New growth on Christmas Cactus in Oct??

jettagrrlOctober 22, 2013

Hi all,

I'm new here and this is my first post. I have a Christmas Cactus which I bought last fall and I'm trying to get it to bloom again this year. Oddly it has a bunch of new segments that have just started growing over the past month, many are around 1 cm; so on the smallish side. I've stopped fertilizing it and have really cut back on watering. I stick it in a dark storage room in the basement for at least 12 hours nightly. Still I worry about buds not forming because of this new small growth. Should I pinch off the small segments or will that stress the plant? Should I just give it some time (only been giving it the dark treatment for 1 1/2 weeks so far). During the day I have it by a west facing window without drafts, although within a couple of feet of a hot water rad.

Any advice would be great, thank you!!

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi & Welcome,

Why have you cut back on watering?

I wouldn't remove the new growth, can't imagine it'd stop bud development.

I'm not sure about all this moving this around. I leave mine in place to bloom.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 10:21AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I would leave the new growths alone and not pinch it still have plenty of time for the leaves to mature and get buds...I live in FL and I probably won't see buds for at least another few weeks. You have all winter and part of spring to get buds since you live in I would let the plant do its own thing, if it were mine I would water my plant when its dry since you have new growths...but its up to you, I'm not an expert ,lol...

I think its the shorter days along with cooler temps that triggers these to bloom? not like the Poinsettia that needs at least 12-14 hours of total darkness...

Here is a link that might be useful: How to re-bloom TC, CC

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 10:23AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I'm no expert either but know that withholding water for these is done AFTER bloom (for about 1 month) & not before. They'll need water to grow their segments & buds.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 10:43AM
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Thanks for all the replies everyone! From my Google searches I kept seeing that I should withhold water starting in October, so I assumed that I needed to let it dry out. Also a buddy of mine had let his dry right up and it is budding like crazy right now. Should I hold off on fertilizer as well? I normally give my houseplants a general 10-15-10 every time I water (haven't given any to the cactus in almost a month).

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 11:38AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Since you have new growths...I would fertilize them but "weakly" maybe half or less than the recommended dosage on the package.

PG, you've been growing these a lot longer than I have so I would say you're more of an expert than I am :o)...I've used many great tips on growing these from you, thanks!!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 1:52PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Nancy and Karen.

Indeed, for the longest lasting flowers, Jetta, you ought to water straight through the bloom, and only lighten the watering after the bloom during the recuperation period of lower activity. Continue to fertilize weakly (1/4 strength should be just fine).

No dark treatment. Completely unnecessary.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 7:17PM
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Awesome - thank you!! I was getting sick of hauling it downstairs and back up in the morning. Thanks again everyone :)

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 10:38PM
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You might want to consider putting your plant outside, in the shade, next summer. I brought mine in a couple of weeks ago. The TC was already budding and the CC has been treated properly so that it should start budding in a month or so.

There's no new segments on the TC, just the buds. The CC has some, but it's slowing down considerably. The cool weather and shorter day length set things in motion "naturally" ;-).


    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 10:10AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hello again,

Thanks for the kind words Pug, nice of you to say. Thank YOU for the link you provided, I hadn't seen that one before, helpful.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 10:32PM
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