Cactus Flowers: Everything to Know about Them

Many people love to grow cacti because they are uniquely beautiful and easy to take care of. They look even more attractive when flowering. Cactus flowers are as colorful and gorgeous as other flowers. Unfortunately, not every cactus owner witnesses these blooms.

Do All Cactus Bloom?

Many people have grown cacti for years, but they never see the cacti bloom. This occurrence causes them to ask, ‘do all cacti bloom?’ Most cactus plants are capable of producing flowers when they have reached maturity.

However, certain cactus species need more time to reach maturity than the other cactus species. Columnar cacti, for example, generally need many years before they start flowering. One of the columnar cactus species, Saguaro, takes 30 – 40 years to mature if grown from seeds.

Therefore, if you want to have flowering cacti, you must choose tubular and globular cacti that will mature in about 5 years. Some of them are:

Pinchusion Cactus Flowers

The pincushion cactus comes in several varieties and shapes. In general, it is in barrel or ball shape. This small cactus has pink, purple, or red flowers.

Rebutia Cactus Flowers

This cactus variety is round and easy to grow. It is a mountain cactus so it prefers a cooler temperature. Rebutia cactus is a frequent bloomer with colorful flowers, such as yellow, red, and pink.

Peanut Cactus Flowers

It is called peanut cactus because it looks like a pile of fuzzy peanuts when it is matured. This small cactus has bright orange blooms

Easter Lily Cactus Flowers

The Easter lily cactus is a globular cactus which is about 3 inches wide and 9 inches tall. It is easy to grow and has beautiful white flowers.

Hedgehog Cactus Flowers

Hedgehog cactus has a short tubular shape about 4 inches tall. It is native to the Southern U.S. and has pink, red, and purple flowers.

Christmas Cactus Flowers

Christmas cactus has unique leaves. They are segmented, and slightly rounded with scalloped edges. This cactus has pink and white flowers.

Cactus Flowers

Those who never planted cactus before may be curious about the cactus flowers. Some frequently asked questions about cactus are.

When do Cactus Flowers Bloom?

Most matured cacti bloom in the spring. The peak flowering month is in April. In this month, you will see colorful cactus blooms in the desert, for example the Sonoran Desert in Phoenix, Arizona. Some cacti, such as Saguaros, are flowering between mid-May and mid-June.

However, other cacti do not bloom in the spring. The Christmas cactus, for example, blooms in November or December. In some cases, this species even blooms for the second time in February. Moreover, pincushion cactus has a long blooming time, between May and August.

Some cacti bloom at night. Bats or moths generally pollinate the cactus flower that blooms at night. Meanwhile, some others bloom during the day. Bees or butterflies commonly pollinate this flower.

How Long do Cactus Flowers Last?

The length of time the cactus flowers last depend on the species. Some of these flowers only last for a day. Meanwhile, some cacti have flowers that will last up to 6 weeks. Sometimes people have mistaken cactus being an artificial grass or plant, but actually, it’s not.

Do Blooming Cacti Need Water?

Yes, they do. Blooming cacti need a small amount of water to keep the flowers healthy. You can water the cacti when their topsoil is completely dry. However, you must not overwater them. Overwatering is dangerous for blooming cacti because it causes the flowers to wilt.

How Often does Cactus Bloom?

Most fully matured cacti that grow in an ideal environment will bloom annually. Some cacti may bloom more than once in a year when they get more rain.

My Cactus do not Bloom: Why?

There are several reasons why your cacti do not bloom.

The Cacti are not Matured Yet

One of the biggest reasons why your cacti do not bloom is that they are not matured yet. You may already have them for years, but cacti takes more time to mature compared to other flowering plants.

Light and Darkness Imbalance

Cacti need a balance of light and darkness. It can be a problem when cacti are grown indoor. If the matured cacti don’t get balanced light and darkness, they will not be able to bloom

Overwatering

Cacti are drought tolerant. Therefore, overwatering the plants can cause bad effects on them. One of the side effects of overwatering fully matured cacti is that they won’t be flowering.

Too Much Heat

Cacti need a chilling period in order to bloom. If your cacti don’t show any signs of blooming, it may be because they don’t get any chilling periods.

How to Get Cactus to Bloom

If you want your cacti to bloom, you need to make sure that you take care of your cacti properly and grow them in the right environment.

Soil

Cacti love to grow in well-drained soil and you must choose the right media for them to grow. You can plant cacti in soil-based composts, peat-based composts, or soil-based composts mixed with gravel and coarse sand.

Water

During the growing season, you can water the cacti once a week or once in two weeks, depending on the moisture level of the soil. It is okay to let the soil dry for a couple of days before watering the plant. In winter, you can water them once a month in a small amount of water.

Light

To make your cacti bloom, you need to make sure that you place them in an area that is exposed to 6 hours of sun per day and in the dark at night.

Temperature

It is widely known that cacti love a warm temperature. The plants will not be able to survive at the temperature of below 20oF. Therefore, it must be put indoors during the winter. You also need to make sure that they go through a dormancy period. Without this period, they won’t bloom

Fertilizer

To make your cacti flowering, you need to apply high phosphorus fertilizer in the soil around the cacti. You can fertilize them once a year, in the spring or summer.

Grow Cacti from Cuttings

If you are impatient in waiting for the cacti to bloom, it is better for you to grow them from the cuttings of fully matured cacti. The branches you cut from the cacti will form a root system if you plant it in the right environment and bloom quickly.

Cactus flowers are beautiful, unique, and rare. You need to choose fully matured cacti to grow if you want to enjoy the beauty of these flowers in the spring or summer. And if you want to enjoy the flowers’ beauty soon, it is essential for you to grow small cacti grown from cuttings.

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