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Keyword Search Results for:
Christmas Cactus

13 Found

Question: 18-5201
How can I get my Christmas Cactus to bloom? May, New London, CT

Mort's Answer:
It is easier than you may think. Leave the Christmas Cactus outdoors until you expect a frost. If the weather forecasts predict temps of 38 or lower, bring it in. Put the Cactus out the next day, if the temps are over 35 during the day. The plant needs temperatures between 40 and 55 to set the buds.

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Question: 19-5201
Are there two kinds of Christmas Cactus? One of ours has bloomed while the other has not. Alice, Niantic, CT

Mort's Answer:
Zygocactus and Sclumbergera cactus have both been called Christmas cactus. Zygocactus has sharp cut tips and blooms around December 21 st. Schlumbergera is related to Zygocactus but blooms around Easter time. Schlumbergera gaertneri has bristled joints and is more upright with red flowers. It is the true Easter cactus.

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Question: 295-5201
Our Christmas Cactus didn't bloom this year for the first time in years. We haven't repotted in a few years. Could this be the problem? We also have some stems dropping off. Todd, Waterford, CT

Mort's Answer:
I would transplant into a 2 inch larger pot. You need cool temperatures to set the buds for at least 6 weeks prior to bloom. If you water without a reservoir to hold the water, you will force the plant to take up too much water. This results in leave drop. In the summer cacti and succulents require very little water. You can not afford to overwater even in Waterford.

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Question: 296-5201
My Christmas Cactus has not produced any buds yet. Will they eventually come? I have it outdoors. Jean, Narrragansett, RI

Mort's Answer:
It has been too warm in your area at night. When the temperatures go down to 40, you will have buds on the plant. Keep it out as long as possible before a frost. This will give you a greater amount of flowers. If you can keep it in a place in the house that has these night time temps, your Christmas cactus will continue to bloom.

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Question: 297-5201
What is the best location for Christmas Cactus?

Mort's Answer:
A sunny location that is cold at night will set the blooms. Use a high nitrogen fertilizer for more buds.

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Question: 485-711
How do I get my Christmas Cactus to bloom? Kathy, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
All succulents require cool temps at night to set the flower buds. This can be done in the fall by bringing the plant outdoors so long as the temps do not go below 40 degrees. You can put cactus in a cool room to have continued blooming in the winter. If you have an electric blanket, lower the heat in the bedroom and you can have continued blooming all winter.

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Question: 664-5111
I have had Christmas Cactus for five years. Is there any special care to keep it blooming and when should I repot? Joyce, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Christmas Cactus are best located in a cold window preferably on the south side of the house. If you would like to rest the buds, it needs temps close to 50 and bright sun. A light liquid fertilizer added to the water every other time will go a long way. If the roots start to show at the bottom of the pot, put the plant in a clay pot that is two inches larger. Use a third sand and the rest good potting soil for the additional medium.

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Question: 703-812
My Christmas Cactus bloomed a second time this winter. Is this unusual? Kincaid, IL

Mort's Answer:
It is not unusual for Zygote Cactus to bloom all winter. If you can have the plant in an area that has cool temps at night around 45 to 50 degrees, the buds will continue to form all winter long. You can start the process outdoors in October by leaving the plant outdoors every day unless you expect a frost. The best spot indoors is a bedroom that has the heat down, if you have electric blankets.

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Question: 967-2713
How can I get my Christmas cactus to give more blooms? It is three and a half feet across and in 18 inch clay pot? Mary, Griswold, CT

Mort's Answer:
Christmas Cactus and other succulents need cool temps at night for an extended time. This can occur naturally at the beginning of winter. Most houses are too warm and the plants need to visit the outdoors in late October for a few weeks to set the buds. The temps cannot go below 40 degrees. A cold window might fit the bill in the winter. You may find it difficult to move such a large plant regularly without wheels. Add a teaspoon of bonemeal to the soil once every two years to give it more phosphorus.

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Question: 1013-3813
When should I take my Christmas Cactus indoors from the patio? Shirley, Gardner, MA

Mort's Answer:
It has to be brought in before the first frost. If there is a slight breeze, it could lower the temps.I would wait until a forecast of 40 to 45 at night, which should be soon in zone 5. Zygocactus needs the lower temperatures to set the buds for the winter season. You could take it outdoors during the days after late September and early October to insure a bloom for the holiday.

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Question: 1325-4515
We are moving to Florida next week. We have Christmas Cacti there in black pots in the ground. They have had no growth or flowers for a couple of years. What should we do? I am ready to throw them out. Jim, Salem, CT

Mort's Answer:
You probably would have done better in Salem. The rains have kept them alive while you were away. Firstly, take them out of the ground. Next, put them in two inch larger clay pots with saucers. If you put them back in the ground, a frost will crack the pots and might kill the plants. Your new added soil should be a third sand for good drainage. Roots need air and water alternately. You will need cool temps around 45-50 degrees to set the buds. This would mean setting them out at night for six weeks if there is not a frost to bring the blooms in the winter. A cool sunny window facing south is the best location.

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Question: 1393-4516
My Christmas Cactus has no buds yet. Generally it has buds now in time for Thanksgiving. What is happening? Eleanor, Galesferry, CT

Mort's Answer:
You need cold temps to set the buds. Bring the plants out during the day for three weeks. Be sure to not allow them out below 40 degrees. The ideal spot for flowering succulents at their time of year is in a sunny bedroom where the heat is lowered during the night. If you have an electric blanket, this is ideal for your Christmas Cactus but not necessarily for a Christmas gift from your spouse.

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Question: 1402-317
I have had two Christmas cacti for years. Both are in seven inch plastic pots. One blooms well, the other is soft and not in bloom. What can I do? Nancy, Uncasville, CT

Mort's Answer:
THey have probably replaced all the soil with too much roots. You may have rotted some of the roots on the weak one. Both should be repotted in 10 inch clay pots. Tap the pots on something solid like wood, while upside down. Scrape off all brown or black roots, until you have all white roots. Your new soil has to be a third coarse sand and good sterile potting soil. Water thoroughly after transplanting and repeat only when dry.

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