperiod (control of day and night length) control are key factors in the fall flower bud formation of Christmas cacti. Before flower buds will set, each night must have at least 14 hours of nonstop darkness.
For a full bud set, long nights must begin around the middle of September and last for at least six weeks. Be aware that even two hours of intermittent lighting can prevent flower buds from setting. Typically, buds will appear in approximately four weeks. Once the buds are set, the photoperiod has little impact on flowering.
Christmas cacti may live in dry, marginally submerged environments in the spring and summer. Avoid letting the soil become soggy, especially during the lengthy winter evenings. To stop flower buds from dropping off after bud set in the fall, the soil must be kept consistently moist. In the saucer underneath the pot, never let water stand.
From the time new growth begins in late winter or early spring through the summer, fertilize plants every month using a liquid fertilizer of half strength, such as 20-20-20 with trace elements. Compared to many plants, Christmas cacti have a greater magnesium need. Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) should be used as a fertilizer every month during the growing season; however, it should not be used the same week as conventional fertilizer. Stop fertilizing in the late summer to increase the formation of bloom buds in the fall.