Is Your Christmas Cactus Ready?

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.

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2 responses to “Is Your Christmas Cactus Ready?

  1. Love them!! They are so awesome. I had quite a few and literally traveled with them so they would not die. It did not last too long as my husband was going to kill me with all of these plants on board (RV). I had to give them up and stick to outdoor gardening only. Indoor plants are like pets and they require much care. As folks who travel quite a bit it is not practical. With outdoor plants I use my timers and micro tubing and hoses and it is super easy. Literally set and forget.
    Thanks for reminding me of the days when I had those cactus. Just enjoy them so much and so easy to make more plants from them too!

  2. You’re right about that- they sure are easy to propagate. One piece falls off and all of a sudden you have a whole new houseplant! That makes them great beginner plants for kids because they are fun to multiply and easy to flower. Have you found a greenery alternative for the RV? How about a little tillandsia air plant or mini moss garden? I know what you mean about getting in trouble with indoor gardening. Last year we moved to Chicago and I was “strongly encouraged” to downsize. I have to admit, I was getting a little carried away šŸ™‚

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