Why Your Christmas Cactus Is Not Blooming - Backyard Boss
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Why Your Christmas Cactus Is Not Blooming

The Christmas cactus, not to be mistaken for the Thanksgiving cactus, is a beautiful flowering plant that makes a popular gift during the festive season. It’s easy to care for and provides a burst of color to your home during the winter months.

However, as with any plant, you might find that your Christmas cactus isn’t blooming. There are several reasons behind it, so go ahead and check the most common ones below to get it back on track!

Why Your Christmas Cactus Is Not Blooming

Because of Light

Christmas Cactus pink flower
Image credits: GeoffS via MorgueFile

If your Christmas cactus isn’t blooming this season, the problem may lie in its exposure to light. To properly initiate flower buds for blooming, your plant needs some time in the dark. It should receive at least eight days of 16 hours of darkness; placing your plant in the basement is ideal. But, they also need eight hours of light each day. Finding a balance may seem like a hassle but it’s well worth it.

This dark cycle is important for triggering bud production and allowing it to happen correctly. If you have the plant somewhere where lights are turned on or off during the night (even briefly), that can break the dark cycle necessary for bloom formation.

Due to Temperature

Very wonderful Christmas cactus zygocactus with pink blooms in front of blue lightning lantern and little lights around
Image credits: Hosak via Shutterstock

Another factor that could affect the blooming process is temperature. This plant prefers a comfortable environment with temperatures around 61 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to keep it away from any cold or hot air drafts that might disrupt its normal temperature.

The key to getting your Christmas cactus to bloom again is a combination of the right light and temperature requirements. Keep your cactus on the windowsill and out of direct sunlight, but not in a completely dark space. If you previously situated your plant in a lighted room, only the side closest to the window will develop buds. Rotate it so every part of the plant gets its fair share of light.

Tips on How to Care for a Christmas Cactus

With Christmas just around the corner, you may be wondering how best to care for your beautiful Christmas cactus. Fortunately, caring for this plant is easy! Here are a few tips for caring for your gorgeous green friends and keeping it healthy throughout the holiday season:

Let It Rest

Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera) in pot on the windowsill
Image credits: Nadezhda Nesterova via Shutterstock

After a long, festive season of blooming beauty, your Christmas cactus needs some time to recharge. From late January to late March, give it a little extra TLC by providing less water and cooler temperatures. You can easily do this by popping your plant in a cooler room! That way, it will be ready to start blossoming again in no time.

This resting period is essential for your Christmas cactus, so don’t forget about it! For best results, keep your Christmas cactus in a room between 55 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit and water it only occasionally.

Move It Outdoors

Flowering Christmas cactus. Bright pink flowers. Young plant.
Image credits: Kathy D. Reasor via Shutterstock

To keep your Christmas cactus happy over the summer, why not move it into the great outdoors? Once there is no more risk of frost, transfer your plants to a shady spot where they can enjoy the sun and fresh air. But also protect them from pesky slugs and snails who might like to munch on their juicy leaves!


Closeup of Houseplant schlumbergera with pink flowers, parent of Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving cactus, blooms luxuriantly in December. Floriculture of a bright Decembrist plant with winter flower
Image credits: James Jiao via Shutterstock

The ideal temperature to maintain during the growing season is 65 to 69 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, it’s time to boost the amount of watering and feeding. You can use houseplant liquid feed.

If you want your Christmas cactus to thrive, keep up with these important steps during its growth season from April to September.


Close up christmas cactus
Image credits: PollyDot via Pixabay

As cooler temperatures and shorter days move in later in the year, your cactus should begin flowering by mid-September. To ensure the best blooms, reduce watering and temperature during this time until the buds have formed.

Once they’re set, increase the temperature back up to 65 to 69 degrees Fahrenheit and resume regular watering for healthy and vibrant flowers come December.

Happy Holidays!

Christmas cacti are a popular holiday plant, but many people don’t realize how to take care of them in order for them to bloom. By understanding the two main factors that affect blooming – light and temperature – you can give your cactus the right environment it needs to thrive.

Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into what might be causing your cactus not to bloom and some tips on how to get it back on track. Do you have any tips or tricks for prepping your Christmas cactus for blooms?

Feel free to leave a comment below! And be sure to share this article with other green-thumbed friends so they can get their cacti blooming too!