How/When to water blooming Christmas Cactus
Over time I have been given five Christmas (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter--pick one) Cacti with the standard butterfly-like blossoms in pale pink, fuchsia, fuchsia/white, scarlet, and flame. For most of the year I have no trouble watering, feeding, or bringing them to bloom.
My problems start when I water after one of these plants begins to bloom. It seems that if I water too soon, it drops buds; if too late, it drops buds. When watering, I use cold water and drain immediately, allowing any water trapped in the bottom of the pot to siphon out on folded paper towel. Then, the pot goes back to its place on the plant stand. I do not resume fertilizing until after blooming is finished.
What can I do--or not do--to keep my Christmas Cacti from dropping most of their buds? Is it a matter of timing? How wet or dry should the soil surface be before I water?
After the anticipation of a wonderful bounty of blooms, it is so disappointing to see all those buds drop. Any help will be much appreciated.