Tips on How to Get a Christmas Cactus to Flower

How do I get my Christmas Cactus to flower?

Hi Tim,

Bright pink flowers on Christmas cactus
Christmas Cactus
Zygo Cactus Schlumbergera Bridgesii

A Christmas Cactus is a”thermo-photoperiodic” plant, that means it needs the right amount of light and darkness and the right temperature in order to bloom. Starting about 8-10 weeks before Christmas, a Christmas Cactus needs 12 hours a day of light and 12 hours a day of total darkness.

The correct temperature is important if you want a Christmas Cactus to produce flowers. To set flower buds, the plant needs cool temperatures of 60°-65°F (15.6°- 18.3°C) during the day and even cooler temperatures of 45°-55°F (7.2°-12.8°C) at night. Once buds have developed, a Christmas Cactus likes warm temperatures of 70°-75°F (21.1°-23.9°C) during the day and about 10° cooler at night. Cool temperatures between 65°-70°F (18.3°-21.1°) help Christmas Cactus flowers last longer.

Once buds have developed you can move your Christmas Cactus to a warm spot away from drafts; provide bright indirect light but no direct sun. Cold drafts will cause the buds to drop off. It’s not necessary to feed a Christmas Cactus after October.

Christmas Cactus produce more flowers when they are kept root-bound in smaller containers with drip holes in the bottom.