Growers frequently complain about non-blooming Christmas cactuses. But some manage to get these plants to generate new buds and then buds suddenly start dropping.
Bud blast is a term used for this condition and it can affect all flowering plant species. I know how disheartening it can be for a grower to experience this, but don’t worry, all is not lost.
In this article, I’ll show you the 3 main reasons why your Christmas cactus is dropping buds and how to fix them.
Let’s get started!
1. Drastic Temperature Changes
Sudden temperature changes are one of the main reasons why any holiday cactus drops its buds.
Colder temperatures are typically the cause but excess heat can also trigger bud blast.
Those who live in climates with harsh winter temperatures should be especially careful about this.
If your Christmas cactus is located near windows and doors that open and close too much, it can drop buds under the influence of sudden chilly breezes.
Plants typically don’t display any other changes in appearance, which is why bud drop worries growers so much.
Here are the most common scenarios related to bud drop caused by temperature fluctuations.
• You purchased your Christmas cactus on a cold day and it experienced cold shock during transportation.
• The plant was kept near the entrance doors of the store/nursery.
• The Christmas cactus is positioned near a drafty window, especially during windy nights.
• You kept the plant near an exterior door.
• Your Christmas cactus was put too close to heating sources, such as radiators and fireplaces.
How To Fix
If your Christmas cactus is dropping buds because of temperature fluctuations, it will need a new spot.
As soon as the plant starts forming new buds, you’ll need to make sure your Christmas cactus is positioned in a warm location where temperatures range from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nighttime temperatures in the selected location should never go below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re comfortable with the surrounding temperatures, your holiday cactus will also be.
It would be best if you chose a spot near the interior walls, preferably in a room where there aren’t doors that lead outside.
Be careful that the location you select receives enough bright indirect light or your Christmas cactus could display other changes.
2. Incorrect Watering
Watering the Christmas cactus can be tricky, especially for beginner growers. These aren’t real cactus species, so their watering needs differ.
If you don’t follow the correct watering schedule, your holiday cactus will most likely start dropping buds.
These plants love moisture, both in the soil and in the air. However, you should never allow the growing substrate of your Christmas cactus to become waterlogged.
It can lead to severe damage, and bud drop would be the least dangerous thing you have to worry about in this case! One of the best ways to avoid this issue in your holiday cactus is to plant it in fast-draining potting soil.
Of course, you shouldn’t leave your Schlumbergera without water. So, water your holiday cactus when the soil is dry to the touch.
Humidity issues typically follow watering issues in the Christmas cactus plant. Schlumbergera plants prefer higher humidity than real cactuses.
If the room where you keep this plant has low humidity, make sure to raise it by putting a pebble tray filled with water below the plant or installing a humidifier.
To avoid bud blast, ensure enough soil and air moisture for your Christmas cactus.
3. Wiggling The Plant Too Much
These plants look amazing wherever they’re placed, so it’s not uncommon for growers to move them around.
Well, your room will definitely look more beautiful if you put your Christmas cactus in it. However, you should be primarily oriented towards plant health.
Constantly wiggling your holiday cactus may lead to bud blast, especially if the plant is put in a high-traffic area.
If you keep this plant in another spot during dormancy, make sure to move it to its permanent location as soon as it starts generating buds.
Can You Stop Bud Dropping In Your Christmas Cactus?
Well, you may not like this, but the chances your holiday cactus will stop dropping its buds are low to zero.
What you can do is observe your Christmas cactus and try to determine the cause of bud dropping.
You may need to increase humidity around the plant or find a new location so that the issue doesn’t repeat the next season. The only way to trigger blooming in your Christmas cactus is to ensure the correct growing conditions.
A stable environment, feeding, and pruning your Christmas cactus will ensure healthy growth and you’ll avoid all these issues.