christmas cactus - Knowledgebase Question

BAYTOWN, Te
Question by charlinedea
January 20, 2011
How can I get my christmas cactus to bloom?


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Answer from NGA
January 20, 2011

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Christmas cactus needs some special treatment to encourage flower bud development. Beginning in about mid-October it will need about 12 hours of uninterrupted dark periods every 24 hours. You can place the plant in a dark closet from about 8 P.M. - 8 A.M. each night for 6-8 weeks or until you see flower buds forming.

Christmas cacti will also bloom if they are subjected to cool temperatures of about 50 to 55 degrees F, eliminating the need for the dark treatments. Plants should be blooming for the holidays if cool treatments are started by early November.

So, to encourage flowering, continue to give your plant good care, just set it in a closet each night and bring it back into regular light during the day beginning in October. Once the buds have formed you can keep it in its regular place both day and night. Don't feed until this spring. At that time you can use a half strength dilution of liquid houseplant fertilizer. Enjoy!

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