The secret to making your Christmas cactus produce more flowers

Christmas cacti are certainly among the least understood houseplants. They have a bad reputation for being difficult to flower, or for flowering at the wrong time.

However, once you discover their secret, these wonderful plants will produce colorful flowers every year.

Although it is a succulent plant, the care that the Christmas cactus needs is more reminiscent of a tropical plant. Native to Brazil, it grows in humid and tropical undergrowth.

Light and temperature
Christmas cacti need lots of indirect light. They need a mild temperature, never cold, ideally between 15 and 23 degrees.

You can also keep it outside if you live in a place that has not very cold winters. If you decide to do this, remember to bring it inside during the coldest periods and absolutely avoid exposure to frost.

The Christmas cactus should be treated like a tropical plant: water it with plenty of water and let the soil dry completely between one watering and another.

It is important to let the soil dry and avoid stagnation, to prevent the roots from rotting.

This plant prefers a humid environment, so if you live in a dry house, place the pot on a saucer filled with water and pebbles. The water will evaporate and provide the plant with the humidity it needs.

Soil and fertilizer
In their natural habitat these plants do not grow on the ground, but in places where dirt and debris accumulate, such as the hollow of a tree or a recess in a rock where natural residues accumulate.

Christmas cacti prefer soil suitable for succulents, which drains well.

Feed the Christmas cactus with a good fertilizer when the flowering phase ends.

These cacti have beautiful flowers, with delicate petals of pink, fuchsia, orange or white. But what do you need to do to make them flourish?

Christmas cacti flower after a dormant period of about four weeks. You can help this process by giving the plant what it needs to flower: longer, cooler nights.

Keep the plant in the dark for about 12-14 hours a day. If you don’t have a dark place to put it, you can cover the Christmas cactus with a cloth or box.

The plant will also need cooler temperatures, between 10 and 12 degrees.

Once the Christmas cactus begins to produce buds on the ends of its segments, you can put it back in place.

Christmas cacti tend to lose their buds if they are disturbed too much. Be sure to water the plant regularly, keep it away from heat sources and avoid moving it.

Once the plant is in its dormant phase, it will produce wonderful flowers every year.