Why are the buds falling off my Christmas cactus? How hard is it to detangle and re-stick my Christmas cactus? These are just some of the questions I ask myself, even before the beautiful flowers start to spill out of their beautiful green pot. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be Christmas, but why are the flowers falling off?
Well, let’s start at the top: I love my Christmas cactus, (my best friend’s garden). I have taken it for granted for too long, and now that spring is nigh, it’s time to give back to the plant. This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy seeing the flowers, or having them smell the wonderful aromas they bring. To me, they are the most beautiful part of my plants, and I want them to thrive and bloom as much as possible.
So, what happened? I don’t know if it was a case of poor maintenance, or of a particular flowering period. Perhaps I had bought the wrong type of cactus! But whatever the reason, it is now time to nurture the relationship once again, and get those flowers blooming again!
If you’re new to growing your own plants, you should start with a small container. This should be something narrow, like a plastic tub. Remember to add a little gravel to get the roots to settle into the container. Don’t fill the plant to the rim of the container, or it will overflow. Also, make sure that you rinse any leftover water out of the plant before you place it in the new container.
Next, you will want to prune your Christmas cactus, removing any dead branches or blossoms. Once you have done this, you can further beautify your plant by pulling back any dead branches on the tree. This will allow you to fill in any gaps in your design. Now you’re ready to start flowering! It’s best to do this in the spring, so that the cactus has the proper, rich nutrients to support healthy flowers.
I love to show off my Christmas cactus. Sometimes I’m not even waiting until the last week of December to bring out one of my plants. I’ve let them grow for most of the year, and now they’re starting to bloom heavily, with many different colors of purple. They’re also a great contrast to other, less-surreal plants in the area!
For more information about caring for your cactus, check out The Cactus Gardener website. Here you will find everything you need to know about keeping and growing a beautiful cactus. (Yes, they’re true! Some people claim that Santa Claus is actually an herbivore!)
If you love growing your own Christmas cactus, don’t be scared off during the winter. Most plants will survive the winter, and in fact will even enjoy it! It will be especially fun to pull a cactus out of it’s Winter Care routine in early Spring, when it will be full of energy and ready to go. And remember – don’t water your cactus! Why water your cactus in the summer?
In early Spring, I like to cut off some of the taller branches on my cactus’s canopy ball. If you have these cut back, you will give your plants a chance to grow some of those long, majestic petals. When you do this, you’ll find that your cactus’s flowers are definitely blooming.
The truth is that in early Spring, your cactus’s leaves may look a bit ragged. This is because they have fallen off! So don’t worry too much about this!
It’s really pretty cool how the leaves fall off. If you look at any picture of Christmas cactus’s, you’ll see that the plant actually has its stem-end (the “ears” that sticks up) sticking up. That’s what happens when the plant is stressed out. Stress causes the plant to “roll up” (grow tall) and the leaves are gone! I guess if you were living in cold climates, they wouldn’t fall off so fast!
To get rid of this stress, you need to give your cactus’ a “beauty rest”. When you take away the leaves, the plant will be able to roll up it’s self and the beautiful flowers will begin to bloom again. This process doesn’t happen overnight, so it will take some time, but it’s worth the wait! After they come back to life, you’ll be blown away by their gorgeous purple, orange, red, and black colors. When you ask yourself why are the buds falling off my Christmas cactus’s, you just might cry!