If you’re like me and like your Christmas cactus (Wiki – schlumbergera) to flower during the winter months, it may not be too late to force budding if they haven’t started to do so naturally.
If the weather in your area is predicted to have cool (high 40s to low 60s), but not freezing, day time temperatures, simply set your cactus outside for several days this week. Be sure to take it back in at night so it’s not exposed to freezing temps or artificial night lighting. If you have a cool basement, that may be enough to induce buds. In the winter months you should allow the cactus to go longer without watering than in warmer months. Start watering less but don’t let the cactus go for so long without water that it droops and causes buds to drop.
After the blossoms have dried up for the year, let the cactus rest. Allow it go for longer periods without watering and don’t fertilize. Around February or March you can gradually start introducing occasional light fertilizer and increase watering… your plant is preparing for springtime and new growth.
The various types of holiday cactus are a pretty hardy and self-sufficient lot. But with a helping hand in late fall, you can easily have bountiful blooms during the holidays.