Easter Cactus: Why It Does Not Bloom and What Care Does It Need?

Easter Cactus: Why It Does Not Bloom

One of the most distinguishing traits of the genus Rhipsalis is that its flowers are more symmetrical, which are typically whitish or yellow. Easter cactus is not like Hatiora flowers. Hatiora flowers are traditionally composed of three colors: pink, orange, and red.

The Easter cactus is known for its unique, showy flowers. If the cactus doesn’t form flowers it means that it wasn’t given enough light or night temperatures were too high. The plant should never be exposed to sudden changes in temperature. Moving it around too much may cause it to drop off the flowers before its buds have a chance to fully open.

Easter cacti bloom in the spring, are found at higher elevations, and are considered easier to grow than fall-blooming species. Easter Cactus flowers are a deep, bright red color and have stamens that are arranged in a smooth, ordered fashion.

As per the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, the Easter cactus is considered a long day plant and sets buds in late winter or early spring when days become longer.

15 Reasons Why Your Easter Cactus, not Bloom

During the last 5 years, I have been with the easter cactus. So many times my easter cacti didn’t bloom. By many trial and error methods, I have learned what are reasons for not blooming my Easter cactus. Let me share with you all of those reasons.

Flowering begins from April to May. The most common reasons for the lack of flowering: 

  1. Temperature: The room temperature is too low is the reason for not blooming my easter cactus. It is difficult for my easter cactus to thrive in this low room temperature. The plant requires a significant amount of light and warmth from the sun.
  2. Late transplant. Young cactuses have been transplanted to replace the old ones that have died.  Adult plants need a transplant once every three years. But there’s an easier way: just sprinkle the earth with your fingers or use a spade to dig up the soil in that area.
  3.  Nutrient deficiencies. Plant fertilizer is a type of chemical fertilizer that contains minerals such as phosphorus and potassium and stimulates the growth of new buds or flowers. You should use fertilizers rich in phosphorus or potassium to make sure you get the best results from your cacti.
  4.  Nitrogen: A large amount of nitrogen in fertilizers inhibits the process of bud formation, which causes the plant to stop developing new propagation, and generation and eventually die.
  5. Where the plant is kept can decide.The plant will not be able to stay alive, even if the air is constant and never changes. The plant needs a steady flow of fresh air.
  6. Hot and Dry: Plants that are kept too dry will not produce buds and flowers, so you should keep your easter Cactus plant well-watered.
  7. Well-drainage:A saucer filled with water should not be allowed to stand for more than 10 – 15 minutes with water in it. No matter what pot the plant is in, it must be able to drain well.  If the water is allowed to remain any longer, it will begin to decompose and cause damage to the plant.
  8. The movement here and there: When the plant is in the bud, it should stay still and not be moved around. Other times, it can be moved from one place to another, from one room to another.
  9. Indoors or out: When it comes to growing plants, the decision to plant them indoors or out doesn’t mean much. A plant doesn’t care if it’s planted in the garden or on a windowsill.
  10. Warm or Cool: Keep your plant in a warm room for best effects. If it is in a cool room, keep the plant there. If your plant is outside, the weather can have an impact on flower formation. Cold temperatures bring a period of dormancy or even bracing during which flowers are allowed to set.
  11. Sunny Window: When placed near a window that receives plenty of sunlight, which will help them grow flowers quickly and thrive.
  12. The reason for Easter cactus not blooming is because of drought stress or too many hours of light. Christmas and Easter cacti are both adapted to different climates. Christmas cactus need a lot of light so they bloom during the holidays. Easter cacti don’t normally bloom until the plant gets cool weather.
    I am not talking about months of cold, I am referring to exposure to nighttime temperatures well below daytime temperatures.
  13. If the Easter cactus does not reach winter dormancy, it will not bloom in the spring. Easter cactus must hibernate so that it will bloom again in the spring. You should not move your easter cactus as soon as the buds open. This could result in the loss of the cactus’ beautiful flowers.
  1. Overwatering: In rest periods i.e. when the soil is not producing blooms, allow the soil to dry out. Ensure that the soil is completely dry before watering it. Too much water can kill the plant. It is best to return to normal lighting when buds are visible, but keep the plants cool.
  2. Less Thermo induction:  Flowering is generally greater after thermo induction (induced by the action of heat) than photoinduction (induced by the action of light), especially in the Easter cactus. 

Extending the duration of inductive periods for easter cactus enhances flowering. For example, increasing the duration of the short-day phase (8- to 11-h photoperiods) of photoinduction from 2 to 8 weeks increased the percentage of flowering apical phylloclades (PFAP), the number of buds per flowering apical phylloclade (BFAP), and the number of buds per plant for photoperiods of 8 to 11 h in the Easter cactus. 

American Society of Horticultural Science

Can I Influence the Flowering Time of My Easter Cactus?

With a little bit of experience and/or experimentation, you can “postpone” the blooming of your Easter cactus. Make sure your Easter cactus begins hibernating earlier or later as needed or let it stay in its winter quarters longer. The moment the first buds emerge, however, you should let nature take its course, move your cactus to the summer location, and water the plant once more.

How to make your Easter cactus bloom:

  • Your Easter cactus should hibernate at around 12°C to 15°C if it is to bloom in the winter.
  • When your cactus is resting during winter, do not fertilize it and do not water it much.
  • Be sure to give your easter cactus time to hibernate. Lighting should also be reduced to less than 10 hours per day. The minimum duration of winter rest is four weeks.
  • The easter cactus should be watered again after the bud has formed.
  • Once the flowers open, fertilize about once a month until hibernation.
  • Use special cactus fertilizer. You can buy it from amazon.com

A cool hibernation is the most important step in successfully getting your Easter cactus to flower.

