Why is my cactus dropping buds ?

Why is My Cactus dropping Buds ?

Hi Guys 😀 

I hope you are enjoying the Summer growing season this year and I hope that many of you will be enjoying seeing your Cacti coming into bud and bloom, but what happens if your Cactus is growing buds but they fall off ? It can be very disappointing when we are so looking forward to seeing the blooms especially if its a cactus that will be the first time blooming for you, but its very common for the buds to grow so far and then drop off, there are quite a few reasons why this can happen and In this Article I will be talking about the reasons why your Cactus is dropping buds.

Why is my cactus dropping buds ?
Why is your Cactus dropping Buds ? read this Article to find out.

I have made a special video on my Cacti and Succulent You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on Why Your Cactus is dropping Buds ? and I will include this video at the end of this Article.

Here are the most common reasons why your Cactus is dropping Buds.


Cactus blooms
Days of warm sunny weather followed by days of overcast cool weather can encourage developing buds to fall off.

Here in Ireland and the U.K we all love to talk about the weather haha, but this Summer has been very much a talking point as it has been one of the hottest Summers on record with temperatures way above the average for many parts of the U.K and Europe as well as the U.S and other parts of the world. Many people will think of Cacti as plants that enjoy basking in the hot dry desert sun, but in reality excess sun and especially excess heat can make developing cactus buds drop off suddenly, remember cacti in their natural habitats can enjoy the sunshine and high temperatures as they have been grown there and they also have fresh air and ventilation around them, but cacti growing in cultivation on our hot sunny windowsills and hot sunny greenhouses/polytunnels don’t have the natural outside air that Cacti growing outside in their natural habitats have, Cactus plants in cultivation are almost always nursery grown and can not tolerate the excess heat and sun in a indoor environment especially during an unusually hot Heatwave. I know of many growers who have told me their cacti have dropped quite a few buds this Summer due to the 2022 Summer Heatwave. 

Cactus bud drop can also commonly happen when we have quite a few days of good sunshine followed by days of grey cloudy weather, I always have a battle with this living in Northern Ireland with our wet and rainy Summers haha, we can get a few good days of very sunny weather and then days of grey skies and rain. Sunshine will help the cacti to produce their buds, but if the weather changes and you get a week or two of grey skies and cool temperatures the buds can dry up and fall off, unfortunately we cant control the weather and it is something we cant prevent, and with global warming on the increase heatwaves could become a much more common occurrence, and all I can say is to provide shade cover for cacti in excessive high heat during a heatwave and install a fan/s to keep the air circulation in your greenhouse/polytunnel moving, this may not prevent your cacti from dropping buds but it will definitely help to protect your cacti from any sun and heat damage.


Watering Cacti
Both over watering and under watering can cause cactus bud drop.

Cactus bud drop can often happen if you are either over watering or not watering your cacti enough, desert cacti like to dry out in between watering them, and if a desert cactus is sitting in wet soil 24/7 this can make your cactus stressed and drop their buds as well as cause rot and fungus issues especially in high heat, as can keeping a desert cactus that is coming into bud too dry with little to no watering during the growing season. A cactus that is kept too dry over the growing season will become stressed and may drop any developing buds, during the active growing Season in Spring and Summer you should water your desert cactus once the soil has dried out in their pots, the exception to this would be the Rainforest Epiphytic cacti like the Epiphyllums, Rhipsalis and Schlumbergera ( Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti ) this is because the Epiphytic cacti like to be kept well watered in moist soil during the Spring and Summer months, these Epiphytic cacti do not like to go too long without water during the growing season. With both the Desert cacti and the Epiphytic cacti always make sure all of your cacti are planted in a very well draining soil mix so the excess water can freely run out. 


growing cacti outdoors
Moving your Cactus to a different position can cause the buds to drop off

Moving your cactus to a different location or turning your cacti around to face the direction of the sun once it is developing buds can be a very common cause of bud drop, it can be tempting to move a cactus in bud into a position where you will be able to enjoy the flowers better, but it really is best to leave a cactus that is in bud in the same position until it has finished flowering, many cacti can be very prone to dropping buds if they are even slightly moved or turned around, Echinopsis and Schlumbergera ( Christmas and Thanksgiving Cactus ) are extremely prone to this. Many cacti are often sold for sale in the shops while in bud, these cacti have often been grown in large nurseries under powerful grow lights to encourage buds, and although its still very possible that cacti for sale in the shops can still flower once you have bought them, it can be more likely they will drop their buds before you get to see the flowers, however I have noticed that if you get a new cactus and it is in very early bud development then it can often still go on to flower for you, it seems to be the middle to later stages of the bud development that causes cacti to drop buds when newly purchased or moved. I also want to mention if you buy a cactus that is in flower already and the flowers seem to be lasting a very very long time, then its very possible that they are straw fake flowers, many newbies to the hobby get caught out by thinking they are buying a flowering cactus when really the flowers are straw fake flowers that have been glued onto the cactus. 


