The Q&A Archives: Cactus not blooming.

Question: I have a Christmas cactus about 3 years old. It was bloomed when I bought it but has never bloomed again. Plant looks healthy.

Answer: Christmas Cactus (which is actually not a cactus at all) is a great plant, especially at the holidays when they behave properly. (I have heard tales of "Thanksgiving Cactus" or even "Easter Cactus"!) To insure your plants blooms properly, keep the plants pot-bound in a sandy soil. Only water when the soil is completely dry and fertilize in the summer with a complete fertilizer once a month. Christmas cacti set flower buds after being exposed to cool temperatures and 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness for four weeks. To help buds form, place the cactus outdoors during the frost-free days of September and October, or place the plant in an indoor room that's dark in the evening.

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