When Should I Put My Christmas Cactus In The Dark

Put your Christmas cactus in complete darkness for at least 12 hours every day, beginning in October, to start blooming. In time for the holidays, the plant will have around eight weeks to develop buds and blossom as a result. To encourage your Christmas cactus to bloom again in February after the holiday flowering time, keep up this same pattern.

How long can a Christmas cactus live?

Christmas cacti can survive up to 100 years or longer if given the right care. Even news stories of families passing on their Christmas cacti to future generations as living heirlooms have been documented, such as this one about a particularly resilient plant that dates back to the 1860s. Wow!

The majority of Christmas cacti, however, only live for 20 to 30 years with proper care, despite the fact that they can last for decades and brighten your home every holiday season. By that time, the plants typically perish from widespread problems including overwatering, underwatering, freezing weather (if they spend part of the year outside), pests, illnesses, loss of interest, or simple neglect.

Help, my Christmas cactus is yellowing!

Yikes! Your watering routine is typically to blame if your Christmas cactus doesn’t seem to be growing well. These creatures require more water than desert cacti, but they also don’t want their soil to be wet.

You’re probably not watering your Christmas cactus enough if the leaves are becoming wrinkled and appear withered. You possibly overdid it if they’re more mushy and yellow-black in color. To get rid of any rotten roots and repot your plant in dry soil, you might need to uproot it.

Why are the leaves on my Christmas cactus limp?

Wilted leaves are frequently caused by improper watering because it is simple to provide too much water (rather than not enough). A Christmas cactus’ weak or drooping leaves are typically the result of either damp soil or root rot. If you have one issue, it will almost certainly lead to another.

Make sure that any extra water you give your Christmas cactus drains slowly but steadily through the drainage holes. If not, your potting soil may be too dense and may not be working. To promote aeration, you can repot the plant in bromeliad soil or fluff it up with perlite.

During the spring through winter growing season, keep the soil lightly moist; only water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. After the flowering season is over, it’s good to allow the soil get a little bit dry in the middle of winter between waterings, but don’t let it get completely parched.

Is a Christmas cactus toxic to cats and dogs?

I’ll keep this short: no. The ASPCA states that Christmas cacti are not dangerous, despite the fact that ingesting any plant may cause some mild vomiting or diarrhea.

Should I leave my Christmas cactus outside at night?

Thanksgiving cactus, holiday cactus, and crab cactus are all names for the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata). The leaf-shaped stem segments with curled, pointy teeth or claws around the margins are known as crabs. The leaf segments of the Easter cactus (Schlumbergera buckleyi) have rounded edges. They all came from wet, dark forests around the southeast coast of Brazil. Because they reside above ground in trees, where branches meet and decaying leaves and moss amass, they are categorized as epiphytes.

Although this plant has the moniker “cactus,” the maintenance it needs has nothing to do with its relatives in the desert. It is regarded as a type of woodland cactus. Its needs can be traced back to its beginnings. It is recommended for Christmas cactus to grow in “Potty trained That entails storing it in a small container for as long as possible before transferring it to a pot that is only marginally larger. They should not be allowed to dry out and like a thick organic potting mix. When the plant is blossoming, increase the watering. They favor direct, bright light. As the plants start to burn in full light, the leaf segments might turn a dark red color.

The “The two factors of light and temperature are the key to getting Christmas cacti to bloom in the years after purchase. These two hold the secret to the realm of flowers. Flowers are produced by Christmas cacti during a chilly, brief day cycle. It takes at least eight days of 16 hours of darkness and 8 hours of light every day for flower buds to begin to form. No matter where the plant is located, avoid using the lights at night, even for a little time. That ends the necessary dark cycle. Around 61 degrees should be the ambient temperature. Place the plant away from drafts of either cold or hot air.

All that is required is to set the Christmas cactus on the window sill in a chilly area without turning on the lights. In a brightly lit space, a plant’s side towards the window will frequently sprout buds, but not the other way around. It usually has to do with either receiving too much or not enough water or with there being insufficient humidity in the air if the plant sets flower buds and then they fall off. The good news is that if their temperature and light needs are met, Christmas cacti are thought to be rather simple to induce to bloom once more.

When should a Christmas cactus be placed in a dimly lit space?

From June through August, fertilize once a month with a balanced houseplant fertilizer at half-strength to ensure your cactus blooms healthily. During the summer, you can even take it outside, but you should bring it inside before it gets too chilly.

The Christmas cactus needs between 12 and 14 hours of darkness per day for around six weeks before blooming in order to set buds. That entails dark skies and chilly temperatures of 50 to 65 degrees (not even artificial). You might think about transferring it to the guest room where it won’t be exposed to nocturnal lighting or covering it during the day to ensure that it blooms.

Can you keep a Christmas cactus in a dimly lit room?

For almost a month, my Christmas cactus has been kept in a dark space. How soon may I put it on my porch?

While watching movies in a dark room may be enjoyable, it’s not the best setting for a Christmas or holiday cactus. They thrive in a space with normal lighting, but not direct sunlight, where they can grow and bloom. No evening light is allowed—not even a flicker, which would prevent flowers from blooming. They continue to grow throughout regular daylight hours and begin to bloom in early October.

Plants can be transferred to a display location after the buds start to form and open. Here’s the issue. If the growth environment is too dissimilar, particularly in terms of temperature and humidity, flowering may quickly deteriorate and ruin the anticipated seasonal color. Look for a location that mimics the seasonal display’s year-round growing environment. Additionally, to prevent rot issues, only water when the soil’s top layer starts to dry.

A: Despite being three years old, our sour orange, mango, and avocado plants are quite healthy and tall, but they have not yet produced fruit. We were told that the trunks would bear fruit if a rusty nail was inserted. Is this effective?