Mealy bugs on cactus
Mealy Bugs on Cactus and Thrips and other pests love to hide at the base and tip of the developing buds causing the developing buds to drop off, if pests are seen remove them immediately with a brush or q tip dipped in rubbing alcohol 

Insect pests can be a real pain for the developing cactus buds as many pests can hide on and in the buds, Mealy Bugs and Aphids are the most common pests of cactus buds, Mealy bugs love to hide at the base of the bud where you can’t see them causing damage to the growing bud/s making them drop, Aphids may not be as common as Mealy Bugs especially on cacti, but they can still attack the buds especially in the later stages of the bud development, I had quite a few Aphids attack my Epiphyllum buds this Spring, just like Mealy Bugs Aphids can be tiny and are very good at hiding and camouflaging themselves on cactus buds and they can be very hard to spot on your buds until its too late. If you notice your cactus buds seem to have stopped growing or are starting to shrivel up, put on your strongest glasses or get a strong magnifying mirror and check for insect pests, if pests are seen then remove them immediately by dabbing the pests with a little brush or q tip dabbed in rubbing alcohol/isopropyl alcohol, but be very gentle when doing this so not to harm the buds. Its best to avoid using chemical pest insecticides on the buds as this can harm the developing buds and disfigure the flowers and may also cause bud drop too.


Cactus plants for sale
Buying a new Cactus that is already in bud at the store may not go on to flower once you have brought it home.

Buying a new cactus that is already in bud in the shop is a common cause of the buds dropping off once you have brought your new cactus home, as mentioned before, a change of position for cacti can definitely cause bud drop and this is very common for Echinopsis cacti often seen for sale in the Summer months already in bud. Cacti that are less likely to drop their buds and are commonly seen for sale would be Mammillaria, Mammillaria cacti are one of the few types of cactus that will often still keep their buds and go on to flower when you bring them home. Schlumbergera  (Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti ) are nearly always sold around the November -December time in bud and its very common for some if not all of the buds to drop off a week or two after you have them. Schlumbergera buckleyi ( True Christmas Cactus ) is much more sensitive to bud drop than the Schlumbergera truncata ( Thanksgiving Cactus ) and this is why you nearly always see Sclumbergera truncata for sale over the Christmas Holiday period than Schlumbergera buckleyi. The good news is any cactus that drops buds once you have brought it home will still go on to flower for you the following year once it has acclimatised and as long as you are growing it correctly.


How to repot a cactus
Its best to wait until your cactus has finished flowering before repotting

The best time to re pot a cactus is during the growing season which would be Spring and Summer or early Fall/ Autumn, but the problem with that is this can be the time your cactus may also be coming into bud, I always say that Spring and Summer and early Fall/Autumn is the best time to repot, however if you see any signs of buds developing its best to hold off repotting until your cactus has finished flowering, the reasons for this is because Cacti can suffer from stress just like people do, and repotting your cactus and changing the soil and handling the roots etc can cause stress to your cactus and this can definitely cause any developing buds to drop off prematurely, its best to wait until your cactus has finished flowering before you repot. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this Article and I have made a video for my Cactus and Succulent You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on ‘Why is my Cactus dropping Buds ?‘ and you can watch this video below.

Please don’t forget to Subscribe to my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon for regular videos on Tips and Tricks on How to Care for your Cacti and Succulents.

Wishing you all an AMAZING Plant Powered day or evening.


Echeveria, Echeveria plants, Echeveria Succulents, Echeveria Succulent Plants, Echeveria flowers, Echeveria blooms, Echeveria flower, Echeveria bloom,

Top 5 Succulent Plants To Grow for Beginners

Hi Guys 😀 

In this Blog I share with you my Top 5 Succulent Plants To Grow For Beginners 😀 

There are many Succulent Plants that are wonderful to grow but these are my recommendations on what I think are very easy for beginners to start with, and in this Blog I will be sharing links to pages and videos that I have wrote on this website and also videos I have made on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon to help newbies to grow and care for these incredible succulents.

Echeveria, Echeveria plants, Echeveria Succulents, Echeveria Succulent Plants, Echeveria flowers, Echeveria blooms, Echeveria flower, Echeveria bloom,
Me with some Echeveria plants that I could not resist buying from my local Supermarket.


Echeveria, Echeveria plants, Echeveria Succulents, Echeveria Succulent Plants, Echeveria flowers, Echeveria blooms, Echeveria flower, Echeveria bloom,
An Echeveria in beautiful flower at Dublin Botanic Gardens.

Echeveria’s are one of the most beautiful Succulents to grow, they grow with a rosette appearance that always remind me of a flower. There are many different types of Echeveria that are easily available for sale at many garden shops, and plant nurseries. 

If you can provide them with plenty of sunshine in Spring and Summer and a well draining soil, and a cool and mostly dry winter rest period then they will readily flower all through the Spring, Summer and often into late fall /Autumn too.

Graptopetalum and Graptosedum are also excellent plants to grow for beginners and resemble Echeveria and the care for both of them is the same as Echeveria.

graptopetalum, graptopetalums, graptopetalum succulents, Echeveria, Echeveria plants, Echeveria Succulents, Echeveria Succulent Plants, Echeveria flowers, Echeveria blooms, Echeveria flower, Echeveria bloom,
My Graptopetalum Succulent Plant, this plant resembles Echeveria and the care is the same.

