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  • Christmas Cactus

    Posted by Suzanne Postma on Thursday, December 27, 2001 6:50 PM AST

    I have a Christmas cactus which is at least 5 years old and I never had any problem with blooming at christmas time. I leave it dormant during the year and start watering & feeding approx. 3 months before blooming time. This year I never received any blooms. Does anybody have any idea what I might have done wrong or is this natural. Would appreciate any suggestion from you wonderful gardeners. Suzanne Postma Brighton, Ontario Canada

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Walt on Monday, December 31, 2001 3:04 PM AST

      Suzanne, I had to reply to this one! As a Trenton native now living in the beautiful Ottawa Valley, I couldn't leave a former "neighbour" in distress! Christmas cactus behavior can be puzzling at times. I've had great success with my Christmas cactus over the years, but every once in awhile they will disappoint me too! That's just the way they are! Here's what I'd suggest: a bright south or west window...but not too close; water and a light feeding regularly from April to August...to encourage new growth; cut back on the watering and eliminate the feeding all together from September to March; the reduced light of autumn and early winter should bring on the blooms in November and December...artificial light may have a negative impact on flowering, so be mindful of that. I hope this helps!!! I'm looking forward to spending next summer on the Bay of Quinte! All the best to you and yours in 2002!

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Suzanne on Tuesday, January 1, 2002 7:03 PM AST

      Thank you for the reply! What a coincidence I'm an Ottawa Valley native. I moved to the Qunite area 15 years ago. I have printed your instructions & hopefully I will be able to revive my beautiful mature Christmas cactus. Thanks again, You will love Ottawa!! Suzanne Brighton, On

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Janet Fraser on Monday, January 7, 2002 11:31 PM AST

      Hello..I just read your e-mails about the Christmas Cactus and I have another hint to add. We have 3 Christmas Cacti which have bloomed beautifully every year since we were given this advice. We were told to put the plants outdoors during the summer and leave outdoors even when we bring in the other house plants. Allow the plants to get quite cool in the fall , but do not allow it to freeze. (If there is a threat of frost put it in the garage or a cool place over night ) Bring it in when you must..usually by November..the plant will bloom beautifully, having experienced it's "winter".

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Bill Rosset on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 6:38 PM AST

      Hi. Ours was the same way,no blooms at Xmas. However now budding like crazy.It flowers an average of 2 or usually 3 times a year,usually Xmas and easter and the late summer. It gets lots of sun in a west window and we do not feed it. Also we are very forgetful about the watering part. Ours seems to like very little water.When we do water it gets a good soaking. This is our experience.The plant is close to 20 years old

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by bernice on Monday, January 28, 2002 2:04 AM AST

      hi there i have learned through the years that yes christmas cacti can be very disappointing. i learned to hold off on the watering during the whole month of october, place plant in a north window . in november soak it, feed it and take out of the window sill and this has worked for me ( knock on wood) for 6 years.

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Rebecca on Saturday, November 29, 2008 11:57 AM AST

      Ive had a Christmas Cactus for awhile now with no problems, however, I opened the window it was in a bit,, and I think it got cold... all the leaves etc have went soft and droopy,,,, there is a section in the middle that still seems ok... what should I do to save it? Should I cut back the soft droopy parts??

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Maria Angowski on Sunday, April 26, 2009 6:20 PM ADT

      My dad has a christmas cactus that has been in the same window for years. But recently the green parts ahve turned almost burgandy, can you please tell me why it would do this. If you could write me back that would be great. Thank you. I will be waiting for your reply.

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by sally on Sunday, May 10, 2009 1:51 PM ADT

      Hello, I have a Christmas Cactus which I've had for about 5 years and it will NOT bloom!! It has grown but for some reason I cannot get it to bloom. Could it be possible its to young to bloom or is something wrong, I give it plant food every month and I water it only when it gets a bit dry, I have it on a stand by the window, please help. thanks in advance:)

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by stan shyer on Saturday, September 19, 2009 6:41 PM ADT

      I read somewhere that in Sept it's good to give Cactus castor oil.. Need help. Tks

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Bobbi Bennett on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 2:06 PM AST

      I thought I could winter over my newly acquired huge Christmas cactus in the green house which has grow lights, however our temps dropped drastically and it is all droopy and mushy looking. I am so devastated because it was full of blossoms!! What to do?? Cut it back let it droop and place in a better location, garage?? HELP! Thanks

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Joani Wilson on Saturday, January 9, 2010 1:24 PM AST

      I also have a christmas cactus that turned a dark burgundy colour...it started out green and has flowered over the holiday season...I was wondering if the soil had anything to do with colour or maybe too much sunlight?? I,m puzzled..

