Culture Magazine

Will My Cactus Flower?

By Simon Crowther @prestigeflower

Just like any type of flowering plant, it's essential that you meet the needs of your cactus plant in order to help it bloom. Cacti are not like other types of plants and there are also various types of cacti which needs to be considered. Different types of cacti have differet needs and they grow differently too.

Tall cacti usually take years before they produce their first blooms. If you grow them from the branch of a mature cactus, you can expect it to bloom sooner that if you grow it from seed. There are even some kinds of tall cacti that take 40 to 55 years to bloom. There are even some varieties that bloom at night rather than in the day like most flowering cacti.

Short cacti will normaly bloom within five years from the moment of germination. The Hedgehog cacti is known for making mounding clumps of stems and their flowers are pink, red, or magenta in colour. The Easter lily cactus produces large lavender, magenta, red, pink, or white flowers. As for the peanut cactus, this unique plant crawls along the ground and produces plenty of bright orange blooms.

Round cacti like the pincushion cactus and the rebutias usually produce flowers within three or four years after they sprout. Pincushion cacti produce star-shaped flowers that form a ring around the top of the stem. They are bright and beautiful. Some colours you can expect include white, red, pink, magenta, yellow, lavender, and even green. Rebutias are low-growing plants that grow into clusters. They are hardy and produce purple, orange, yellow, and red flowers.

In order to encourage blooming, you need to make sure that they get what they need. This means that you need to provide at least four hours of sunlight each day. Morning sun is best. During the growing season, you should water regularly but you should also make sure that the pot has plenty of holes and that the soil offers enough drainage. When you water the plant, you should make sure that the water runs all the way through and into the saucer below. However, you should empty the saucer rather than allowing the pot to soak in the water. Soggy soil can result in root rot. They need to be fertilized on a monthly basis. Make sure that you use cactus fertilizer.

There are also holiday varieties like the Thanksgiving cactus and the Christmas cactus. These plants bloom in the cooler parts of the year and they require somewhat different care. They prefer partial shade during the warmer months but, when it gets cooler, they can enjoy some direct sunlight too.

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