What Does A Christmas Cactus Bloom Look Like

For at least six to eight weeks, or until buds start to form, the Christmas cactus plants should continue to be treated with dark, chilly conditions. It often takes up to 12 weeks (or less) for flowers to appear after buds have grown. At this point, the plant should also be moved.

The Christmas cactus should be moved to a bright, draft-free place. However, keep it out of direct sunlight to prevent the plant from looking drooping. Additionally, drafty regions might cause the buds to fall off before they have bloomed. More indirect, brilliant sunlight will result in more blossoming on the plant. As plants in pots, Christmas cacti also bloom more effectively.

While the amount of watering may be increased during blooming, this will depend on the light, temperature, and humidity levels that the plant is now experiencing.

The plant will not only blossom if you push a Christmas cactus to bloom by providing it with the necessary care, the perfect location, and the ideal light and temperature conditions, but it can also pleasantly surprise you by continuing to produce blooms throughout the year.

It would be easier for you to appreciate the gorgeous blossoms on this well-known plant if you know how to make a Christmas cactus bloom.

What shade are the Christmas cactus’ blooms?

A large number of Christmas cacti are in bloom across the stores during the holiday season. They have vibrant red, pink, yellow, orange, white, or purple blossoms. The typical gardener can’t help but grasp one or more of them in vibrant hues and dash for the checkout.

What causes the blooming of a Christmas cactus?

Understanding the qualities of the Christmas cactus is vital before getting into the specifics of how to bloom this plant. Thanksgiving or holiday cactus, sometimes known as Christmas cactus. Despite being identified as “Compared to its relatives in the desert, the Christmas cactus requires drastically different maintenance. This plant thrives in more tropical environments because it is a forest cactus. They favor richer, more organic potting soil, as well as bright, indirect light. Don’t allow their soil to become very dry because they require more water than other succulent plants.

Fall is when they blossom, usually in the first few days of November.

The &nbsp “Three things are necessary to get them to bloom: little watering, light, and temperature.

When does the Christmas cactus bloom?

Christmas cacti are highly common indoor plants, and for good reason too! They produce vibrant, tubular flowers that are pink or purple in hue when they bloom. They are a superb plant because of their lovely blossoms, lengthy bloom period, and simple maintenance needs. Someone in your family most likely owns a Christmas cactus!

About Christmas Cacti

The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) and its cousins don’t exist in hot, arid conditions like deserts or plains, in contrast to other cacti. These epiphytic succulents, which grow on tree branches and take in the high humidity, dappled sunlight, and moderate temperatures, are actually endemic to the tropical rainforests of southern Brazil.

Bottom line: Don’t handle a Christmas cactus like a typical succulent or cactus. They are unable to withstand the same kind of hot, dry weather that other cactus can. These cacti require more frequent watering than most succulents, but you also need to be careful not to overwater them. (See the care guidelines in more detail below.)

Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas Cactus?

The Easter cactus (S. gaertneri), Thanksgiving cactus (S. truncata), and Christmas cactus are the three main varieties of “holiday cacti” that are available (S. x buckleyi). The holiday that each cactus is named after often sees the most blooming. Thanksgiving cacti, which often bloom from November to February and hence go unrecognized as Christmas cacti, make up the majority of “Christmas cacti” sold nowadays. See our post on the several Christmas cacti species and how to distinguish them for more information.

Note: Because it’s the most widely used term and it applies to all three of these species, we’ll refer to all three of them on this page as “Christmas cactus” for simplicity’s sake.

Potting Christmas Cacti

  • Choose a pot with a drainage hole on the bottom if you’re choosing one for a Christmas cactus. This prevents the soil from getting overly saturated.
  • Most succulent-specific potting mixtures work well for Christmas cacti growth. It’s crucial that your potting soil drains properly.

Where to Put a Christmas Cactus

  • Plants should be kept in indirect light that is bright. The best location has an east-facing window or a well-lit bathroom. The delicate leaves might be bleached by too much direct sunshine.
  • It is preferable to have a daytime temperature of 70F (21C) and an evening temperature of 60–65F (15–18C).
  • Christmas cacti do well in a more humid climate, so keeping them in a well-lit bathroom or kitchen is a smart idea.
  • Christmas cacti can be kept in a shady area of the garden or on an unheated porch during the summer until the temperature drops below 50F. (10C). Keep them away from the sun’s rays outside.

