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?

  17 answers
  • 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. Make sure she get's enough indirect light, they need 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.

  • I would give it a good watering if it is dry and put it in the sun. They do like dry soil but sometimes a good drop of water does help.

  • Janice Janice on Dec 06, 2020

    Hello Ma Ria, I share your pain! I've had 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.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Dec 06, 2020

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

    Best to you.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Dec 06, 2020


    Try watering it!

  • Em Em on Dec 06, 2020

    How LONG did you put it in the dark for? They still need water. They don't get the same treatment as pointsettias.

    Christmas cacti produce flowers in a cool, environment-short day cycle. To initiate the production of flower buds, there needs to be at least eight days of 16 hours of dark and eight hours of light each day. Wherever the plant is placed, do not turn on the lights at night, even for a short period of time.

  • 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.

  • I'd keep it in a spot with some full sun for part of the day and water it sparingly. It may not bloom this year, but maybe next!

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Dec 06, 2020

    Here is info for you

  • Pat Pat on Dec 06, 2020

    I found out that when my Christmas Cactus is thriving...don't move it. I have two and moved one to another window and it did not bloom. The one in the original window bloomed a lot. Hoping for blooms on both plants this year. I see some "starter buds" on the December sixth so hoping for some blooms at Christmas or after,

    • You are absolutely correct. Once they find their happy spot, don't move them. Mine do get moved as the exposure in winter is perfect, but the spring / summer exposure is far too intense so I move them to my office with filtered light and never get too warm. I live where it gets brutally hot in summer, so they need to be protected.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Dec 07, 2020

    Thank you for posting this question. My mother is in the hospital and has 2 of them that I need to make sure are in good shape when she gets out.

  • Homeroad Homeroad on Dec 10, 2020

    Mine usually dries out completely then I water it and it seems happy. I usually get mine to bloom every year after ignoring it for a while.

  • Annie Annie on Dec 11, 2020

    Dont fuss over it, Some of them are on there own schedule. Keep it in a lighted area, not direct sun, keep it watered and one day it will bloom...

  • Betsy Betsy on Dec 22, 2020

    Hi Ma Ria: I have several Christmas Cactus plants and never put them in a closet and always have loads of flowers. Some at Thanksgiving, some at Christmas and some in January. They don't follow the calendar :) 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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