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House Plants/christmas cactus


Hi Will          Is it to late to get my Christmas cactus to bloom? Should I see buds this time of the year(Nov)? I did put it in a smaller pot this summer because I read they like to be root bound and my pot was way to big.

Hi Kim,

In general, Holiday Cacti need lots of good light and water during the summer months, followed by cool temperatures below 60 degrees for approximately 6 weeks starting in September. They also should have completely dark nights and sunny days during that 6 week period. Finally, they do need to be quite outbound.

That is what you strive for to maximize flowering results. However, I have seen many Holiday Cacti that flower nicely without the cool temps or completely dark nights in the fall. Overpotted Cacti rarely bloom, however. I am concerned that you have disturbed the roots this summer and that may prevent flowering this year. Had you downsized last winter or in the early spring, it probably would not be an issue.

Because every Holiday Cactus seems to be unique, I cannot say for sure if yours will bloom. The repotting and delay in cool temp/dark nights work against you. That said, you have nothing to lose by trying by reducing your watering somewhat now and providing completely dark nights. With some luck you will get some buds in the next 4-6 weeks. Otherwise, you will have a healthy non-flowering plant. Next year you will know what to do to get it to flower.

I have written a detailed article on holiday flowering plants, including Christmas Cactus, Poinsettia and Amaryllis that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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