I have made a video on my You Tube channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Care For Echeveria and I share lots of tips and tricks on How to care for them and you can watch this video below:


Gasteria, Gasteria's, Gasteria succulents, Gasteria in flower, Gasteria flowers, Gasteria blooms,
A Gasteria in flower at Dublin Botanic Gardens, many Gasteria have wonderful variegated fan like leaf arrangements.

Gasteria’s are wonderful small growing compact plants that are ideal for people who do not have the space for large growing plants. The are often variegated and have wonderful patterning to them. Gasteria’s are also more shade loving than many other Succulents, making them ideal for growers who do not have south facing windows or positions, although many Gasteria’s can also tolerate full sun too as well as more shade. 

Provide Gasteria with a bright position and a well draining soil and they will also readily flower from spring and Summer and into the Fall / Autumn.

I have made a video on my You tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to Care for Gasteria and you can watch this video below:


Haworthia, Haworthia's, Haworthia plants, Haworthia succulents, Haworthia attenuata, Haworthia attenuata - fasciata, Haworthia succulents,
My 36 year old Haworthia attenuata – fasciata plant, one of my very first succulent plants. This plant was just a small Rosette and has over the years formed into a wonderful large bowl arrangement with many Rosettes.

Haworthia plants are very easy to grow and also nice and compact making them ideal for growers who do not have much space for the larger growing succulents. Haworthia is also perfect for people who don’t have sunny windows or positions as Haworthia prefer to be grown in more shade than many other Succulents, and although they appreciate some early morning sunshine, they can be grown in a bright position with indirect sunshine, or even a bright well lit position that does not receive any sun, although these plants will flower more readily if either a couple of hours f morning sun or indirect sunshine can be provided.

The rosettes form into little clumps over time and will eventually fill a bowl with their rosettes, the rosettes can also be separated from the parent plant and be planted up individually.

The flowers are not the most impressive on these plants but their foliage and rosette appearance to the leaves make them very attractive to grow for their foliage and ease of care.

Haworthia, Haworthia cooperi, Haworthia's, Haworthia, Haworthia plants,
My Haworthia cooperi Succulent plant

Haworthia like all Succulents like a very well draining soil mix and to dry out in between waterings, and prefer to be kept more cool and dry over the Winter.

4, ALOE: 

Aloe arborescens plant, Aloe plant, Aloes, Aloe succulents, Aloe plants, Aloe arborescens,
Our Aloe arborescens plant, this particular Aloe can grow very large over time, however there are many Aloes that stay small and compact, this genus is very varied. Photo by Hans Muller

Aloe Plants have to be one of the most famous of all succulent plants to grow, the most well known being the very common Aloe Vera, Aloe Vera is commonly always seen for sale at almost any garden shop or plant nursery, its a very easy and fast growing succulent with many well known medicinal and skin care uses.

There are many different types of Aloe plants, some are smaller and some can grow very large over time, making them ideal specimens for growers who love larger plants or have greenhouses or conservatories. Many Aloes especially the many hybrids now available will stay small and grow into clumping rosettes, and because this genus is so varied it makes it ideal for growers who love either small growing or very large growing Succulents.

Aloes do need lots of sunshine otherwise they will grow thin and leggy. However if growing Aloes behind glass or in a greenhouse its best to provide some shade in the strong midday sun in Summer. Aloe plants need a very well draining soil, water only when the soil has completely dried out in the pot before watering again, keep the soil dry during Winter with occasional watering if growing Aloes indoors in winter.

I have made a video for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Care For Aloe and you can watch this video below:


Crassula, Crassula falcata, Crassula Falcata, Crassula falcata propeller plant, Propeller plant,
My Crassula falcata plant in beautiful bloom, Photo by Hans Muller

Crassula is a very large and very varied range of many Succulent plants, the most common one being the Jade Crassula Ovata, also known as the Chinese Jade Money Plant. Crassulas are wonderful plants for beginners and also perfect for growers who want to see flowers in Winter, as many Crassula will flower in Winter as well in Summer and quite often Crassula’s will prefer to have a bit of a dormancy in mid Summer when everything else is in flower and growth.

Crassula like a sunny position to encourage them to flower, they also need a well draining soil and the soil to dry out completely in between waterings,

There are many small growing Crassula that are ideal for a nice sunny windowsill and also many crassula like the Crassula ovata that grow large into a tree over time.

If I had to pick just one Crassula to grow I would chose the Crassula ovata, its a classic favourite and easy to prune and keep in shape and if you want to know How to get your Jade Crassula ovata to Flower check out this video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Get your Jade Crassula Ovata to Flower and you can watch this video below:

I hope you found my Top 5 Succulents to Grow for Beginners Blog helpful and if you want to watch a video that I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on the Top 5 Succulent Plants To Grow for beginners you can watch this video below:

Thank you all for reading Guys and Happy Growing to you <3