There are two methods for getting Christmas cactus to bloom. One way is to keep it in total darkness from 6pm to 8am starting September 1st until buds form. The second way is to keep it cool (say 53F) from mid-September to mid-October. (Source: The New York Times Book of House Plants by Joan Lee Faust, 1973, p. 93) Before we insulated our second story, I would always bring my Christmas cactus upstairs to my sunny bedroom until buds formed, and then bring it down to the kitchen to enjoy the show.
In general I am glad that my bedroom is not as cool as it once was, but it no longer induces flowering in this houseplant. I just left it hanging in the kitchen, and discovered that the side of the plant next to the window had formed buds. We still haven’t renovated the first floor, and the windows are uh, old-fashioned–drafty enough to induce budding in the Christmas cactus. When I discovered the buds, I turned the plant around.
Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens, and leave a link in the Mr. Linky form at May Dreams Gardens.