Orchid Cactus

The orchid cactus has waxy leaves and vivid blooms spanning 5 to 10 inches across. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, orchid cacti are usually epiphytes that grow on other plants, like tree trunks. Their flowers are frequently nocturnal and fragrant. These plants need patience to grow, as their blossoms only reveal their faces for two or 3 days a year before fading into the graceful greenery. When an orchid cactus does not flower at all, it could indicate a problem or imbalance within the environment. Winter Temperatures – An orchid cactus will flower more heavily if temperatures drop in winter season.

This cold weather, a part of a natural change of seasons, triggers healthful bud development. The majority of the year, temperatures between 45 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit suit an orchid cactus, plus they do not grow well in freezing temperatures. To provide temperatures on the coldest end of the spectrum in winter season, you can put your cactus near the window of a cold garage for two to 3 weeks. Fertilizer – Some orchid cactuses do not bloom if they have not been fed appropriate fertilizer. They benefit from monthly feedings of balanced fertilizer majority of the year, like a fertilizer with a 10-10-10 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

You should never apply a fertilizer with more than 10 percent nitrogen, as too much nitrogen might lead to leggy growth at the detriment of flowering. Throughout the dormant period in December and January, stop fertilizing to avoid burning the roots. Considerations – Orchid cactuses typically do not bloom for the first 2 years of their lives. Their short lived blossoms may also makes it easy to mistake brief flowering for a complete lack of flowering. Orchid cactuses that bloom throughout the day produce blossoms from Apr to June, but a lot of are night bloomers, that makes it easy to miss their blooms.

Night bloomers typically flower in late summer to early fall. Solutions – To promote flowering, make sure your orchid cactus has a healthful set-up. Filtered sunlight and weekly watering is vital for keeping your cactus healthful, though you can reduce watering to once a month in winter season. As October turns to Nov and again towards the end of Feb, give your orchid cactus a dose of 2-10-10 fertilizer.

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