Make Christmas cacti will ‘explode with blooms’ this holiday season

Royal Horticultural Society gives advice on Christmas cactus

Christmas cacti are festive plants known for their beautiful red, pink or white flower which bloom magnificently in December and over the holiday period. 

There is nothing worse than houseplants looking dull if you have guests over during the holidays, and it can be stressful if you are planning to give a Christmas cactus as a present to a loved one only for it to appear lifeless. 

According to the horticulturists from the University of Arizona, a Christmas cactus can live up to 40 to 100 years as a houseplant and give you “colourful and festive” blooms if given the proper care. 

Tannier Mitchell, a florist who owns the garden centre Famous in Oregon and a popular houseplant expert on social media, has explained the best way to take care of your Chrismas cactus to ensure it flowers beautifully. 

In a video, he said: “Here’s how you can get your holiday cactus to explode with blooms.”

Read more: Christmas cactus care: Houseplant expert on ‘ideal’ position for plant


Christmas cacti need bright light to thrive before winter. 

Tanner said: “ My favourite thing to do is to put this plant outside during the spring and summer months. As long as it’s above [10 Celcius], they can go outside in the morning or evening sun. 

However, you will need to avoid direct afternoon sun on Christmas cacti, especially from around 12pm to 4pm. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves of the houseplant and damage it.

Christmas cacti are best placed near a window, but not directly beside it, in a warm and humid part of the home, such as the kitchen or bathroom. 

Tanner added: “If you give it the right light, it’s really going to up those batteries to explode with those beautiful blooms.” 


When the plant flowers, it is best to feed it once every two weeks, but it is very important to never let a Christmas cactus dry out. 

Tanner said: “You don’t want to let these wilt in-between watering because that’s constantly putting them in shock. If they’re constantly in shock, they’re not going to give you all those nice blooms that we like.” 

Make sure to water the houseplant when it is around 25 percent dry, which is when the top layer of the cactus (around one to two centimetres) is dry. Keep your cactus is in a well-drained pot,  asplant becoming cold or too damp can make it a risk for disease. 



Tanner said that a “good well-purpose fertilizer” throughout the spring and summertime is best to keep your Christmas cactus healthy. 

He said: “It will really give the plant the extra nutients it needs to explore with all the nice blooms.”

  • Support fearless journalism
  • Read The Daily Express online, advert free
  • Get super-fast page loading

Don’t miss…
Best time to prune a Christmas cactus to encourage it to bloom next year[REVEAL ]
‘Avoid’ misting Christmas cactus or risk ‘root rot’, claims plant expert[INSIGHT ]
Important Christmas cacti job to do now to ‘initiate blooming’ next month[LATEST]

What not to do 

One common piece of advice houseplant owners are often given for Christmas cacti is to put them in a dark closet before December to make sure they bloom spectacularly when in season.  

However, Tanner has warned that this is not a requirement to make sure your cactus flowers. 

Tanner explained: “Now something you don’t need to do is put this thing in a closet. Remember there are no closets out in nature. 

“Nobody is putting a [holiday] cactus in the closet to make them bloom in nature. Likewise, we don’t need to do that in our rooms.”

According to Tanner, a Christmas cactus will simply bloom naturally “when it’s in the right season for it to be in bloom.” 

A Christmas cactus will naturally begin to bloom once it realises it is getting fewer hours of sunlight due to the shorter days and there is a drop in temperature. 

Tanner said: “That’s why I love to just keep them outside as long as possible throughout the spring, summer and into the early [autumn] as long as it’s the right temperature.” 

When the nighttime temperature drops, the Christmas cactus will begin blooming and look beautiful in time for Christmas. 

Get all the latest news, entertainment, sport and lifestyle updates from our dedicated American team.

Follow Daily Express US on Facebook and Twitter @ExpressUSNews

Source: Read Full Article