How to Grow Christmas Cactus
Water thoroughly, allowing the water to drain out through the pot’s holes. Do not allow the pot to sit in water; always empty the saucer. Allow the top inch or so to dry out before watering again. Fertilize lightly during spring and summer if desired. Reduce watering slightly in the fall to encourage blooming, but resume normal watering once the buds have set.
A well-drained soil such as cactus grower or one part sand with two parts potting soil is best. Christmas cactus does not need to be repotted unless thoroughly pot bound, no more than every 3 years or so. They can be grown as a hanging plant or on a table or shelf.
In the fall, your Christmas cactus should be in a room that does not use artificial lights in the evenings. It will bloom when nights are around 14 hours long.
To force blooming you can place your holiday cactus in a dark closet for 12 or more hours a night for 6 – 8 weeks. Cool temperatures of 50 – 58 degrees will also encourage setting of flower buds.
Do not turn the plant once the flower buds have formed as they will stretch toward the light and can drop off. A sudden change in temperatures or drafts can cause flower drop as well.
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