How to Care for Christmas Cacti

  • Water your plants every two to three weeks, but only when the top third of the soil feels dry to the touch. If the plant is in 6 inches of soil, for instance, water when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry. (Check with your finger!)
  • When the soil is completely dry, wet it until water seeps through the drainage holes in the pot. To collect the water, put a tray underneath the pot. To prevent the pot from sitting in water, remove any extra water on the tray after 10 to 15 minutes.
  • While the plant is in bloom, it’s very crucial to water thoroughly.
  • Feed your indoor plants with a balanced houseplant fertilizer every two weeks from spring through early fall. Feed the cactus once a month in the fall and winter to promote fruitful blooming.
  • To promote branching and more flowers, prune plants in the late spring. Simply cut a portion of each stem off; the plant will grow new branches from the incision.
  • If desired, plant the cut pieces in potting soil that is only gently damp; they will easily root after a few weeks and make wonderful Christmas gifts!

How to Get Your Christmas Cactus to Bloom

The longer evenings and chilly weather of fall are what cause Christmas cacti and its relatives to bloom. The three major varieties of holiday cacti typically bloom on the following schedule:

  • Thanksgiving cactus typically produce flowers from late October through mid-winter, making them the earliest and longest bloomers.
  • Christmas cacti often bloom in the early to midwinter months.
  • Easter cacti flower around the middle of spring through late winter.

If your cactus isn’t flowering, it can be getting too much light or being exposed to too much heat. Here are some suggestions to help you get blooms from yours!

  • For a minimum of six weeks, the nights must be at least 14 hours long and the days between 8 and 10 hours. You might need to cover your cactus or relocate it to an area that is exposed to the natural light cycle if you have powerful interior lighting that is on at night.
  • When the plant is kept at temps between 50 and 60F, flower buds form best (10 and 15C).
  • By subjecting the plant to temps around 45F (7C) for a number of nights in a succession, you can jumpstart the budding process.
  • While the plant is in bloom, be sure to water it consistently. The plant may lose its buds if it dries out too much.
  • Don’t worry if the cactus loses its buds one winter; the following year it should bloom.

The three primary varieties of “holiday cacti” are as follows:

  • Often mistaken for Christmas cacti, Thanksgiving cacti (Schlumbergera truncata) bloom from late October to mid-winter.
  • Christmas cacti (S. x buckleyi) flower in the early to midwinter months.
  • Late winter to mid-spring is the blooming period for Easter cacti (S. gaertneri).
  • Make sure to water your Christmas cactus frequently and keep it cool when the buds on the plant appear ready to open.
  • The optimum time to propagate cuttings is late spring when most holiday cacti start to grow after their winter hibernation.

Blossom loss: Your Christmas cactus will probably lose its blossoms if it experiences any kind of stress. As mentioned in the plant care section above, this could be caused by the amount of light or a sudden shift in temperature. Make sure your soil doesn’t become overly dry while buds are developing.

The plant could be vulnerable to mealy bugs and root rot if overwatered. If you experience issues, remove the affected sections and repot the plant in fresh soil.

How often does a Christmas cactus bloom each year?

Whichever one you have, it’s possible for them to bloom more than once a year. For Your Reference, Here Are A Few Of Our General Houseplant Guides: Watering Indoor Plants: A Guide.

After the Christmas cactus blooms, what should you do?

Remember that the Christmas cactus enjoys ordinary to high humidity levels, with temperatures ranging from 60 to 70 degrees F (15-21 degrees C). More humidity can be added to the house by setting a plate of pebbles filled with water underneath the Christmas cactus container. By providing proper hydration, avoiding exposure to chilly drafts, unvented heaters, or hard handling, you may assist the plant retain its bud set. Bud growth may be hampered by nighttime temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

After Flowering

The Christmas cactus should be allowed to start its dormant cycle by reducing hydration, light, and temperature once all flowering has stopped (often by fall) or around six to eight weeks before you want the plant to rebloom. These plants need shorter days and chilly nights after blooming. Once the plant has done blooming, it begins to actively grow.

