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The top tips to get your Christmas cactus to bloom

The Christmas cactus is a favorite houseplant for many during the festive season. The purple or pink flowers add a pop of color and joy to any household. But when your Christmas cactus does not bloom, it can be frustrating. So how do you get it to blossom just in time for the jolly season?

When should you get a Christmas cactus?

The Schlumbergera x Buckleyi plant, more commonly known as the Christmas cactus, is a popular potted plant that produces beautiful pink or purple flowers. Some people buy them during the festive season, expecting them to only last for the holidays, but with good all-round care, they can blossom over and over again – every year. Whether you’ll see your Christmas cactus flowering just in time for Santa’s arrival or not, depends on when you buy it. Look out for the following:

  • Before October: Pick a Christmas cactus without buds or blooms
  • After October: Get a cactus with visible buds
  • December: Get a blooming Christmas cactus.

How to pot a Christmas cactus?

Use a pot that drains to avoid your cactus from overwatering. The best soil to use will be light, consisting of part compost and part ground bark. If you’re going to fertilize the cactus between seasons, do so in spring or summer, but not in the fall as that will stop the Christmas cactus flowering.

How often should you water it?

Christmas cacti like it humid. So make sure it’s watered about two to three times per week. It’s also a good idea to regularly spritz it with some water. Overwatering will cause the buds to fall off though so make sure you don’t go overboard with the watering.

Best location for a Christmas cactus

These cacti fare best in bright rooms with lots of indirect sunlight and a temperature of around 65°F. Make sure the air in the room doesn’t get too dry.

The secret to getting your Christmas cactus to bloom

If you want your cactus to bloom during December, follow these steps:

  1. Water less during October: Only water your cactus every four to six weeks starting from October.
  2. When buds show, return to your normal watering cycle.
  3. Another secret ingredient to getting a Christmas cactus to bloom is the 12-hour light and dark schedule. Make sure your cactus is in a spot where it gets 12 hours of indirect sunlight and 12 hours of dark per day.
  4. Keep it somewhere cooler. Avoid putting the cactus into warm rooms and put it far away from radiators.

If you follow these steps, your Christmas cactus will blossom just in time for cookies and mulled wine.