Christmas Cactus -- forcing bloom - Knowledgebase Question

Columbia, SC
Avatar for carolynlwi
Question by carolynlwi
October 30, 2006
I heard you're supposed to put your Christmas cactus in a dark place, then bring it out later so it will be blooming by Dec 25. When do you put it in the dark place & when do you bring out?

Answer from NGA
October 30, 2006
This plant responds to day length. It sets flower buds when the days grow shorter in the fall. Put it in a room where it will receive bright light during the day but uninterrupted darkness -- no lights at all -- at night. If you do not have a dark room like that, put it in the closet or put a box over it to keep it dark every night for about 14 hours but be sure to give it light during the day.

It also likes a cooler room temperature during the fall, 50-60 degrees. While it is cool, water it less. This helps simulate a winter cool spell.

Provide the long dark nights for 8 to 10 weeks until you see well developed flower buds on the plant. Ideally, you would start in mid September for holiday blooms.

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