As one of the most favorite holiday succulents, many gardeners love to keep Christmas cactus in their home garden. The vibrant color blooms that emerge from tendrils draping and creeping over the plant make it look more attractive. For those who want to keep the beautiful plant for all year round, Christmas cactus makes the best option. While you can see this attractive plant thriving all year, the real magic happens when they bloom.
The colorful flowers bring joy and add color to the winters. However, these incredible succulents may not bloom sometimes, and then you need to figure out how to force them bloom. Moreover, figuring out how to make it bloom can be quite challenging for you. However, ensuring proper watering, adequate temperature, and the right light will help you learn how to make your adorable succulent bloom. If you have a Christmas cactus and it has not bloomed yet, this article will help you with what you need to do.
How to Make Christmas Cactus Bloom
Christmas Cactus Succulent in pot.
Before delving into the details of how to bloom the Christmas cactus, it is necessary to understand the characteristics of this plant. Christmas Cactus, also known as Thanksgiving or holiday cactus. Although classified as “cactus”, Christmas cactus has very different care need compared to its desert relatives. As a forest cactus, this plant thrives in more tropical conditions. They prefer bright, indirect light and a richer, more organic potting mix. Their water need is also higher than other succulent plants so don’t leave their soil too dry.
Their bloom season comes during the fall, usually in the early days of November.  The “trick” to get them to bloom comes down to three factors: minimal watering, light, and temperature.
1. Reduce Watering
To start, you need to limit the amount of water your plant normally receives around October. Water the topmost layer of the soil only, which is about 1 inch, and water the plant only when it feels dry to touch. This watering schedule will force the plant to enter the dormancy period. Not to forget, dormancy is crucial for Christmas cactus to bloom.
2. Provide 12 hours of darkness and cooler temperature
Christmas Cactus is known as a short-day plant, which means it needs  12-24 hours of darkness every day, preferably in a cool room to enter a flowering period.
Move your Christmas cactus to a spot where it will receive at least 12 hours of darkness. You can also use a piece of clothes to cover it up at around 6 PM and remove it the next morning. Continue this for  approximately 6 weeks to promote the production of the flower buds.
Keep in mind that indirect bright sunlight during the day is fine, yet it is essential to give it 12-hours of absolute darkness at night. Wherever you keep your Christmas Cactus, do not turn on the lights at night, even for a short period of time. It will break the dark cycle required and interrupt the blooming process.
The ideal temperature for Christmas cactus to bloom is 50-55F, which might require you to turn down your heater or find a cooler spot in the room.
Does Christmas Cactus Bloom More Than Once A Year?
Christmas Cactus Blooming Season
Yes. Unlike many other succulents,  Christmas cactus can bloom again in spring if given the short days condition. Placing Christmas cactus into the east-facing window that receives abundant amounts of sunlight during the day and 12 hours of darkness each night can encourage the plant to flower again.
Make sure that your succulent receives dark and cool treatment for at least six to eight weeks or until the buds emerge.  If your Christmas Cactus grow buds but then they fall off, that could be due to drafts, too-hot temperatures, too much sunlight or water.
Once the buds have appeared, it takes up to twelve weeks for flowers to fully grow. When the plant blooms, make sure to relocate it to a draft-free sunny spot. However, do not place it in an area that receives direct sunlight. When it receives indirect bright sunlight, you will see more blooming. Increase watering while your Christmas Cactus bloom; the amount will depend on temperature, lighting conditions, and humidity levels.
What Do You Need To Know More?
Christmas Cactus with White Flowers
Now that you have come across some useful tips to make your Christmas cactus bloom, there are some important points that you should keep in mind while growing this incredibly beautiful plant.
- Christmas cactus are prolific bloomers and produce flowers at the end of the leaves.
- Each flower will last from five to seven days, whereas the flowering period of the plant lasts for three to six weeks.
- While it blooms, continue to give your Christmas Cactus water lightly. Lack of water will make the bud break off easily.
- Originally, the Christmas cactus produces red flowers. However, the hybrids produce peach, lavender, magenta, white, and pink flowers.
Now that you have come across all the essential tips to make your Christmas cactus bloom, make sure to follow all these tips carefully to enjoy the beautiful flowers on this plant.
How to make your Christmas Cactus blooms
Enjoy your gardening with our collection of beautiful cacti. They are easy to grow, incredibly adaptable, relatively pest-free, and are low maintenance - ideal for any home, office, or garden to make a perfect green space.
Learn how to make Christmas Cactus bloom with this video:
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