Why isn’t my cactus blooming?
I’m going to share five tips on how to get your cactus to bloom. Now I’ll talk about the desert types of cacti. As for epiphytic rainforest cacti, well that’s a whole other article. This article is about desert cacti.
It’s worth noting that some desert cacti need to be very mature before they bloom. If you have some Cereus type cacti, they may never bloom in your home, or at least not until they get very large.
5 tips for blooming indoor cacti
Provide plenty of sunshine
Be sure to hibernate
Use fertilizers high in potassium
Wait for full maturity
1. Provide plenty of sunshine
The first tip is all about sunshine! Sufficient sunlight is absolutely essential, because a cactus does not bloom in a dark corner or in the middle of the living room. It must have a lot of sunshine.
If you have a sunny window, that’s ideal. Ideally a south window. The desert cacti like as much sun as possible, so that’s your top priority. If you don’t have a sunny location and only have a north-facing window – a window that doesn’t get much sun – then I suggest installing an LED plant growth light to encourage flowering. LED grow lights can replace natural sunshine to provide the full photosynthesis these plants need to produce buds.
2. Be sure to overwinter
The second tip is to hibernate. Desert cacti need a cool, dry dormant period over the winter to produce their blooms. If kept in a heated house during the winter and still watered as usual, they will continue to grow, preventing them from blooming the following spring. So a cool, dry rest period is a must. Don’t give them water in winter. This allows these plants to rest completely throughout the season to encourage flowering.
3. Avoid overpotting
The third tip is not to overpot. It is very tempting to plant a cactus in a large pot. All of this will encourage the plant to produce more roots and growth instead of buds. When a cactus is lightly root bound – only very lightly – it encourages more flowering. So use the right size pot for the cactus and don’t overpot it.
4. Use fertilizers high in potassium
The fourth tip is to fertilize. You might laugh when I tell you what I like to use – tomato feed is absolutely brilliant for encouraging more flowering on cacti. That’s because it’s rich in potassium. If you have a feed that is high in nitrogen, it will only encourage more growth and not necessarily as much bloom. So, a high-potassium fertilizer is an excellent tip to encourage more blooms.