How can I get my Christmas cactus to bloom this year?

kgibbs25August 22, 2014

I have a Christmas cactus that NEVER blooms, but grows like a weed. It is very healthy and consistently has new growth. I have left it outside for the summer, but really want to it to bloom this year. Any tips on how I can get it to bloom this season?

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americangolden(ZONE 5B)

Hello kgd25,

You need to make sure that come fall/winter, you are having the plant be in 12-14 hours of darkness. Meaning it can't be in a room that has lights turned on and off. It needs to be uninterrupted darkness. Try keeping it in a cooler area that doesn't have any drafts. In about a month or two you should see buds forming. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 11:38AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

I find just leaving them outside until the very last moment in fall gives them the right ratio of light to bloom, for mine form buds before they even come in(assuming you are really talking about the Thanksgiving cactus and not the true christmas cactus which is way less common and blooms later) Christmas cactus wont bud outside but with that treatment they tend to bloom for me anyway:)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 12:37PM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Dress up in a large red suit, stuff the waistline with a pillow, and 'ho ho ho' to it every day.
And if that doesn't work, do what they said about leaving it outside for cooler temps and lower light. When you bring it inside avoid exposure to artificial lights after dark. It blooms on a photoperiod...too much light=no blooms.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 12:41PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Can it stay outside all year where you are? That should do it. They respond to short days/long nights. If you do need to bring it in, put it in a room where you don't turn on the lights after dark.

More info here, here, and here.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 2:02PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Can you post a picture of the plant?
Perhaps there's something in the culture that is preventing it from blooming.

Josh

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 3:30PM
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subtropix

We have no idea where you are zone wise. Are you, in fact, Zone 10?

I can safely leave mine outside through early November, usually later, and it sets buds without fail, every year. So, it is usually in bloom late November into December. I do nothing for it but leave it outside...in the darkening days of Autumn.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 4:06PM
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Lodewijkp

i put them in cooler temperatures in late summer and autumn. throughout the year i keep them in a sunny room ( where they receive light shade with 3 hours of afternoon sun ) that is around 15 C degrees.

The trick is to keep them cold.. from 10 to 15 C , i have blooms from autumn to late spring. they form buds when temperatures are low.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 5:05PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Mine never need to get cold or cool to bloom...

All I have to do is feed them during growing season and leave them put, in the greenhouse or a room in which gets dark naturally with daylight and they all bloom..

In fact, I try not to expose most of mine to cold since I want the true bright colors I bought them for..If left to get cold, like below the 60's, all of mine will not bloom to true color..

Mike

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:30AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Mine never need to get cold or cool to bloom...

All I have to do is feed them during growing season and leave them put, in the greenhouse or a room in which gets dark naturally with daylight and they all bloom..

In fact, I try not to expose most of mine to cold since I want the true bright colors I bought them for..If left to get cold, like below the 60's, all of mine will not bloom to true color..

Mike

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:38AM
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nomen_nudum

Will agree with not to cool I had flowering on mine during mid to late June this year with back of house some direct sun late day with temps in the 80's.

I antisipate it to flower again during the holidays as it had a short rest in a dimer natural lighting cooler than 80 warm area, then re into it to brightness temps can be higher than 70's but lows would be near the same temp Mike had mentioned.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:04PM
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