The Q&A Archives: Christmas Cactus

Question: How do I get my Christmas Cactus to re-bloom this year?

Answer: If your plant was outside during the fall or in a room with only natural light, it may have already begun to set buds in response to the seasonally shortening days. These plants need about three to six weeks of consistent "long nights" to begin to set buds. This is usually done beginning in mid September for holiday flowers but you can still try it -- the blooms will be welcome in mid-winter, too. Each night cover the plant with a cardboard box or put it in a closet so it is in uninterrupted complete darkness for 14 hours. Do this until you see the start of little flower buds on the branches. During the day, provide it with normal bright light. Also, do not fertilize during the fall, cut back a bit on watering, and keep it in a cooler room at about 50 to 55 degrees to encourage buds. Here is more detailed information about these fun plants you may find interesting. You may need to cut and paste the complete url into your browser to make it work correctly.

Good luck with your project!

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