Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera) make great holiday plants because they're easy growers and reliable bloomers. With a little extra care they will also bloom around Easter time.
Unfortunately newly purchased plants have a tendency to shed some of their flower buds when you bring them home.
That's because they have probably endured harsh conditions traveling from the nursery to your home. And they need time to adjust to their new surroundings.
Your new plant may be under stress - and stressed plants respond by shedding their flower buds - no matter how much loving care you give them.
Dropping flower buds does not mean your plant is dying. With a little TLC it might bloom again around Easter. (I show you how below)
The first thing to know is flowers only last for a couple of days. And the blooming cycle lasts for only a several weeks.
Here are my tips on caring for new Christmas Cactus when you bring them home.
These plants enjoy thorough waterings with a dry period in between. Make sure your plant has drainage in the bottom of the grow pot. With proper drainage you never have to worry about over watering because excess water will drain away. The key is waiting until the pot is completely dry before rewatering - could be 2 weeks or more.
Light is not a big issue for now. Put your plant wherever it looks its best. It has built up all the energy it needs to complete the blooming cycle. Once a plant has developed flower buds, cool temperatures will have a bigger impact on blooms than light levels.
More tips on caring for new Christmas Cactus:
- provide extra humidity. Unlike desert cactus, these plants like 40-50 percent humidity. Use a Humidity Tray or some other method to provide extra humidity to increase the life of the blooms.
- lower temperatures in the room. Just like any other flowers, Christmas cactus blooms last longer in cool temps.
- never place in cold drafts, or near heating ducts (or the fireplace) when blooming.