A blooming cactus adds that extra features that your plant misses. Getting your cacti to bloom is indeed a slightly awkward end to achieve, but despite the conditions, it is not impossible. There are various varieties of plants that thrive and many that don’t.
A lot of terms come in the way when it comes to making your cactus flower. Even maintaining the blooming cactus once it does flower is also a continuous task, but with all the right care and tips, you can achieve this too.
Flowering cactus is a unique and pretty sight, and it surely makes the little potted plant in your room add an even more appealing touch to the display.
Seeing your cacti bloom in the spring is a great feeling. The flowers of succulents and cacti are usually very bright, beautiful, different, and showy. Having your cactus bloom is like a reward for being an excellent gardener to your plants.
Various cacti produce various kinds of flowers, and these depend on factors like light, watering, fertilizing, timing, and so on. This entire procedure of tending to your cactus until it blooms is fascinating and worth the effort.
Here we have you for all the necessary things you need to know and do to see your plant develop sweet, little, and bright, colorful flowers.
What types of cacti bloom?
Cactus is a natural flowering plant, and generally, all kinds of cacti bear flowers. Some cactus families may be too hard to get to the flower, and some might be comparatively easier and give rise to more prominent flowers.
Many things are to be kept in mind when trying to make your cactus plant bloom indoors. There are factors such as light and temperature conditions, proper watering, efficient fertilizing, age and maturity of the cactus plant, season, etc.
There are a few varieties which are well known for their comparatively easy blooming qualities, they include:
– Christmas Cacti
– Dwarf or garnet Cacti
– Spiny Cactus
– Hedgehog cactus species
– Pincushion cactus
Top 10 secrets of making your cactus bloom:
1.The basic idea lies in getting a cactus which is already flowering. When you buy a cactus for your house, if possible, get a plant that already has flowers on it. A cactus that has bloomed before can also be chosen.
This ensures that the cactus plant which you are choosing can bloom. It also shows that the plant is at a rather mature stage where it can produce flowers and will continue to do so ahead. Age is a significant element when it comes to making a cactus bloom; some require years to reach maturity before they can start flowering.
An already flowering cactus can be then provided with all its needs like water, climate, fertilizer, etc. which can take forward the maturation process and assures continuous blooming of the cactus in every coming growing season.
2.Give your cactus enough time, along with care and its other needs. Even when you buy an already flowering cactus, it does not mean that it will flower frequently.
There are intervals between each flowering season, and it also depends on the environmental conditions that the cactus is kept in. Some varieties of cacti even take up to 30 long years to start blooming. It is essential to patiently tend to the needs of your indoor cactus plant.
3.The light source and placement of the cactus where it is receiving proper light are essential too. It is advisable to position the cactus by a window that is south facing. When potted indoors, the cactus plant must be kept where it receives the most amount of Sun.
It is generally the best to let the cactus have at least a 6-hour sunlight exposure. The desert light conditions should be made available to the cactus as much as possible on its remarkable growth. Keeping the cactus plant in a sunroom or even outdoors can contribute to its light needs and make it easier to have a longer, fuller, and brighter exposure to the Sun.
4. If your indoor conditions aren’t suitable for the growth of a cactus plant, you can make arrangements for an artificial light source to provide for your cactus’s light needs.
An artificial grow light can be made use of. Artificial grow light sources can give light to the cactus in the absence of proper sunlight. If you can’t find a preferred position to place your potted cactus, you can make use of these artificial light sources to supply enough and necessary exposure to your cactus.
This also helps increase the time of exposure as by using an artificial light source, you can regulate the period of light exposure for the plant. It is also useful on days with less Sun and during the winter months as the intensity of the Sun’s light tends to reduce.
5. You must acclimatize the cactus to the new surroundings. As we all know, cacti grow in the desert regions; thus, when they are shifted to another habitat with different environmental properties, it needs to adapt to it.
The cactus must be provided with immense sun exposure as if it were still in a desert. Although succulents, in general, are low maintenance type plants, they have to be made comfortable with the environment to ensure growth and development in the cactus.
During the initial days of getting a cactus plant at home, be sure to provide it with enough attention and make sure it is adapting well. In case the cactus isn’t adjusting to the environment that it is kept in, it will begin showing signs of discomfort:
- If your cactus shows a faded hue or patches of discolorations here and there, it is less sunlight exposure. In this case, position it to a better sun-exposed location or provide it with an artificial grow light. You can also keep turning the cactus regularly to ensure the distribution of sunlight equally to all parts of the plant.
- In case your cactus develops dark, rough, burnt patches and calluses, it means that it is suffering through sunburn. Too much sun exposure can also be harmful. The harsh rays of the Sun can cause your cactus plant to burn. Moving it to a slightly less sun-exposed area is the best way to keep it under control.
