Christmas Cactus – Keep From Blooming

Q: How can I keep my Christmas cactus from blooming till Christmas?

A: The various plants we call “Christmas cactus” bloom in other seasons if left to their own devices. Your plant is probably a Thanksgiving cactus, Schlumbergera truncata, not a true Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera x buckleyi. Nurseries manage Thanksgiving cactus flowering by keeping plants very cool, 60 degrees or less, until mid-December. Since such cool temperatures are beyond the reach of most homeowners, I suggest you enjoy your plant’s flowers whenever they occur and buy a new one for the Christmas season each year.