Right Conditions and Potting Soil for a Christmas Cactus
Hello MDHGIC Gardening Expert,
Please let me know why my Christmas cactus is growing very well but is not producing any flowers. Sometimes the plant will develop a few buds, but these never bloom. I transplanted it using potting soil specifically for cacti and succulents, but doing this didn't produce any flowers either. The plant is located in an area in which African violets, Norfolk Island pines, and other houseplants are doing well.
What can I do to get this plant to bloom?
A Greenbelt gardener
Prince George's County Maryland
Christmas cactus like medium light, not direct sunlight, so you must have it in a spot it likes.
Shortened days in the fall stimulate it to start producing buds. As days get shorter, the plants need about 12 hours of darkness in order to flower normally. If they are currently in a room lit by artificial light most of the evening, that may be inhibiting the flowers. If you have to move it in order to give it more dark hours, be sure to keep its orientation to the sun the same. In other words, the side of the cactus that faced a window should always be repositioned so that the same side faces the light source (window.)
Your cactus should also be fertilized during its active growing period at least, or generally all the time except a few weeks after flowering.