A: Gardeners employ a variety of methods, such as hitting tree trunks with rolled newspaper and clipping tiny tissue rings off the trunks, to encourage their trees to develop fruit. The newspaper approach might not work unless it’s the gardening section, though. The wound caused by all other methods could lead to the tree storing nutrients in the higher trunk to promote fruit production. Sadly, the wounds can get infected, which would cause rot and tree decline.

The ideal option might be to let your trees mature organically so that the blossoming and fruiting process can start. The ones in your yard are young and won’t start producing for three to four more years. To get them ready for future fruiting, take careful care of them by keeping the soil moist and fertilizing three to four times a year.

A: We did not know when to prune our drift roses when we planted them this year. Is this the right time?

A: Drift has been located by locals Roses are a fantastic floral choice for sunny landscape locations. They provide a ground cover that is frequently in flower all year long. They produce sprawling plants that are about 18 inches tall and many feet broad, as with other ground coverings. While pruning is done when needed, it is typically not as harsh as the bush roses’ mid-February cuts.

Drift The old flower heads and failing parts of roses can be clipped in February as well. Then, if necessary, prune to lessen the height and width. Hand pruners are frequently used for hedge shears. If necessary, this pruning can be done at any time of the year.

Q: A grayish fungus has appeared on the branches of a few of my otherwise healthy azaleas. How should I go about treating this illness?

A: Although the crusty lichens clinging to the branches of azaleas may seem dangerous, they are actually harmless fungal and algal growths. A few are typical on Florida plants and can be disregarded, but an abundance could indicate a social issue.

The presence of thick lichen development on the trunks and branches of azaleas is frequently a sign that the plants are not developing quickly enough to shade the limbs or replace the bark. If you use a copper fungicide as directed on the label, you can control the growth of lichens, but you should also consider the soil’s acidity, the plants’ requirements for water, and their feeding schedules to ensure that you are taking good care of them. In order to further assess the cultural needs, you can get a free bulletin from your local University of Florida Extension office if necessary.

Q: I bought many hydrangeas with big, gorgeous blooms a few months ago. They have not blossomed since and have leaves that are fading with black patches. What ought I to do?

A: If there was ever a time for hydrangeas to look ugly, it’s now. Plantings frequently get yellow leaves and fungus leaf patches as winter approaches. Before the foliage is renewed by spring growth, many leaves do fall. The following flowers should start to bloom in late spring or early summer.

Your plants are probably healthy and only require moist soil throughout the winter while they are developing flower and leaf buds. Avoid any pruning at this time that can eliminate the spring flowers.

Leaf stains on hydrangeas are extremely common and are typically disregarded during the cooler months. Powdery mildew and leaf blemishes are frequent fungal issues that may need to be controlled at other times of the year, so keep a fungicide on hand.

Can I keep cacti in a room with no light?

Positioning your cactus in an area that receives moderate light is always a good idea because succulents in general, especially cacti, adore sunlight. Even though some cactus species, like Rhipsalis and Hitora, can withstand lower light levels, no cactus enjoys lounging in your home’s dark interiors or on your desk at work.

The first step in determining whether you can take care of cactus is to choose a light spot in your house.

Lack of sunlight can cause cacti plants to act pretty strangely. In most circumstances, if your cactus plants want additional light, you will detect yellowing in them. The purple, yellow, or bright pink cactus will return to their original color of green, while the deep green cacti will gradually fade to a light green hue.

Your cacti’s general development pattern will also be impacted by insufficient light. Cactus plants that were previously little, dark, and healthy may start to become tall and pale as they attempt to reach for more light.

This may soon result in odd growth patterns. Sometimes, new branches will emerge that are rather long and tendril-like, or new growth may be considerably smaller than the rest of the plant.

Cacti’s peculiar growth pattern, known as etiolation, can only be prevented by moving the plant to an area where it will receive enough sunshine.

Where should my Christmas cactus be placed?

Holiday cacti may be bought pretty much anywhere that sells plants, from the grocery store to the flower shop, and are incredibly popular gifts during the winter and spring. Holiday cactus are attractive and attract both seasoned and newcomer houseplant aficionados with their succulent foliage and colorful, multicolored blossoms. They frequently pass down from one family to the next and, given adequate care, can live for many years.

Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi), Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata), and Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri) are three separate varieties that are commonly offered at retail outlets depending on the season “All of them are frequently referred to as Christmas cacti. Due of their comparable maintenance requirements, it is simpler to refer to all three as holiday cacti.

Despite “Holiday cacti require very different maintenance than their desert-dwelling siblings because it’s in their name. Holiday cactus are epiphytes that naturally grow in the shaded limbs of trees in Brazil’s tropical rainforests. Epiphytes are plants that grow on other plants rather than in the ground and obtain their nutrients and moisture from the rain and the atmosphere.

As a result, unlike other cacti, holiday cactus are less tolerant to prolonged drought. Once the potting soil seems dry to the touch, they should be watered, allowing extra water to freely drain from the bottom of the container. Do not allow plants to sit in standing water as this can cause the soil to become flooded. Root rot can develop as a result of ongoing exposure to excessively moist soil, particularly during the winter.

Holiday cacti’s watering requirements vary depending on a variety of elements, including the type of potting soil used, the size of the container, the amount of sunlight the plant receives, and the temperature outside. Making ensuring the plant is in the proper area and only watering when the soil mixture is dry are the keys to maintaining a healthy plant.

Holiday cacti thrive in partial shade, such as an east or west facing window, with temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Lack of light can limit growth and make the soil mix dry too slowly, while too much harsh sunlight, especially in the summer, can burn the foliage. When in doubt, it is better to water your plants too much than too little.

How often should my Christmas cactus be watered?

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!