I had this problem for many years until my older neighbor told me that she got her Christmas cactus to bloom by placing one feed stick into the plant pot each month. She would break them in 1/2 and stick them into the soil. A simple solution to a complex problem. Now I've expanded on this. I use 1/4 teaspoon of a commercial water soluble plant food in 2 quarts of water. I use this each time I water the plants starting in the spring. I have had great results. I am now looking forward to using the timed release pellets. They worked well enough in the veggie garden with the usual 2" - 3" of composted cow manure. This saved me plenty of time. I needed to use water alone last summer and did not need to worry at all about fertilizing the garden. If this problem persists, you may want to examine how much sun your window is getting. Southern exposures are the best. My neighbor had a western exposure.
I received a Christmas cactus as a gift from a friend just before Christmas '04. It was beautiful. I live in an apartment/condo with windows facing north. I believed that it wouldn't bloom again on my north windowsill. At the moment, it has 8 beautiful blooms and many buds. Cactus of any kind are succulent plants (they retain water) therefore don't water until soil is very dry, then give a good soaking. It works great for me. Good luck!
The secret to making a Christmas Cactus bloom again is: along about mid October, make sure that it doesn't have any prolonged period of artificial light. We keep ours in the laundry room (which usually isn't lit at night) until it sets blooms in late November and it is just covered! Once, my mother accidentally had one right behind her insulated curtains on the windowsill and even forgot to water it for months and it set blooms. You should water every couple of weeks, but not too much. I never fertilize, and tend to have a brown thumb on most stuff, so this really is the secret.
I had the same problem with my Christmas cactus. It was small when I purchased it, but had blooms. For the next 2 years, no matter what I did, it would not bloom. Last spring, I set it outside in the flowerpot, and left it all summer. I brought it back in the house when the nights began to get cool enough to worry about frost, and had lots of blooms from just before Thanksgiving until after Christmas. Expect to do the same this year.
I rescued 6 Christmas cacti from the reduced table 2 or 3 weeks before Dec 25th and all were still flowering. Well now in March, I have 4 of them reflowering. I have named them all and I think they like that. They are also in a south patio window. I fertilize every 2 or weeks and talk to them daily. But I think I have a contest going for them to see which on can have the most flowers. Madge is doing the best but Euenes is catching up with her. So talk to them, they love it.
To make Christmas cactus bloom, don't water them for 6 to 8 weeks. Trust me, they are cactus and they will be fine, then water them very thoroughly. They will bloom. Using this method you can get them to bloom throughout the year.
Put it in a dark area for 6-8 weeks without water. When you take it out, it will start blooming like crazy!
I would suggest putting your cactus in a room that would receive the same light as outside. This meaning, let your cactus have the same amount of light during the day as if it was outside. Putting a box or something over the cactus at night also works. The cactus blooms as a result of less light during the fall/winter. Another option would be putting it in a closet or another room for the entire month of October with little or no water. I have tried both of these techniques and had very good luck. As far as having the cactus outside during the summer, I do. I keep it in a shaded spot where it does not take the direct sun and it does fine. Hope this helps.
I have 2 plants, red and white flowers. I left outside too in the corner of my deck in original pots over the summer. I live in NJ. In a way they did get neglected. I just noticed (Oct. 15) that both are now forming flower buds. I just brought them in case of possible frost and will now keep them in the same exposure but in a greenhouse window in my kitchen. I can't believe it!
ty for your tips
I personally do nothing. I put them in an east window and water them every two weeks. When the buds start to open. (which mine are doing now), I move them to where I want to show them off. These plants are very long lived. I inherited one of mine from my grandmother when she died. She had had it for 10 - 15 years and I have had it for another three. I have 4 plants pink, white, peach, and red. These are easy to propagate. You just pick a couple of segments off, and then stick them in the dirt, so easy.
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