How To Make Cactus Bloom | 8 Very Important Tips |

You may have seen cactus blooms on the internet or magazines. But do you know how to make cactus bloom? 

There are a few steps you have to take to bloom your garden cactus. Believe me it is worth a try. 

Make Cactus Bloom

Does cactus bloom?

Cacti usually blooms. When the cactus grows to their full potential, there is a high potential for them to bloom.

Having said that, there could be several factors which attribute the cactus to bloom. Such as lighting, fertilizer, temperature, and watering etc.

However, there could be some cactus which would take a very long time to bloom and there could be some cactus which would not bloom at all.

When I say cactus will bloom when they mature, it could take about four decades.

In addition, indoor growing cactus usually do not flower. The reason for this is lack of lighting conditions, Usually they do not get it in a balanced way.

As such if you are someone who wishes to grow cactus as a houseplant and still wish to have flowers, you could still be a little tricky and move it outdoors for some time and shift it indoors in order to create a balanced light condition.

What does cactus blooms look like?

Here are some cactus types which we could use to describe how the cactus flowers would look like.

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Easter Cactus or Rhipsalidopsis 

You could spot the Easter cactus bloom in numerous colors. Easter cactus have a wide array of colors when they bloom, it could be red, white, orange peach, lavender or even pink.

It is essential to have cooler temperatures and darkness for a longer time to form buds.

Garnet or Dwarf cacti from Rebutia Cactus genus  

These cacti are generally known as fast and strong growers which could bloom faster given that its essential proper care treatment.

They tend to produce flowers which strike from their areolas. They tend to make flowers in bright colors and larger in size. You could spot their flowers around their latter component of the stem.

Christmas cactus or Zygocactus 

These are exceptional cacti as they do not usually grow in dry or arid environments. Instead, they tend to grow in rainforests in Brazil.

As such it is vital that you water them more than the rest of the cactus types. When you realize the flowers are about to blossom, you need to water them appropriately and keep the plant cool.

Pincushion cactus from the Mammillaria family  

These cacti tend to produce flowers which look like bear funnel shaped. Apart from this interesting shape, they tend to come up in numerous colors such as red, yellow, pink, white or green.

Later, those flowers will transform into red colored fruits which look similar to berries. 

Hedgehog Cactus varieties  

Hedgehogs consist of various types of cactus which produce flowers in a wide array of colors.

What is more special about these cacti is that most of their cactus carry fruits which you could consume too.

They tend to open from February to May which is literally after spring rain. Those flowers would come up in magenta, pink, purple and even in lavender colors too.

On the other hand, their flowers would stay alive for about five days. They usually open each morning and close during the night.

Prickly pear Opuntia cactus  

They usually come up in yellow, red, or even in purple colors. In addition to their various colors, they would come up in different heights as well.

It could vary from less than one to six or seven feet. These cacti also produce fruits which are edible, and they would emerge in various sizes, shapes, and numerous colors as well.

Bolivian or Lobivia cactus 

These cacti usually blossom during both spring and summer. They produce larger flowers which you could spot in red, yellow, or even in orange colors. 

They form along the stem sides and do not usually form on the top. However, you need to make sure that you provide it with proper ventilation which will keep it in a vegetative condition in winter.

Notocactus or Ball Cactus  

You could stimulate the flower blossoming of ball cactus by allowing the plant to enjoy a cooling period during winter and minimize watering accordingly.

Make Cactus Bloom

Do every cactus bloom?

Cacti are usually known as flowering plants. As such, you could spot them blooming once they are matured and when they grow to their fullest potential.

Blooming of cactus would be based on its age and on its care. Some cacti do not bloom until they become 30 years old.

On the other hand, there would be some cactuses which could not bloom at all. This will be valid for potted cactus.

However, on the other hand, indoor grown cactus do not usually produce flowers if they do not get the long nights and short days.

Facts to consider when buying blooming cactus

Blooming season

You need to decide on the blooming season before you purchase a blooming cactus. Cactus could have different blooming seasons depending on its variety.

After identifying the cactus blooming season, you could provide its essential growing conditions and essential care treatments so that they could bloom faster and vigorously.

As such it is important that you know  their blooming season before you buy the blooming cactus and provide the care accordingly. 

Size of the plant

You could decide the size of your plant which you wish to acquire depending on the location and space you have

Cactus could come up in different sizes and you need to decide on the size of the plant you wish to have prior to buying them

Make Cactus Bloom

Plant placement (indoor or outdoor)

You need to realize where you are going to plant them before purchasing cactus.

If you plan on planting them outdoors, you have to keep in mind that cactus can withstand the harsh weather conditions. If you grow them outdoors, you cannot control the weather conditions there.

Having said that, if you are someone who lives in a dry desert area, you could select a spiny desert type cactus which thrive better outdoors than indoors.

If you wish to grow them as indoor cactus you need to make sure that you provide the same conditions as outdoors.

Majority of cactus bloom in cooler to dry weather conditions or during dormant season or in winter season.

In other words, it means you need to provide the cactus with bright indirect sunlight from September to April. You need to water them occasionally as well.

Moreover, if you wish to grow them as indoor plants, particularly during spring and in summer, you need to provide them with adequate sunlight. Ideally you could place them close to a windowsill.

Alternatively, you could locate them in a sunroom too. if it is not possible for you to provide these conditions you could consider providing them artificial light.

You could consider that before you obtain any cactus.

Your location

Consider that you are someone who lives in a place where the temperature drops suddenly, then you select a cactus which you could grow in a pot as then you could keep it outdoors during summer season.

When it is the winter season, you could shift them indoors.

You may either choose cactus which mimics the sculpture shapes or tall cactus to grow as horizontal or thriller plants in containers.

