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Why Won’t My Christmas Cactus Bloom? (5 Preventions and Solutions)

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Are you getting ready for winter by making sure to add a splash of color and joy to your life by growing a Christmas cactus? I mean who doesn’t want a lively addition to their plant family, especially in the winters?

Or are you just a worried plant parent who is concerned about the state of their Christmas cactus? Have you been wondering why won’t my Christmas cactus bloom?’ Well, then you’ve found yourself at the right place because we’ll be answering ‘why won’t my Christmas cactus bloom?’ for you.

Christmas cacti are given the name they carry because of their flowering period in the northern hemisphere, which is from around November to February. The fact that they prosper during Christmas has given them this widely used name.

However, have you recently found yourself upset in this cheerful time of the year because you wonder ‘why won’t my Christmas cactus bloom?’ If so, then read on!

Why Wont My Christmas Cactus Bloom
I wonder why my Christmas cactus has only two tiny buds and never blooms in the three years – via Reddit

Reasons on Why Won’t My Christmas Cactus Bloom

There can be many factors that can present themselves as hurdles on your journey of growing your cactus. Here are some of them:


Both too high temperatures and too low temperatures can prove to be dangerous for your cactus, keeping its buds from blooming.

High Temperatures

Christmas cacti need a drop in temperature and a cooler atmosphere to trigger the plant to start blooming. In temperatures above 90°F, the bud drops and so the chances of seeing any blossoms are completely lost.

Low Temperatures

If the temperature is too low, the water in the tissue will start to freeze, which inflicts severe damage on the cells inside the leaves and stems. Even when the water melts again, the damage is irreparable and the cactus will lose its shape.


A reason for the lack of blooming in your cactus can be the watering routine. Both underwatered and overwatered cacti can lose the ability to blossom. Christmas cacti are epiphytic plants that gain water from the atmosphere or moist areas in the soil where they grow.

If you water your Christmas cactus too often this can keep air from the pores in the soil around the roots, which will not let root respiration occur effectively, causing root rot, which will then keep the cactus from blooming.

The cactus will wilt and turn yellow. When you underwater your cactus, the drought stress keeps your cactus from blooming.


Christmas cacti are rather unusual with the amount of light they need, due to which they are one of the ‘short day plants,’ meaning they require at least 12 hours of darkness.

This is because they sense seasonal change through the amount of sunlight they receive. And so too much light can prevent the cactus from blooming.


Christmas cacti prefer to be root bound and restricted. When the cactus is pot bound, it’ll focus more on blooming flowers rather than the growth of both the plant and the roots, as producing flowers is a survival instinct for the cactus and if it’s in the perfect conditions, it won’t need those survival instincts.

Too Much Fertilizer

Unlike many other species of plants, Christmas cacti are not heavy feeders and don’t require a heavy amount of fertilizer to grow flowers, but far from it. Heavy doses of fertilizer prevent flowers from blooming.

Preventions And Solutions To Help Your Christmas Cactus Bloom

Optimal Temperature

The optimal temperature to keep your Christmas cactus promoting its growth is the room temperature around 68°F (20°C).

However, when the bud is developing during the flowering season, it requires lower temperatures of around 60°F (15°C). Placing it near an open window or door can be optimal as the air circulation provides the cooler atmosphere required by the cactus.

If your cactus is frozen, place it in a warmer atmosphere and wait till the affected areas (that’ll be softer than what the cactus should actually feel like) turn black. The tips will start turning white or purple. Remain patient as the cactus will heal over time.

For a cactus that is losing around 3 to 4 buds every day due to temperatures higher than the optimal, make sure to place it in an area that isn’t too close to the sun and keep it hydrated until it starts looking healthier.

Watering Routine

An accurate watering routine makes a huge difference in the health of your cactus, especially during the flowering season. Water your cactus every two to three weeks when the soil feels dry to touch.

If your plant has been underwatered, start to keep a regular check on it and water it as soon as the soil starts getting dry. Try giving it a soak and ensure that the water fully drains out.

On the other hand, if your cactus is overwatered, make sure that you use a pot that has draining holes at the bottom and that you’re giving it the required amount of hydration. Using a watering can with a longer spout helps you give it a smaller and more accurate amount of water. 


Ensure that your cactus is receiving at least 12 hours of dark time every day. And if you’ve exposed it to too much light, hurry and put it in the dark before the damage increases! Placing a cloth over it can also be helpful.


Pot your cactus in a small planter that is compact, guaranteeing that the roots are pot-bound and restrained, setting the plant’s survival instincts in action that’ll help produce more flowers.


Make sure that you don’t apply any fertilizer to your cactus during the period in which the bud is forming, or use fertilizers of less strength once a month during spring and summer, to make sure that your cactus doesn’t grow any deficiencies of any nutrients.

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Maintaining proper and updated knowledge and an accurate routine for your Christmas cactus is the key to your cheer and joy, not only during the holidays but also throughout the year.

Keeping your Christmas cactus healthy is important for all plant parents and by taking some precautions you can ensure and fulfill this goal of yours!