Christmas Cactus Red Color cacti have blooming periods corresponding to the holidays, hence their name. They’re pretty, too: The hanging branches, composed of glossy green, flat segments, can reach up to 36 inches long. The flowers appear at the tips and measure up to 3 inches long with several tiers of petals. Each lasts for several days, and the entire flowering period spans several weeks.
Christmas Cactus Red Color But certain factors can help (or hinder) your Christmas cactus’s potential. Here’s how to ensure this festive plant keeps brightening up your home year after year.
6 Key Factors for Optimal Growth
- Soil: Make sure you’re using a quality soil rich in and other nutrients.
- Temperature: During the day, the temperature should be 65 to 70 degrees; at night, 55 to 65 degrees. Buds will drop more quickly with sudden changes in temperature or drafts.
- Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist, and mist frequently. Buds will also drop when soil is allowed to dry out.
- Light: Allow for moderate light, partial shade, and some direct sun in winter from eastern exposure.
- Fertilization: Once flower buds form, apply a high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks.
- Transplantation: Repot your cactus each year after flowering.
Continuing Plant Care
Keep plants cool (50 degrees) following theirperiod. Water to keep the soil barely moist and withhold fertilizer. When new growth appears, use the following strategy to encourage blooming: Keep the plants between 55 to 65 degrees, alternating 10 hours of light and 14 hours of total darkness for four to six weeks after new growth appears. When buds appear, introduce to the plant warmer temperatures and begin regular culture (described above). Plants should bloom in about six weeks.
- Keep them potbound in sandy soil.
- Water only when the soil is completely dry.
- Provide some humidity to the environment.
- Don’t worry if some of the buds drop off – it’s natural for the plant to lose a few.
No matter what regimen you use or how strictly you adhere to it, the bloom time may vary based on the variety. Whether or not it blooms right on time for the holidays, you still have a treat to look forward to.