PPDL Picture of the Week
December 9, 2019
Holiday Cactus Blossom Drop
Rosie Lerner, Extension Consumer Horticulture Specialist, Purdue University
Holiday cactus (including Christmas,Thanksgiving and Easter types) are notorious for dropping flower buds in the home environment. Though they do belong to the cactus family, they are tropical type plants and so not quite as drought tolerant as their desert relatives. Dry soil is likely the most common cause of flower bud drop. The plants will noticeably wilt when under drought stress. Water thoroughly when the top inch or so of soil feels dry to the touch. The length of time between waterings will vary with the air temperature, amount of light, rate of growth and relative humidity.
We typically think of cacti as being heat loving plants as well, but holiday cacti will keep their blossoms longer in cooler temperatures. Keep the plant in a well-lit location away from drafts from heat vents, fireplaces or other sources of hot air. Drafts and temperature extremes can also cause the flower buds to drop.