Reduce the amount of watering you give the plant, and make sure it has 12–14 hours of darkness each night and typical temperatures of 50–55 F. (10-12 C.). Along with avoiding drafty regions and abrupt changes in moisture, temperature, or sunlight, keep the Christmas cactus away from them as well.

Possible Issues

There could be a few causes if your lovely plant doesn’t bear many flowers or starts to lose its buds. Try giving it 13 nonstop hours of complete darkness at night. The Christmas cactus may respond to a sudden dip in temperature by withholding or removing its blossoms. A delicate cloth or swab dipped in alcohol can be used to gently brush away mealy bugs, aphids, and scale, which are sporadic visitors.

How long do the flowers on Christmas cacti last?

When do you want flowers for Thanksgiving or Christmas? To find the autumnal starting date for the plant’s reblooming preparations, go back eight weeks. When buds start to emerge, up the frequency of watering but not the amount of water utilized. Moving the pot around or adding too much water may both cause the buds to fall. The Christmas cactus will have four to six weeks of flowering, with each blossom lasting between six and nine days. After the plant has flowered, pinch off enough pieces from each stem to create a uniform habit. When new growth starts to form, start watering and fertilizing normally again.

Direct sunshine is necessary for Christmas cacti, but take steps to avoid the scorching midday summer sun: If you decide to keep your plant inside during the warm months, move it away from the window by a few feet to prevent the stems from becoming burned. Even if the plant is put outside, it still requires protection during the height of the sun’s rays.

Why did the color of the Christmas cactus flower change?

Did you know that Christmas Cactus make hardy houseplants? Christmas Cactus are frequently sold throughout the holiday season. Both indoors and outdoors, I find them to be incredibly simple to grow, and mine always bloom once a year, typically twice.

They are absolutely fantastic, but like any plants, they can have faults and problems. I decided to write this piece because the leaves on my client’s Christmas cactus had turned orange. It seemed like too fantastic of a chance to miss.

Let’s get a little more technical for those of you who are plant nerds like me. Thanksgiving (or crab) cactus is what you are seeing here and in the video instead of Christmas cactus. It was marked as a CC when I purchased it, and that is how it is frequently offered for sale in the trade.

These days, they might be identified as Holiday Cactus. Any of them could experience this, no matter which one you have.

This plant is turning a deep bronze from its too orange state. The leaves are scraggly and sagging.

When under stress from the environment or culture, plants change hue. This one changed to a deep orange/brown/bronze color—the exact shade is up for debate! mostly as a result of water shortage. It has occasionally gotten a little too much sun. Dehydration is evident in the leaves’ thinness and wrinkles, which can be seen if you look closely at them.

At least six years ago, I purchased this Holiday Cactus at the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market. It was a piece of the Christmas dish garden I created for my client’s front porch table. She resides on the coast approximately a quarter mile from the Pacific, one and a half hours south of San Francisco. This plant has managed to live despite the other plants having long since moved to the compost pail. Oh, and did I mention how tough Christmas cacti are? This is evidence!

Unlike the desert cactus that Tucson is covered in, these succulents are epiphytic cacti. Christmas Cacti grow on other plants and rocks, not in the soil, in their native rainforest habitats. They are shielded from full, direct sunlight by the canopies of trees and plants, and they flourish in this environment.

Changing Color

Christmas Cactus can become orange, brown, or golden when exposed to much sunlight because they prefer shade from it. Yellow leaves may also be an indication of excessive sunlight or moisture. In Santa Barbara, my Thanksgiving Cactus was an outside plant that turned burgundy or purple in the winter as a response to the chilly weather.

Early in December, the Thanksgiving Cactus was lying on its side on the opposite end of the front porch when I first went to my client’s house. She is close to the Pacific, so at least some moisture is provided by the fog where she resides. That, in my opinion, is what has kept it going.