Make sure your cactus is in balanced sunlight conditions.
6. Watering the cactus is also an essential job. Although succulents are plants with reduced leaves and hard fleshy stems that store water and hence do not require too much watering, they still need to be carried out correctly. Cacti can thrive without water for long as they are used to the dry and warm conditions of the desert climate.
It is best to water the cactus plant in your rooms only once every week. This watering schedule works for generally all kinds of cacti. During winters, the watering of the cactus should be brought down to only once or twice a month.
The topsoil can be touched, and if it feels dry, it is time to water the cactus. The top 2 centimeters of the soil must be allowed to dry up completely before watering the plant again. If the soil is still wet and has a damp feel when touched, it should be left to dry off before watering the cactus again.
Over-wetting the cactus and the soil must be avoided. Proper watering can promote good growth and, ultimately, the bloom of flowers on the plant.
7. Even if you follow the schedule of watering your cactus only once every week, there is still a chance of water retention in the soil due to inefficient and fewer drainage facilities.
If this is the case, the soil will never be able to dry off thoroughly between watering schedules. If the quantity of water in the potted cactus is more than required, it may negatively affect plant growth.
If water is allowed to sit in the soil, it will lead to rotting of the roots. Root rotting is a permanent hampering to your plant, and it will cause the stem and leaves of the cactus to soften and droop down.
To prevent the rotting of roots due to water retention in the soil, a well-draining pot can be used in the first place. It is optimal to select a pot with adequate drainage holes at the bottom to let the water flow out and facilitate the soil to dry.
The soil can be lined with a layer of small pebbles at the bottom to encourage better drainage. Dampness in the soil must be avoided as much as possible to let the cactus grow well and reach a flowering stage.
8. The growth and development of your indoor cactus are also affected by the potting mix for the cactus. Cactus has different soil requirements as compared to other plants.
When potting a cactus, make sure to use a potting mix specially composed for cacti. The regular potting soil mix contains a different composure and is more suited to other varieties of plants that require a water holding capacity in the soil.
If this same kind of soil mix is used for growing cacti, the soil can affect the overall growth due to extra water retention in the soil. Even when re-potting, it is best to use a potting mix designed for cacti and succulents as they provide the best growing needs and soil conditions for your cactus and prevent root rot caused by extra moisture in the soil.
9. Cacti are usually well growing healthy plants and do not require to be provided with extra nourishment. But if you want your cactus to grow even better and boost the flowering in the plant, you can make use of fertilizers.
Fertilizing in the right way can encourage the nutrients that are necessary for the blooming of a cactus. Cacti have a different need for nutrition compared to other plants, and thus to see the best results, you should provide the cactus with special fertilizers made for cacti.
Using a regular fertilizer that is less intense and diluted can also work. A regular and less concentrated plant fertilizer that has less quantity of nitrogen and a higher content of potassium and phosphorus is advisable to be used for cacti plants.
Fertilizing should be done during the summer or spring seasons, as it is the growing season for cacti. Fertilizing too much is unnecessary and can cause misbalance.
Too much fertilizing will not lead to faster growth or quicker blooming of flowers on your cactus. Providing the cactus with a proper fertilizer just once or twice a year, I enough to supply it with its essential nutrients and food.
10. Not all cacti bloom during the same time or the growing season. Every different cactus has a different blooming season. Some species of cacti bloom during the general flowering time, that is, the spring season. Whereas, some other varieties may even bloom in the colder season.
During the beginning of the fall season and throughout the winter months, the dormant period can also be the time for some cacti flowers. The holiday variety cacti, as the name suggests, bloom during the holiday time. Several cacti can even flower at night.
Give your cactus its time and patiently provide it with all it requires for the proper growth, and it will bloom when the time for it has arrived.
Following all lighting, watering, fertilizing, and other tips properly can lead to the efficient development of the cactus, and it can ultimately bear flowers.
Once the cactus has flowered, it is essential to care for the plant even while its flowering time and after its bloom season the same way you did before it bloomed. This ensures a balanced way of growing and encourages flowering in the next season as well.
Cacti flowers can last up to a day or even up to weeks depending on the variety of cactus. Make sure to follow all the tips carefully to grow your pretty, unique, and vibrant cactus flowers.
- How to Get Your Cactus to Flower (CactusWay.com)
- Encouraging Your Cactus to Bloom (TodaysHomeOwner.com)
Hi there! My name is Constance and I am a professional botanist. My enthusiasm for organic farming has led me to start this blog about gardening for beginners!
I write articles and tips on improving your home and garden with less work. I also share my own advice from the perspective of someone who loves all things green – like how to grow vegetables in containers or how to make compost out of kitchen scraps.