How To Make A Christmas Cactus Bloom, According To An Expert
12.11.2023 - 01:05
The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) is a low maintenance houseplant and a popular holiday gift beloved for its stunning blooms. Christmas cacti naturally flower following the rainy season in their native habitat, but we can trick our indoor plants to bloom by altering their growing
environment. By adjusting temperatures and limiting the amount of light your Christmas cactus receives, you can encourage plants to bloom. And once you know how to make a Christmas cactus bloom, you can coax it into flowering at different times of the year.
The Christmas cactus is a fascinating plant that looks little like its namesake—the cactus—hailing from the Brazilian rainforest rather than the desert. However, Christmas cactus is in fact a true cactus. It grows naturally as an epiphyte or aerial plant, nestled in the crook of tree branches. Like other cacti, the Christmas cactus lacks leaves. Its jointed stems are flattened and have a leaf-like appearance. Flowers buds arise from the growing tips of these stems.
Since we do not have a rainy season to trigger blooming, we need to rely on other methods. Christmas cacti are sensitive to changes in light and temperature. By altering these conditions, you can entice plants into bloom just in time for the holidays.
- Dr. Bruce Dunn is professor of horticulture at Oklahoma State University.
Get The Light Right
“Day length is the big driver for flowering,” says Dr. Bruce Dunn, professor of horticulture at Oklahoma State University. “Cool temperatures (<70°F), water stress, and lots of indirect light will enhance flowering, but plants need to be under short day conditions [to bloom].” The ideal conditions for flower bud formation include bright daylight followed by thirteen hours or
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