Christmas cactus rebloom and general tips

tifflj(6 Pitts, PA)December 31, 2013

Hi everyone! Got an xmas cactus this year as a gift. Im assuming it has already bloomed but with the reading I did I see it should bloom again? What do you need to do to encourage rebloom?

Can u all chime in on some tips and tricks that have worked for you on this plant. Im excited to finally have one and cant wait until it gets bigger.

Specifically temperature..

I read to encourage blooms at christmas it needs total darkness for 12 hours??

Thanks all!

Tiff

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

No, sorry, pls. read around here, they just finished blooming & are unlikely to repeat 'til this time next year (generally speaking, outdoors growers may find otherwise, SOME indoor growers too, (but BROADLY speaking they're done for the year)).

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 10:47AM
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kataclysm(Pittsburgh, PA (6b))

They need both a short day and a cool night to bloom. I have read that if you let the night temperature increase above 70 degrees F, then it won't bloom. Some of them can get confused by artificial light, my Thanksgiving cactus doesn't seem too bothered by it though. I keep it under artificial light in the winter (12-h timer) and my apartment is cool enough that it still sets buds and blooms. Even though it lives next to the TV and other lights. I'm sure if I had enough window space for it, it would produce more flowers though.

As for blooming twice a year, I think it may depend on which specific hybrid you have? In any case, I think the best thing to do would be to take good care of the plant (enough light and water) for this winter: if it blooms, great! If not, oh well. Then in May or June (once our nighttime lows are in the 40s), put the plant outside in a shady spot. They like to be hung from trees or porches, but full sun will burn them. Then take it inside in September or early October, before the first frost. The outdoor treatment seems to really encourage budding/blooming.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 11:09AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

If it's actually a Christmas Cactus, it should still be blooming. My CC is loaded right now, and new buds are opening daily. The bloom period should continue well into January.

Josh

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 12:24PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hey Josh,

Since it was a gift, am guessing it's likelier a TC than an actual CC. They do seem to be on the much less common side. The 2 sets of cuttings of actual CC I have were gifts, I've yet to see true CCs for sale at any BBS at least here in NYC.

Happy New Year Everybody;

May the New Year bring happy & healthy situations to us all!!

(PG) Karen

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 1:15PM
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Laura Robichaud

Some years some of my TC bloom twice and other years not. If it blooms twice, I just consider myself lucky. I haven't been able to figure out what, if anything, I could've done to make it happen. At this time of year, I start looking forward to spring and new growth.

Happy New Year to all!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 1:29PM
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val1(z4 UT)

I have my Thanksgiving Cactus and my Christmas Cactus inside year round. They have always bloomed in the fall each year. I do not believe the temperature is as important as the light. Mine never experience temps under 70 (my house is usually at 74 degrees or higher all the time) and bloom just fine. The light, however, I believe is very important. They need the short day to encourage blooms. I hope it blooms for you next year. They are beautiful plants. Here is a link that will help you identify it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Holiday Cactus

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 3:49PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I was assuming it's a TC too. The labels from store-bought plants often say "Christmas cactus." A quick pic could help ID which.

It's not a mystery about what causes the blooms on TC. "Fourteen hours or more of continuous darkness each day is required before flower bud set will occur."
- http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/indoor/flowering/hgic1554.html

Right about the time you'll need to bring it back inside (if it goes outside for summer,) you should see buds starting to form. Being able to leave them outside here until mid-November was all that was needed. Where they come in a little earlier, a room where you don't usually turn the lights on at night is not a bad idea.

Just know it's a rainforest jungle dweller, not from dry desert climate, so don't treat it like a cactus. It will wilt/droop if it gets too dry. You have some great windows, I'm sure it will love your house, even for winter! They are some of the most carefree and rewarding plants I have.

Laura, that's fascinating! I've made the effort to move these out of the room where we sit & watch tv in the evening, (when it gets dark outside,) but the show still seems to be about over. No new buds showing up.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 4:11PM
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