Cacti plants are unique. They require very little of everything to thrive and yet they are still as beautiful as any other plant. While this type of plant may be dry and full of thorns, it still can bloom.
Yes, that is right. Many cacti varieties can beautifully bloom and have flowers. This makes cacti plants even more unique. Here is everything you need to know about cactus that blooms flowers.
8 Types Of Cacti That Bloom
Did you know that cacti are a flowering plant? Yes, that’s correct. Each cactus is capable of blooming when it is under the ideal conditions. Apart from that, they also only bloom if they are mature and healthy.
This is why many things have to be right before a cactus can fully bloom. Some never even do. However, there are a few that can easily bloom. These cacti include:
- Spiny Cacti
- Varieties of the hedgehog cactus
- Dwarf Cacti (Garnet)
- Pincushion cactus
- Rhipsalidopsis (Easter cactus)
- Zygocactus (Christmas cactus)
- Lobivia Cacti (Bolivian)
These cacti are relatively easy to bloom than other varieties. Do remember that for even these varieties to bloom you will have to take care of them properly.
Cactus That Blooms At Night
Cacti that bloom at night are collectively called “The Night Blooming Cereus”. Any cactus that blooms at night-time comes under this category. They are usually pale or white.
They flower at night and they close back up just before dawn. The most interesting thing about these plants is that cacti plants in the same region may also bloom on the same night.
Apart from night-time, some varieties bloom different times of the year. These include spring, summer, and Christmas.
Blooming In Spring
Cacti plants are usually dormant during the winter. This is their resting time and so they don’t bloom during this period. However, some of these plants will come back to life and bloom as soon as it is warm.
When the weather is warm and there is light rain, the flowering season of spring begins. This is because during springtime the temperature is not too hot. This gives them the perfect choice to bloom fantastically.
Even if you don’t experience rain in spring, the cacti will just use the stored water to bloom. Many varieties start flowering as soon as the beginning of March. However, their peak blooming happens in April.
Then in May, the cactus flower has bloomed beautifully and you can see the amazing flower.
Blooming In Summer
Some bloom in spring. However, some bloom when summer kicks in. The variety of cactus that blooms in summer needs the ideal hot temperature and they are known to store significant water in their stems.
It is the stored water that helps them to bloom easily even if the hot temperatures go towards the extreme side. One cactus that is known to bloom beautifully in summer is known as Saguaro.
The Saguaro will start flowering once it is forty-years-old and when it is fully matured it is known to reach a height of at least sixty-feet. Apart from this, another variety is the heavily bodied barrel cactus.
This variety blooms beautifully between spring and summer. Its flowers are usually yellow, bright red, or even orange. The color of the flower depends on the specie of the barrel cactus. For example, a cactus known to produce yellow flowers in the summer is known as the fishhook barrel cactus.
The Christmas Cactus
This is one of the most popular cacti that bloom. Of course, as you can tell by the name, it blooms beautifully during Christmas time. The origin of this cactus lies in Brazil. However, now there are a variety of hybrids that exist.
The color of the flower of this cactus depends on the temperature and the climate conditions. Depending on that, the cactus is known to produce flowers of the colors red, pink, salmon, white, and purple.
If you are growing this type of cactus indoors then remember that it will need at least thirteen hours of darkness in one day. Apart from that, the temperature at night should also be cold so it can have the ideal condition to bloom.
If you do this right, then you can even get the cactus to bloom early in November. This is why sometimes this is also known as the Thanksgiving Cactus depending on the time it has bloomed.
How Long Do Cactus Flowers Last?
There is no one right answer to this question. This is because the time they last depend on the specie of the cactus. Some species even tend to both bloom and wither in just one day.
Apart from that, some varieties can only retain their flower for 6 weeks. However, the length of time a cactus flower will last greatly depends on the watering and the temperature of the environment it is in.
Even if cacti are mature, they will not bloom until they are given the care that they need. If they flower and you take care of them correctly then your cactus flower can last for a month or few weeks!
Cactus Blooming Care Tips
It is important to stimulate the ideal conditions for your cactus to bloom beautifully. That is why it is essential to know things that affect the cactus and how you can control them for an ideal environment.
Here are three factors that affect the bloom of a cactus which you can easily manipulate:
The right temperature can make all the difference when it comes to getting your cactus to bloom. We all know that cacti grow during summer and remain dormant during winters.
So, if you want your cactus to bloom during the spring then you will have to make sure that it is at just the right temperature during winters. You need to keep it at a temperature of 50°F.
Keeping it at this temperature will allow it to create flower buds during its resting time. However, as soon as spring arrives you can slowly increase the temperature.
Do remember, that most varieties of cacti love when the temperature is hot. So, if you have an indoor cactus then during spring and summer you should move it out so that it can take advantage of full sun.
You can also place it in a south-facing window. This will help the cactus receive the sunlight that it needs to grow right. You can also place it at such a window during winters as the sunlight during wintertime is not that bright.
Apart from that, it is natural that during colder months the temperature near the window will be cooler as compared to the rest of your house. This will provide a great condition for your cactus to create flower buds.
Knowing when and how much to water a cactus is essential to its blooming. We assume that because cacti can tolerate dry spells they don’t need much water.
However, if you want them to bloom then they will need ample water when it is their growing season (March to September). At this time, your cactus will need regular water and fertilization.
You have to make sure you give them water at least once a week so that the soil doesn’t get too dry. When your cactus is dormant, then you should only give water when it is completely dry.
If you don’t know how to tell whether the soil is dry or not then you can invest in a water gauge. This will help you determine the moisture level of the soil and you can use that information to decide if you should water your cactus.
If you don’t want to do that then some signs can tell you if you have given excess water or underwatered the cactus. A cactus that has received excess water will be plump. A cactus that is underwatered will be more on the pale side.
Here are some other useful tips to help you water your cactus right:
- Younger cacti need more water
- You have to get the right soil because that determines the retention and drainage of water
- Make sure you have soil that can drain
- During winter, water your cactus occasionally (once a month)
- During spring, you should water your cactus weekly
- During summer, you will have to water the cactus twice or thrice a week depending on how quickly it dries
You need to position your cactus so that it can receive the most light and heat during its growing season. If you have indoor cacti then your best option would be to shift the plant outside.
This will help it to receive maximum sunlight and heat so that it can bloom in just the right conditions. Apart from that, you have to ensure getting the right pot for your cacti.
The water needs to be drained properly so that root rot can be prevented. This is why it is important to choose the right pot so that water can be evaporated through sunlight and also drained properly through the right pot.
Why Your Cactus May Not Be Blooming?
You have to be extremely patient with cacti. They need proper care to grow beautifully. Some may even not bloom at all. However, you have to do your best to provide the right conditions so that they can at least try to bloom.
So, if your cactus is fully mature and there are still no signs of blooming then it may be because of:
- The wrong type of soil
- Wrong temperature
- Inadequate light
- Inadequate darkness
- Over or under watering
If you think you have done everything right and it still doesn’t bloom then that means that the species you are growing takes long before blooming. This is because some cacti take even fifty-years before they bloom. So, the key here is to be patient.
This is everything you need to know about cactus that blooms. To get beautiful results you will have to consider many factors, provide the right conditions, and most importantly wait.
Once you do all this, you can count on the fact that your cactus will bloom beautifully even if it takes its time. Remember, nature is not in a hurry.