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Christmas cactus does not bloom: what may be the reason and what the plant needs to develop flowers

Somehow you are not doing so well with plant care and you have once again managed to let the next plant die. You simply lack a green thumb. That’s why you immediately pricked up your ears when you heard about the easy-care Christmas cactus, which also produces beautiful flowers without much effort. Promptly he stood with you in the room and so far it really worked out with the care, but now follows a new frustration: The Christmas cactus no longer blooms! Before you say goodbye to him, read our simple tricks on how to make him bloom again. After all, he only needs certain conditions before the flowering phase.

Are you sure you have the expected variety?

Make sure you have a Schlumbergera instead of the Easter cactus

In addition to the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera), which blooms in winter, there is also the Easter cactus, which produces its flowers in spring. Visually, they hardly differ (in the former, among other things, the leaves are more jagged, the latter has rounded leaves). So it’s also the flowering time that will tell you which specimen yours is (if you’re not sure). So before you despair because your Christmas cactus isn’t blooming, check it out. Or maybe it’s just not its time because it’s the Easter variety.

Christmas cactus does not bloom – what is necessary for abundant flowering?

Christmas cactus does not bloom - Why the dark phase is so important

Of course, you should properly care for the plant throughout the year . This means providing it with the right location and the right amounts of water and fertilizer depending on the phase. While in the resting phase after flowering the cactus should receive only enough water so that the root ball does not dry out, it needs regular fertilizer and water during the growth phase, which is again followed by the flowering period.

The resting phase is crucial for the Christmas cactus to bloom.

Promote the flowering of the cactus with the right care

With this, we have actually already indicated an important point that promotes the formation of flowers – namely, the resting phase. After the long and energy-sapping growth and flowering phase, the cactus must be able to recover. Only in this way will it also have enough strength (in combination with sufficient fertilization, of course) to form new flower buds. What should be considered during this phase?

  • stop fertilizing completely after flowering
  • water as rarely as possible and sparingly so that the roots do not dry out

Initiate the growth phase and pamper the plant outdoors

Christmas cactus does not bloom - How you should care for the plant

After a few months of rest, you can then “wake up” the plant again by watering more frequently, starting around April:

  • watering more frequently, but avoid waterlogging at all costs
  • resume fertilizing; once a month with liquid fertilizer rich in potassium and nitrogen is sufficient to promote new growth
  • if you have a half-shady place in the open air left, use this absolutely, because with it you spoil the Christmas cactus (as well as every other plant of course) immensely
  • Important: Frost and temperatures below 10 degrees harm the cactus plant!

From September, reduce watering again to prepare the plant for the upcoming flowering phase.

Christmas cactus does not bloom – The importance of the dark phase and the drop in temperature.

Christmas cactus does not bloom when it is too warm and bright

There are many plant species that need to “feel” that the season is changing in order to form flowers. That’s how they know their time has come, so to speak. The Christmas cactus is no exception. So if your Christmas cactus is not blooming, one reason may be that it has missed these very changes.

If you put your Christmas cactus outside in the spring, don’t be in too much of a hurry to bring it back inside. As already mentioned, temperatures from 10 degrees and frost-free periods are absolutely no problem for the exotic, so you should consciously take advantage of the natural change of seasons. After all, indoors you would have to do it yourself and thus invest more time and effort. What is crucial for the stimulation of a flower in this cactus plant?

It must become colder, otherwise the Christmas cactus will not bloom:

  • Of course, since the plant has its flowering season in winter, it must know that winter is approaching. Of course, since it comes from warm Mexico, this does not mean sub-zero temperatures, but temperatures between 10 and 20 degrees, 15 degrees is optimal.
  • Less than 10 degrees can cause cold damage to the plant.
  • Above 20 degrees is too warm and the plant will not form buds.

What am I doing wrong when Christmas cactus does not form buds

The hours of light must become less:

  • The Christmas cactus also uses the length of the day to orient itself as to when flowering is imminent. From September onwards, it should not be light for more than 9 hours.
  • Outdoors, this happens automatically.
  • Indoors, you must temporarily either find a room where the light is not constantly on in the evening hours. Or you can darken the plant yourself by covering it with a large cardboard box, for example. Even the slightest interruption of the dark phase can disrupt flower formation.

Once the Christmas cactus has formed the first buds, you can put it in its normal place indoors to enjoy its beauty. Temperatures around 20 degrees regardless of the duration of the light day are now ideal. This change of location will also help the buds to open faster and develop into flowers.

Have you carefully followed all these tips, but the Christmas cactus still does not bloom or the buds fall off before they have even opened? We will soon explain why the Christmas cactus loses its buds.