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You know, mine never blooms at quite the right time. I think they need exposure to natural light cycles (e.g. not a lot of artifical light at night) and somehow the shorter days trigger blooming. I tossed mine outside since it is mild enough here and it bloomed in June! No signs of blooms now and all it gets is natural light..... Any potted plant benefits from weekly fertalization with a very mild (organic, of course) fertalizer for house plants. Just dilute it more than the instructions say. I think this plant likes to be in a small pot, too.
 

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Christmas Cactus' are very sensitive!! Your best bet is to place the plant in one spot where it is happy and wait. Make sure the soil dries out before giving it more water. Let it get plenty of indirect lighting - it doesn't like much direct sun light at all. As for food, I must admit I'm lazy about that, yet my cactus is setting to bloom. And yes, as pp said, it likes to be root bound. If the roots are too loose it probably will not bloom, or will bloom lightly.

Right now my cactus is outside with many buds on it!! I'd like to bring it inside because the nights are getting into the 40's but, if I bring it in I'm sure all the buds will fall off. The plant begins to bud when the temperture falls at night.

I've had my cactus 3 or 4 years now and this year will be its best bloom every (assuming it doesn't freeze or anything.) Last year I had 4 or 5 blossems and the previous year, one or two. Sigh.

Since the christmas cactus is so fickle, when you get your cactus to bloom for you, you can not claim to have a 'black thumb' again!
 

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I have lots of Xmas cactus, some of them very old. One at least 75 years old probably older. It was my grandmothers. What we do is put them in a cool dark place right about now. Mine are headed for the windowless basement this week and let them dry out too. Bring them out at the beginning of December and water them and wait for blooms. There are also rogue ones like the one I have which is a mass of blooms right now, but after a summer outside in filtered light most of them are ready for a dormant period before they bloom.
 

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Christmas cactuses (and Easter cactuses) need a certain temp and sunlight in the day, and a certain temp (and darkness) at night. The day temp is higher than the night temp, obviously. They also don't like to be overwatered.

You can probably find the temps online. I think it's somewhat close to in the high 60s daytime and 50s nighttime. That's why they bloom at Christmas.

Mine did best in a large, airy, old Craftsman house in Syracuse, NY. We could barely heat the place it was so huge. They were in a southeast (daytime sunny) room. It was quite cold there at night.
 

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I was given custody of a large Christmas Cactus about six years ago and have had very few blooms until this year.

I put the plant in a southeast corner sunporch which is not a heated room.

The nights have begun to be cold in Massachusetts and I noticed tonight when I was looking for some yarn in a stash out there that the plant finally has many buds.

So I think the cold temps along with southeast sun helps.

I also read that they like to be isolated in rooms that do not have much activity. I don't understand why this is so but it seems to be true!
 

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I just read in Martha's gardening 101 that Christmas Cactus does not like its day and night light cycle to be disrupted at all, therefore they seem to prefer isolated rooms but that is because rooms without people do not have artficial light when the days grow short.

Also once the buds form you can move the pot where it can be enjoyed!
I have done this so this year I will finally have full blooms.

I am worried that a few stems near the side of the pot are shriveled and mushed out? Too dry, too cold?
:
 

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I neglect the hell out of mine and it blooms year round.......I get so many comments and compliments on it. I've had it about 8 years, its only been repotted once in that time. I let it get completely dry, then water it well. I don't usually feed it.....but I have. It sits on my dining room table in indirect light.
 
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