Christmas Cactus - Knowledgebase Question

Norman, OK
Question by marsh4
October 10, 1999
How can I make a Christmas cactus bloom?


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Answer from NGA
October 10, 1999

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You may be a little late in forcing your plant to bloom, but you can sure try! (Normally the forcing begins in September.) Put your plant in total darkness 16 hours each day so the plant can set flower buds. The easiest way to accomplish this is to place it in a bright room for 8 hours and then either put a box over it, or put it in a closet for 16 hours. It needs absolute darkenss; even a short burst of daylight will retard the formation of flower buds. During this bud forcing period, keep the temperatures between 60F and 70F and do not fertilize the plant. In early December your Christmas cactus can be brought into ordinary light and will bloom in a few weeks.

Christmas cactus likes bright light and average household temperatures, with monthly applications of a diluted liquid fertilizer.

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