How do I help my Christmas Cactus?


I put it in the dark last month and brought it out. It is VERY dry. I can’t seem to get either one to bloom?

  13 answers
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Dec 05, 2020

    Your plant sounds like it needs water, take a look her and see if this will help you in managing your plant:

    Best to you.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Dec 05, 2020

    Hi! Succulents need water and light. When they plump up, they have enough water. Bone dry? Water is needed. It's exciting (for me) when they bloom! Good luck!

  • It definitely needs water. Here's a link with more care tips:

  • Cindy Cindy on Dec 05, 2020

    Hi Susan. Reviving a limp Christmas Cactus might be as easy as just repotting it. Use a good quality potting soil and mix 2 parts potting soil and 1 part sand. The sand will assure sharp drainage. Even if the soil is not soggy, repotting may be the solution to reviving a limp Christmas Cactus. Water it once a week. Good luck Susan and Happy Holidays.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Dec 05, 2020

    Hello. Would it be possible to post a picture to observe the size color and texture of your cactus and a pot size evaluation might be helpful to help give personalized suggestions solutions to a problem.

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Dec 06, 2020

    Hi there, so sorry you'e having problems with your Christmas cactus. Can you check the soil in the pot and the roots. If it's very dry and pulling away from the sides of the pot, water the plant and repot her in a new pot with a soil mixture of 2 parts peat moss and 1 part each of potting soil and coarse sand or perlite. When you give her water don't overwater, rather give her little bits every day. Too much water at once will put her into shock. I'm not sure who told you to put her in the dark, but the Christmas cacti, needs between 10 and 12 hours of light a day to thrive. I hope she comes right and bounces back to give you many more years of beautiful flowers.

  • Janice Janice on Dec 06, 2020

    Hello Susan, I share your pain! I've ha d a number of Christmas Cacti over the years and never been succussfuul in getting them to re-bloom. I found this article and maybe it will help you.

  • Poinsettias are the plants that are kept in the dark, not Christmas cactus. Christmas cactus will rebloom only if it likes it's location. So once you find that spot, don't move it around. However mine all get moved over the spring summer months as the light is too intense (I still have bad windows in that room), and moved back in late fall. Several excellent links on how to care for Christmas cactus in this thread, bet you will have it back in shape in no time!

  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 06, 2020

    Give your Christmas Cactus bright but indirect light. Keep the plant in a well-lit location (like near a window) away from direct sunlight – too much heat and light can stunt growth and burn the leaves. It should also be away from drafts, heat vents, fireplaces or other sources of hot air.

    • Move an indoors plant outdoors in summer to a shady location. It is best to keep in a normal house temperature range, about 65 to 75°F (18 to 20°C). That being said, cooler night temperatures can be used to initiate blooming. We'll discuss getting it to bloom in the final section.
    • If it's in a north or east-facing window, you won't have to worry about light. But if it's in a south or west-facing window, diffuse the light with semi-transparent curtains or some other light-diffusing device.

    Provide the plant a source of humidity if you live in a dry environment. Put a tray of water next to the plant so that the water evaporates and provides humidity. Alternatively, you can make a humidity tray by placing the pot on a waterproof saucer that is filled with gravel and halfway filled with water.

    • Make sure to not let the pot touch the water when it is sitting on the gravel; otherwise the pot will pick up water and make it easier for the roots to rot.
    • 50 to 60% humidity is the ultimate goal. If your environment is close to that, you should be fine.
    • A Christmas cactus is a tropical cactus, not a desert cactus. Unlike most desert cacti, this variety cannot tolerate completely dry soil. If the soil gets too dry, the flowers buds will drop, and the plant will wilt. Feel the soil with your fingers; if it feels dry, it's time to water.
    • Too much watering will cause spots from white rot to appear on the leaves, and the leaves will likely fall off. The soil should be evenly moist for best growth. The rule of thumb is less water is better than too much water.
    • When watering, thoroughly water the plant. Before attempting to water the plant again, check to see that the top inch of soil has dried thoroughly first. Mist leaves as well as watering the soil.

  • Elisabeth Anne Small Elisabeth Anne Small on Dec 06, 2020

    Don't forget it is imperative to have cooler temperatures and low light in the two months before blooming. That sets the buds. Mine is well over 100 years old. It was Grammy Stevens. My sister in law gave me her mother's which I have begun 3 new starts. A half dead section will root in water easily.

  • Betsy Betsy on Dec 06, 2020

    Hi Susan: I have several Christmas Cactus plants and never put them in a closet and always have loads of flowers. They don't like the following: Direct sun - lots of water - being by a cold window. They do like to be fed once a month. I use Schultz's Plant Food. It's a liquid that you mix with water. Don't let it dry out completely, If you can stick your finger into the dirt up to the first knuckle and it's dry, water your plant, but don't let it sit in water. Be sure the pot is big enough for your plant. If it gets root bound, it might not flower. It does like indirect light. Maybe your plants would like to have some new soil and a larger pot. I change mine every 2 or 3 years. Get a pot with a drainage hole, put a coffee filter in the bottom and then about 1/4 inch of small stones, marbles or pistachio shells (o.k., I had some pistachios and used the shells for my plants) and then fill the pot 1/2 way up, put your plants in and fill the pot up to about 1/2 inch of the rim. Pack the dirt down a bit so there are no air pockets, and finish filling to about 3/4 inches from the rim so that the water doesn't run out when you water the plant. Then, water/fertilize with about 3/4 cup of water/fertilize for an 8" pot. Water maybe every 2 weeks, but check to see if it's dry. If it is, you can water a bit more often. You can get some really pretty plates at the dollar store to put under the pot. The plants I have are from the plant my grandmother had in 1914 :) You can take a leaf and stick it in the dirt and it will grow into another plant.

    Good luck

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