One of my favourite holiday plants is the Christmas cactus. When in full bloom, they are an absolutely gorgeous contrast of colour and interesting leaves. I've had mine now for a few years and the last two, I got one lonely bloom. So I asked Anne Marie what I can do to bring back that riot of colour next year. Here is what she had to say:
Christmas cacti are plants that respond to cooler temperatures and the length of the day (short days and long nights) to trigger them to flower. Keeping them slightly dry in the fall may also help, too.
To get them to form buds in early winter or late fall, put them where they will get night temperatures near 15 deg. C (55 F) and day temperatures below 18 deg. C (65 F). After about six weeks at this temperature, buds will form at the end of the branches. Placing the plants where they can get 13 hours of uninterrupted darkness each night also helps bring on the flower buds. Once the flower buds are formed, the cooler temperatures and long night darkness can be stopped.
But, don't let the plant get too hot, too dry, too cold or experience a sudden change or else the flower buds might drop off.
It's going to be a long wait, but I look forward to the challenge to bring on the blooms!