The Christmas cactus is quite different from other cacti. It opens its beautiful flowers during the Christmas holidays, provided that it has been well-cared for. A magnificently blooming Christmas cactus is a challenge, but for plant lovers it is one of the greatest joys to have them flower exactly at Christmas.
Why doesn’t a cactus always bloom at Christmas?
A common complaint about this plant is that it doesn’t bloom when expected by its name. If this happens to our cactus, then something is wrong. Below is a list of the most common problems associated with Christmas cactus care.
An optimal temperature is a prerequisite for the cactus to bloom. This plant loves a cool climate. Make sure that the plant is not placed in a hotter spot of your home; for example, don’t place it close to the radiator. 16-21°C at day and 13-18°C at night are the optimum temperatures for the plant to start blooming.
Christmas cactus is also picky about the lighting conditions. From September, this plant should be kept in full darkness for 12 to 13 hours a day. If you are diligent about this, the flowers will appear in early December. Also, if you keep the plant in a place where it receives indirect sunlight for a few hours a day, you can expect even more beautiful flowers.
Since Christmas cactus is a tropical plant, it requires regular watering. The soil should never be left to dry out completely, but good drainage is also important. Christmas cactus will not bloom if the roots are sitting in stagnating water. The secret of a healthy potted plant is moist, but well drained soil and pot.
A Christmas cactus must be treated with fertilizer every two weeks when the flowering time approaches.