Do you have a Christmas Cactus that never blooms at Christmas? Here’s the secret to GORGEOUS Christmas blooms:
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.
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.
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!