The Q&A Archives: Spider plant, canna lilies, and Christmas cactus?

Question: What causes yellow tips on spider plants?
How do I take care of canna lilies in the yard?
How do I get the Christmas cactus to bloom?
Thanks for your help.

Answer: Marilyn,

Yellow tips are usually seen following dry or soggy wet soil conditions. Drought most likely.

Cannas are easy to take care of. They need sun, some soil moisture and an occasional light fertilization.

The secret of good bloom with Christmas Cactus seems to be one of temperature and photoperiod control. They will develop buds and bloom if given bright light, short days, and night temperatures between 55o and 65o F. Christmas cacti bloom best when somewhat pot bound. Repotting is necessary only about once in 3 years. Full sunlight is beneficial in midwinter, but bright sun during summer months can make plants look pale and yellow. These plants grow naturally shaded by a canopy of leaves.

Christmas cacti require less water from October to March than they do when growth is active from April to September. A rest period is very important if plants are to bloom abundantly. Dormancy should be started about the middle of September and continued for 8 weeks. Care should be taken that soil never becomes water logged during the dark days of winter. Fertilize them with a liquid plant food at the low label rate every two weeks to keep them healthy but avoid overdoing the fertilizer.

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