my poor christmas cactus

by reva
(brooklyn ny)

i was researching the proper care for a christmas cactus because mine became a little purple at the tips and only produced one flower this season. i also did not see so much growth over this past summer. The lighting condition (indirect light) and water seem okay but i did not use any fertilizer in the time that i have owned this plant. the sites that i have seen says that this is not the time of year to fertilize. what is the best thing to do to take care of my poor plant?

Hi Reva, I don't think lack of fertilizer is this plants problem. I would think it's more that it didn't receive the right conditions in the fall to set the buds.

You can see more about what I recommend for these plants here: Schlumbergera. As epiphytes, these and other related plants will only set buds when the daylength is shortening and the nights are cooler than the day.

This promotes the formation of flowers; then it's up to you to place them where they will bloom, and avoid any moving of the plant or disturbance or change in temperature. They dislike being moved once they set the buds, and they also resent being where they are getting the draft from air conditioners or heating vents.

I usually try and find a nice tree for them to have a summer vacation under, and then bring them back indoors before it gets too cold at night.

Now you know the rules to follow for successful flowering of these great plants, and it will be covered in blooms next year.

Best of luck!

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Dec 28, 2012
by: Reva

thank you for your help!

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