How to grow the Christmas cactus and encourage it to bloom

The beautiful Schlumbergera truncata, popularly known as the Festive Cactus, is usually available in Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving variations, depending on the time of blooming.

This easy-care plant is native to humid rainforests in Brazil. It is epiphytic, meaning it grows on trees and does not rely on a substrate like soil to survive. Due to its hassle-free care, beautiful look and lush flowers the festive cactus has become one of the most popular houseplants. The peak of popularity is during Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas when the plant blooms.

You may have picked up this plant, lured in by its beautiful flowers, but how do you encourage your Schlumbergera Truncate to bloom again and stay happy and healthy? Read on for easy-to-follow care tips and our hacks to make the plant flower.

Care Guide

Thanksgiving cactus
  • Light: These beautiful plants prefer bright, indirect light but can handle direct early morning and late afternoon sunlight in the UK. Avoid strong, midday direct light, which can scorch the leaves.
  • Temperature: Ideal temperatures range from 15-21°C but it can handle slightly lower temperatures around 12-13°C. Avoid placing your cactus near draughts or heat sources.
  • Humidity: Schlumbergera thrives in medium-high humidity. Consider placing the plant in the kitchen or bathroom where humidity is slightly higher than in other parts of the home.
  • Watering: Water when the soil feels dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so ensure good drainage and check the soil before watering.
  • Pruning: After blooming, remove dried flowers and prune your cactus to encourage branching. This will help to make the plant bushier and also help rejuvenate an older plant.
  • Propagation: Propagate by clipping a segment and propagate in water, sphagnum moss or soil. The whole process is fast and rewarding.
  • Repotting: Repot every 2-3 years, use a good quality succulent or houseplant potting mix. Move the plan to pot 1-2 sizes bigger.

How To Make The Festive Cactus Bloom

The Schlumbergera truncata requires a period of cool temperatures and a lower amount of natural light.

About 4-8 weeks before the desired bloom time, reduce watering and keep the plant in a cooler room (around 10-13°C) with a minimum of 12-14 hours of darkness per day.

Move the plant to a brighter and warmer spot as soon as the plant produces flower buds.

It is that easy!


Caring for the Schlumbergera truncata can be a very rewarding experience, especially when the plant blooms. By following these simple care tips, you can ensure these beautiful plants thrive in your home or workplace. Visit our shop for a diverse range of Schlumbergera and other houseplants to brighten your living spaces.

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