When Should You Put a Christmas Cactus in the Dark?
23.10.2023 - 08:03
/ Sheri Dorn
If you’re looking to make the most out of your Christmas Cactus this holiday season, timing is everything. Manipulating the amount of darkness this plant receives could be the secret to a more vibrant flowers! So, When Should You Put a Christmas Cactus in the Dark? Let’s find out!
Christmas cacti, like many other plants, are sensitive to light exposure, a phenomenon known as <a href=«https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=» https: target="_blank" rel=«noopener»>photoperiodism
. It refers to a plant’s ability to respond to variations in the length of day and night.
Christmas cacti are classified as “short-day” plants, which means they require long, uninterrupted periods of darkness to trigger their flowering mechanisms.
During the dark periods, the plant starts producing a hormone called <a href=«https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=» https: target="_blank" rel=«noopener»>florigen
. It acts as the plant’s internal signal to initiate the development of buds and flowers.
Extended darkness increases the concentration of florigen, encouraging the plant to bloom.
Temperature also plays a role in the blooming process. Cooler temperatures, in conjunction with extended periods of darkness, can speed up flower bud formation. Therefore, placing your Christmas cactus in a dark, slightly cooler room can be doubly effective.
The ideal time to start the dark treatment for your Christmas cactus is mid-September to early October. This timing aligns with the plant’s natural blooming cycle, setting it up for a festive show during the holiday season – this being the BEST time.
Note: You can also prune it from early September to late October, but this won’t align the plant’s blooming time with the festive season.