Why are my Christmas Cactus Flower Buds Falling?

I have been attempting to make my Christmas cactus look spectacular this year when all of my friends and family arrive for the holiday dinner that I am hosting.

I thought that I was doing everything right to have those beautiful pink and red blooms this time, but suddenly, the buds on my plant started falling.

What Causes Christmas Cactus Flower Buds to Fall?

There are quite a few different reasons that these buds can fall, but the trick to getting good blooms for the holidays is figuring out which one is causing you a problem.

Some of the reasons to consider include:

  • The light that the plant receives: This is a plant that will grow well in direct sunlight during the spring and the summer, but when it becomes fall, it will do best in indirect light. Starting in the fall, the plant will need 12 hours of darkness to bloom, so it is not getting the darkness that it needs, the blooms could drop. If the plant is near a door or a window where it gets light during these times, even light from a passing car’s headlights, it can disturb the darkness and cause the buds to drop.
  • The temperature of the plant: This is a plant that likes cooler temperatures, so place it in a room where the temperature is around 70 degrees in the day and between 55 and 65 degrees at night. When the temperature rises above 90 degrees and the buds have formed, they are likely to drop because of it. Also, make sure that the plant is positioned in a location that is not going to get a draft. Things like air vents, blowing heaters, and drafty doors can provide an extreme temperature differential, which will also cause the buds on the plant to drop.
  • The water that you give to the plant: Too much water can cause the leaves of this plant to wilt, but too little water can also hinder the blooming process by causing the buds to drop. The soil should be moist and well-drained, but before it is watered again, make sure that the soil is dry to the touch. When you do give the plant some water, make sure that it is room temperature so that it does not shock the plant and cause the buds to drop or not form at all. Also, make sure to water the plant at the base of the soil so that that the leaves and the buds do not get wet in the process.
  • The fertilizer that plant receives: Fertilizer is another thing that can cause the buds to drop on a Christmas cactus, especially if it is being fed during its dormant time of year. The plant can be fed during the growing season, but not use food during the fall and winter, which is the blooming season. Never fertilize this plant when the buds are on the plant because if the salt from the fertilizer gets in the buds, they will drop. For more information on Christmas Cactus feeding, see this tip guide here.