Should You Fertilize Your Easter Cactus for Blooming?

Fertilizing improves plant growth by surrounding the soil with mulch and nutrients, which enhances flowering and overall plant health. Wait a month or so after the blooming season to fertilize your Easter cactus. This ensures that the plant has enough time to absorb nutrients and grow stronger.

Use a fertilizer two to three times a year during the summer and after the spring months, if desired. Or you can add organic compost to the pot every late spring instead.

What You Should Do for Easter Cactus Flowering?

Move the plant to a part of the day with more daylight. Plants need light to grow. It is critical for plants to get the amount of light they need each day. In general, the plant should get about 10 to 12 hours of light a day.

  • The best bud set occurs when temperatures are 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 degrees Celsius. It’s important during this time to use water sparingly.
  • By December, make sure the plant has moved somewhere warmer. Keep it at a temperature between 60-65 degrees Celsius (~16-18 C.) and flower until late February/early March.

Here, I have summarized some caring tips from my own experience for easter cactus flowering fast. Let’s check it out.

# Night Light to Flower: Spring Cactus flowers bloom best in the nighttime hours, so it is important to not plant them in direct sun. The cacti will also stay alive if they are watered in the evening when the day is cooler.

# Water promotes Bloom:  I gave it a good drink of water and let it all drain completely out of the pot. You should not water the plant again until it is completely dry.

Keeping the roots constantly wet will eventually cause them to rot out. Dry out the soil between waterings.

Keep your Easter Cactus hydrated when it is in bloom. Make sure it doesn’t go completely dry.

In spring and summer, there is plenty of water so it’s best to water according to the topsoil conditions. In autumn, water should be decreased because the ground will get much drier, and in winter it’s best to water uproot plants regularly.

# Right Temperature for Flowering:
They can withstand a wide range of temperatures. It is likely that your Easter Cactus will be comfortable in your home as well. You should be aware that the warmer your house is, the faster the blooming period will be. To prevent damage, keep them away from any heaters, and likewise, any cold drafts.
To set a flower, it is important that the evening be cool, with temperatures between 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. (13-16 Celsius).
In summer, the temperature should be 20 degrees C. In February and March, the recommended temperature is 12 degrees C for the formation of buds.

# Humidity Helps In Blooming: This epiphytic cactus generally prefers humidity but it also is happy with a drier environment. It thrives when given a lot of light and if you’re looking to add some greenery to your home, consider a cactus! Cactus need high humidity.

# BestSoil for easter Blooming: They like a very porous and flavorful mix that also has some richness to it. You should choose a peat mixture with the addition of sand and perlite. This will improve your soil’s nutrient holding capacity & aeration.

# Fertilizing for your spring cactus blooming: It’s important to watch the nitrogen count in your houseplant food or watering liquid during different seasons. Be sure to use a fertilizer in spring, summer, and mid-summer that has a low nitrogen count so your houseplants can thrive.
Wait until your Spring Cactus has completely finished its bloom before you fertilize it.

#Pruning your night queen: Prune only after the plant flowers, otherwise, you may trim off the developing flower buds.  

Find the topmost joint on the stems by looking at the tips of the stem. Multiple leaves are attached to the stem of each Easter cactus by a narrow joint, or waist.

At the joint of each stem, remove the top leaf, beginning at the bottom of the plant and working upwards. You may need to cut off the stem at the appropriate spot with a pair of clean shears if the stem does not break cleanly at the joint.

# Easter Cactus does best when it is slightly pot-bound. I like to pick a pot that is about 4 inches in diameter and repot my plant every 2-5 years.

# Pruning your cactus after the blooms have completely died back will help it thrive in the future.

How Long Does It Take for the Easter Cactus to Flower?

As described in IOWA State University Extension and Outreach, The Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti require approximately 6 weeks of short days in order to bloom whereas the Easter cactus requires 8-12 weeks of short days to bloom hence the name Easter cactus.

Unlike Christmas cactus flowers that only last four or five days, individual Easter cactus flowers continue to open and close for 10 to 14 days with plants having an effective floral display of about 20 days.

What to Do in Preparation for the Rest Period? 

A peduncle remains bare after a cactus has faded. It will either wither or grow if you do not touch it, and new flowers will appear. Remove the peduncle if it has dried out. 

  • Sometimes the peduncle is cut immediately after the flowers have fallen.
  • The plant may release a new peduncle or give a young shoot. After flowering, you should give the plant some time to rest and grow before it begins growing again.
  • A flower pot with a flower must be taken outside to a shady place, or to a balcony. Because direct sunlight will dry out the plant and cause it to die.
  • It needs to be in the fresh air until September, this will contribute to further abundant flowering in your garden.
  • It will need to be placed in cool conditions for long periods of time that diminish heat and increase the chance of easter growth and blossoming.

Key Takeaways:

  • A high level of humidity is required for the growth of Easter Cactus.
  • Move the plant to an area with 12 to 14 hours of darkness. The temperature needs to be around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). This is what will grow the  best bud into buds.
  • Winter is one of the best times for moving your plants. In December, make sure you place them inside a place with a 16-18 C. range (between 60-65 F).
  • The Easter cactus is a perennial plant that has a blooming period in the spring. The flowers are typically bright yellow. But, if the Easter cactus does not reach winter dormancy, then it will not bloom in the spring.
  • They have adapted to only bloom during a couple of weeks in the spring, during which they experience their blooming season. But one thing that could be causing these plants not to bloom is a lack of water or too much light.



Plant of the Week: Easter Cactus

Flowering physiology of Hatiora

Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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