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Debbie Desjardins on Sunday, February 14, 2010 3:00 PM AST

      I have had Christmas cactus plants for 10 years now, this fall they all went limp and looked dead, I replaced all 3 plants in November, although they are doing well this new batch I got no flowering at all 1st time!! One of them is now going limp, does this mean I'M THIRSTY ..OR PLANT IS SICK??? I 've lost the touch...I water once a month or longer, I believe the only thing I did different is the water was tepid, warmish not hot could this have done them in?? and is limp leaves a dying plant?? Debbie Hawkesbury Ontario.

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Natashia Servi on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 3:02 PM ADT

      I have two Christmas cactus; my great grandmother got the first one when she was 20. She managed to get a second one from pulling an arm off the first one. She passed away at 92 now I have them they haven’t bloomed since she passed will they ever bloom out again?

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Carmen Iseminger on Monday, September 6, 2010 1:43 PM ADT

      I am with Natashia...I got my gramdmothers cactus when she died at 96 and the pot I have is the pot she put all the starters in when a piece would break off her huge original cactus. It will not bloom and I have had it for a couple of years now. My husband is picking me up some caster oil as I type so if this doesn't work I guess I will just have a non blooming plant. She would be so disappointed. People would stop in the street to look at her huge cactus in full bloom, it was amazing. The local florist begged for a piece of it and she had decided she would leave it to him when she died, unfortunatly he died first.

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Audine on Friday, October 22, 2010 8:51 AM ADT

      My christmas cactus is 4 years old. I have it in a south window. It has grown and is healthy but has never bloomed. What am I doing wrong?

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by florence bilawka on Monday, November 15, 2010 1:19 PM AST

      leaves on cactus are soft and droppy

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Dianna on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 11:48 AM AST

      I have had my cactus for about 5 years and it has always done great. It flowers 2 or 3 times a year. This year it was doing well until it bloomed flowers. Now it is limp and it appears that it is going to die. What can I do?

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Brian T on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 9:26 PM AST

      Our Christmas Cactusi also did poorly in a south window. When moved to a bright north or north-west window they bloomed continuously for months. South might be to hot in the daytime.

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Rita McCurdy on Monday, December 6, 2010 10:59 PM AST

      I had a Chrismas cactus for 15 years and one year it started to drop sections of its leafs.I repotted and did al the right things but it continued to decline. The old center stems became quite woody and eventually I tossed it.What happend!!

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Sally Johnston on Monday, August 15, 2011 5:39 PM ADT

      I have had my Christmas Cactus for about 4 years, I have never had a bud or a bloom. I was told if I gave it some castor oil it would help it. I love these cactus and would love to see it in Bloom.

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Teri on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 3:08 PM ADT

      My mother had a Christmas cactus in a #3 washtub in the basement for as long as I can remember. Every year she would poke holes in the soil with a pencil and fill those holes with castor oil. It never failed to bloom. We did have windows in the basement so it did get light. That plant thrived and many of its offspring are in different homes now for others to enjoy.

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Paul on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 6:32 PM AST

      It is tricky to get them to bloom. To force n=bloom them they will need the proper amount of darkness at night starting around the beginning of oct for 12 hrs or so pure dark, no light. And place in a cool cool area of around 50 to 55 degrees or so. It has worked for me for the past 12 yrs for all mine and I have about 20 and it is my favorite plant and mine all bloom around 3 to 4 times per yr

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Lynne long on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 8:59 PM ADT

      re: Christmas Cactus I also have a christmas cactus that turned a dark burgundy colour...it started out green and has wondering if the soil had anything to do with colour or maybe too much sunlight?? I,m puzzled..

    • re: Christmas Cactus

      Posted by Nicole on Friday, November 22, 2013 9:15 PM AST

      my christmas cactus has become droopy and purple at the tips as well. Still blooming so I'm thinking its ok... any recommendations?

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