Time to Banish Your Christmas Cactus to the Garage!

Do you have a Christmas Cactus that never blooms at Christmas? Here’s the secret to GORGEOUS Christmas blooms:Flowers 010
This Christmas Cactus is the daughter of my mom’s plant – which is older than I am! She (the plant, not my mom) had a habit of blooming every few years or so in odd times like July. I’d read they need to be ignored in an attic or cellar to prompt blooming, but I never had the heart to force mine into dormancy until a few years ago. I did a little research, gave her a shot of Miracle Gro on the day after Thanksgiving, and banished her to my garage for the month of December, watering only a little bit once or twice a week. Voila! Buds started to form. I brought her back in and gave her nice, warm sunshine – and the buds did nothing. Back to the garage! This time the buds grew. I didn’t bring her back in until the first flower bloomed.

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Now she’s happy as a clam and blooms away every Christmas! It turns out Christmas Cacti need 13 hours of darkness at temps between 50 and 70 degrees F to be prompted into blooming.

 

 

 

Go figure. If you did that to me, well, let’s just say blooming’s the last thing I’d think of doing.

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After the blooms drop off, I give her a pruning haircut to stimulate thicker growth and more blooms for next year, and I’ll send her to the garage again next Thanksgiving!

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6 Comments

Filed under Cool Facts and Ideas, Holiday

6 responses to “Time to Banish Your Christmas Cactus to the Garage!

  1. vickie litchfield

    “She”is beautiful! This is such a wonderful give to share with your family and friends. Thank you for teaching us to take care of our Christmas cactus .

  2. How funny…Each plant needs such different things. We have an infinitely creative God, yes?

  3. dimpsprice

    Thanks, Mary. I once had one of those beautiful plants gifted to me, but alas, I didn’t know your secret and it pined away, never to bloom again. Next time, I’ll be ready!

    • It feels so cruel to put it out in the cold, dark garage, but apparently that’s what they like. Kind of like how we can tend to seek comfort from the cold, dark world instead of turning to our Heavenly Father, right?

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