How to Make Your Christmas Cactus Bloom Again

If you’re wondering how to get your Christmas cactus to bloom in time for the holidays or coax it into flowering when it seems reluctant, you’ve come to the right place. Christmas cacti, also known as Thanksgiving cacti or holiday cacti, typically bloom from November to January. However, their ability to bloom again depends on the right room temperature and lighting conditions. Can you encourage your cactus to bloom again? Yes, you can. Here are our expert tips on watering, lighting, and maintaining optimal temperatures to enjoy Christmas cactus blooms once more.

1. Ensure Proper Lighting Conditions

To initiate a second bloom, your Christmas cactus requires a week with short days and long nights. During a typical Northern Hemisphere winter, you’ll have approximately 8 hours of daylight and 16 hours of darkness. Place your cactus on a windowsill in a room that isn’t frequently used, as even artificial light can interfere with its bloom cycle.

2. Maintain the Right Room Temperature

Christmas cacti thrive in cooler temperatures, ideally no higher than 18°C (64°F). For a successful second bloom, you should reduce the daily light exposure and ensure it stays in a cool room at around -12°C (10°F).

3. Watering with Care

Adjust your watering routine. Water sparingly and only when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. This change in conditions triggers a dormant period, which is essential for new spring flowers to grow.

4. Fertilize Wisely

Timing is crucial when it comes to fertilizing your Christmas cactus. Fertilize during the spring to fall growing season.

By following these steps, your Christmas cactus should bloom again.

When Do Christmas Cacti Typically Bloom?

Christmas cacti are winter bloomers, with their main blooming season from November to January. While they usually bloom only once, you can encourage a second bloom in the spring by providing the right conditions, including short days, long nights, and cool room temperatures.

How Long Does It Take for a Christmas Cactus to Bloom Again?

According to Keira Kay, a plant expert at Bloom & Wild, it takes six to eight weeks for buds to appear and an additional eight to 12 weeks for the blooms to fully develop. Each bloom can last for five to seven days, while the entire plant may take three to six weeks to bloom.

Troubleshooting Blooming Issues

If your Christmas cactus is blooming but not sprouting properly, several factors could be at play. These include room temperature, moisture levels, and the number of buds. Root rot can occur if the cactus is grown in overly moist soil. Ensure the top inch of soil is dry before watering and that your pot has good drainage. Pruning older stems at the base can also help. If your cactus is too full, consider propagation.

Why Your Christmas Cactus Isn’t Blooming

  1. Too Warm Environment: Christmas cacti require a drop in temperature to signal blooming. If your plant is near a south-facing window in the warmest part of your home, try relocating it to a north-facing window or closer to a door where cool air signals winter.
  2. Overwatering: Giving your Christmas cactus too much love in the form of frequent watering can delay its blooming. This plant benefits from a period of near-dryness before initiating winter blooms.
  3. No Need for Repotting: Christmas cacti prefer to be slightly root-bound. Repotting is typically necessary when the plant is 3-4 years old or when its roots start growing through the drainage holes. Opt for a pot only slightly larger than the current one, and use high-quality succulent potting soil.
  4. Misidentified Cactus: There are different cacti resembling Christmas cacti, such as Thanksgiving cacti and Easter cacti. If your efforts haven’t yielded blooms, you might have a different type of cactus altogether.

With these tips, your Christmas cactus should be on its way to another beautiful bloom cycle.

Do you like this? Share inspiration with your friends!