You could consider using mounding cactus to grow as spiller type plants or as trailing cactus.

Apart from these, make sure that you select a cactus which is already blooming when you purchase a cactus.

Make Cactus Bloom

Four ways to make cactus bloom

Provide sufficient water

Watering is also important in terms of stimulating the cactus to bloom. Cacti do not depend on water a lot. Just like succulents they are also used to grow in desert conditions.

They are also capable of retaining water in them. They use their stems and leaves for this purpose, and they could conserve water for a longer period.

However, if you are clueless as to when you should water the cactus, you should check on the top soil layer.

If you realize the soil condition is dry, you should water the plant deeply and thoroughly.

In case you think that soil is still soggy and damp, you need to wait for another couple of days until it becomes dry and after that only you could start watering them. 

When your plant is blooming make sure that you keep it moist. Light misting  on a frequent basis is encouraged here.

Lot of people find it difficult to water the cactus properly and they face issues with that.  What is more important is that you grow the cactus in a pot which has enough draining holes.

If your pot does not have enough draining holes, it would make the roots stay in water for a longer period. Those conditions make the plant more vulnerable for root rots.

Chances are that root rot could cause damage on a permanent basis for the plant. When root rot is present in your cactus, their leaves would tend to become soft and limp as well.

Avoid  over watering the cactus. Apart from that you need to practice certain precautions when you pot the succulents as well to avoid occurring over watering.

First, you need to select a pot which has a draining hole. Moreover, make sure that you put a layer of pebbles which will contribute to good drainage.

Finally, you could use a cactus soil mix instead of regular soil mix unless if you use a regular potting mix, there is a high potential of retaining water in the pot which will cause root rot.

Make Cactus Bloom

Give them enough to eat

It is not necessary to provide a lot of fertilizers for the cactus. If you provide an adequate amount of water and light that would be enough for the cactus to thrive well.

Having said that, if you feed them, that will always give you that extra stimulation which could be beneficial for blooming.

That will help the cactus to gain essential nutrients for their blooming purpose. A dose of fertilizers would be more than enough for them.

To do this, you could go ahead with a specialty cactus fertilizer or even a regular fertilizer.

However, when you use this make sure that it has a low nitrogen percentage and a higher percentage in phosphorus level.

In addition to that, you should fertilize the cactus during the growing season which is usually in spring and in summer.

You do not have to feed your cactus more frequently. You could do it just once or twice a year and that will be enough for them to bloom.

Provide them with adequate level of sunlight

Cacti is a fan of plenty of sunlight. This is obvious as they are adapted to grow in desert conditions.

If you are growing cacti as indoor plants, you could grow them closer to a window or by a windowsill.

You could consider growing them in even in a sunroom where it could get adequate sunlight. No matter where you place it ensures that it gets at least six hours of sunlight, and it ideally has to be direct sunlight.

If you find it difficult to provide adequate sunlight naturally, you could consider growing them under a grow light which will be beneficial for the cactus to grow well.

This would be very useful particularly during winter.

Cactus is an easy to care and easy to maintain plant in general. However, that does not give you the indication that you can leave them neglected.

It is crucial that you check on the cactus regularly and gradually you could acclimate it to the sun properly. You may practice this especially when you purchased a cactus and brought it home.

If the cactus is getting too much sunlight it will indicate, you from giving you some signs. On the other hand, if they are running short of sunlight, they will indicate to you that as well.

In case your cactus is running short of adequate sunlight, chances are that you could spot them with discolored stems as well as with discolored leaves.

In addition to those signs, you could spot the cactus bending and towards a direction where they can absorb sunlight.

As soon as you spot these signs, you need to shift to a location where it can gain enough sunlight. Alternatively, you could consider growing them under artificial light too.

On the other hand, if you have exposed the cactus to gain direct sunlight, it could cause the cactus to burn. 

In this circumstance, you could see sunburn right across the cactus. You could spot them in dark, rough, and calloused patches.

Once you expose your cactus under direct sunlight for too long, it could result in the cactus becoming discolored and faded in their natural foliage color.

To remedy this, you only have to shift it somewhere so it does not get exposed to direct extreme sunlight.

Make Cactus Bloom

Dormant period

Generally, cactus go dormant during the early stage of fall and could stay dormant until the end of the winter season.

During these seasons, there will be a drop in temperature and in daylight hours too. Once they are in their dormancy, their growth rate will be slower and it could not even grow at all.

During their dormancy, you cannot expect the cactus to bloom. Only exception for this condition would be Christmas cactus.

In their dormant periods, you may water them even less compared to when you water them during other seasons.

Moreover, during their dormancy, they will not gain adequate sunlight as well. To overcome this, you may shift the cactus to a place where you can provide it with at least three to four hours of sunlight daily.

Moreover, due to this, it will take a little longer than the regular time to wither the moisture in the soil too.

Make sure that you do not let the cactus stranded  in water especially during this period.

However, if you apply the proper practices in terms of watering, you will not go through any repercussions such as root rots particularly during their dormancy.

When they are over their dormancy period and approach spring, ensure that you slowly transit the cactus to its regular growing conditions and to regular watering practices.

How long it will take cactus to bloom

It could usually take a few decades for a cactus to bloom. The time which a cactus takes to bloom could also vary on the environmental conditions and on the care treatment you provide it.

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How long the cactus bloom last long

Cactus bloom’s lasting time could vary depending on the cactus type.

There could be certain cactus blooms which could last for about 01 day and on the other hand there could be some cactus blooms which would last for a couple of weeks.

Do they bloom at night or day?

You could spot the cactus usually bloom during the daytime in springtime and not in nighttime.

Having said that there could be exceptional cactus types which could blossom in the nighttime during summer.

Credit to: National Geographic
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.