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.

1, THE WEATHER

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.

2, OVER OR UNDER WATERING

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. 

3, CHANGE OF POSITION

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. 

4, INSECT PESTS

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.

5, NEW PURCHASE

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.

6, REPOTTING WHEN IN BUD

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.

 

cacti, cactus plants, desert plants of avalon, Succulents, succulent plants,

Can you Grow Cactus Plants in a North Facing Window ?

Hello Cactus and Succulent growers,

In this Article I will be talking about ‘Can you Grow Cactus Plants in a North facing Window ?’

cacti, cactus plants, desert plants of avalon, Succulents, succulent plants,
Cactus Plants are Sun Worshippers but is it still possible to grow them in a sunless north facing window ?

When we talk about growing Cactus plants in cultivation, we often think of them being sun lovers and needing the sunniest window or position in the garden to thrive, and while this is true for quite a lot of the desert growing Cactus varieties, what do you do if you don’t have a sunny window to grow Cactus plants on and all you have is a sunless window ? and on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon I am often being asked ‘Can you Grow Cactus Plants in a North Facing Window ?’

well the answer to this is both a Yes and No

It all depends on the type of Cactus/Cacti that you want to grow in your north facing window, although the majority of Cacti do love a sunny position there are also Cacti that grow very well in a more shadier position, in fact some cacti actually prefer a more shadier position and will grow and flower much better in either a north or east facing window.

So then what Cactus plants can be grown in a north facing window ? 

The Schlumbergera ‘Holiday’ group of Cacti commonly known as the Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti and also the Rhipsalidopsis Cacti commonly known as the Easter Cactus can be grown very happily in a north facing window, and I know from experience that these ‘Holiday’ Cacti will definitely grow well and flower in a north facing window as long as the window is bright and the light is not overshadowed by larger buildings, I have had my ‘Holiday’ Cacti flower for me in north facing windows, its important to remember though that ‘Holiday’ Cacti are very light sensitive and its the shorter days/nights that trigger blooming for them, and if you have your ‘Holiday’ Cacti in a part of your home that you have the lights on after dark, this may prevent your ‘Holiday’ Cacti from blooming, and a good tip is to place a box carefully over your cacti during the evenings you have your lights on, this will block out the light from your cacti and mimic the natural darkness outside, then remove the box when you turn the lights back off again.

Schlumbergera buckleyi in flower, Christmas Cactus in flower
Schlumbergera buckleyi in flower, Christmas Cactus in flower, these Cacti will grow and bloom quite happily in a north facing sunless window.
Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, Schlumbergera gaertneri, Easter Cactus in flower
Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, Easter Cactus in flower, these Cacti can grow and bloom in a north facing window

Rhipsalis is another group of Cactus that will grow very happily in a north facing window too, these Rhipsalis Cacti are epiphytic and grow in their natural habitats in Rainforests where they are shaded from direct sunshine, and the majority of them will grow and flower happily in a north window as long as it is bright enough, but in my experience there are some Rhipsalis such as the Rhipsalis pilocarpa that will not flower as readily in a north window and an east facing window may be better if you want to have blooms, but they will definitely grow well and survive in north facing windows, or you can add a plant LED Grow Light over the plants and have the light on for about 3 hours a day during the daylight hours to mimic the sunshine outside for a higher chance of blooming on your Rhipsalis Cacti.

Rhipsalis baccifera in flower
Rhipsalis baccifera, most of the Rhipsalis will grow and even flower in a north facing window.
Rhipsalis crispata in flower
Rhipsalis crispata in flower, this Rhipsalis will grow and flower well in a bright but sunless north facing window.

What about the Desert Cacti ? 

The Desert Cacti unfortunately can’t be grown and will definitely not flower in a north facing window without the help of additional plant Grow Lights, they can however be overwintered in a north facing window for the Winter rest period from September to April with no problems at all, as long as they can be kept cool and dry with no water given to them during the Winter months, watering the Desert Cacti during the winter will encourage thin spindly growth and possible rot, and as long as you can move your Desert Cacti to a sunny window or position during the Spring and Summer for their growing period, then its perfectly fine to overwinter Desert Cacti on a north facing window, however I would still recommend adding a plant LED Grow Light for Desert Cacti in north facing windows over the winter to give them a boost of artificial ‘sunshine’ as this will help to encourage more blooms on your cacti in Spring and Summer.

Grow Lights for plants
If all you have is a sunless north facing Window and you really want to grow Desert Cacti then you can install a Plant LED Grow Light, these are available on AMAZON, the Grow Light in this photo is one by ‘Mars Hydr0’ 

But what if I only have a north facing window and I can’t move my Desert Cacti outside for Spring and Summer ? 

Well the good news to this is that there is always a way around everything haha, and if all you have is a north facing window and you don’t have any sunny windows or a garden or balcony to move your Desert Cacti in Spring and Summer, then what you can do is install a LED Plant Grow Light/s there are many excellent ones on AMAZON, but personally the ones I would highly recommend for growing Cacti would be the top notch quality Grow Lights from Mars Hydro or Spider Farmer, both of these companies produce excellent plant LED Grow lights and are available to purchase on AMAZON, and although they can be pricey to buy initially, they are a fantastic investment for your Cactus plants, and I know a lot of you may be worrying about the cost of having Grow Lights on for your Cacti especially with all the recent rising costs with electricity, they are very cost effective as most of these Grow Lights will give off 1000 Watts of bright artificial sunlight but only consume 50Watts of actual electricity, and if you are placing these lights in a north facing window that is bright but sunless, you only need to have these lights on for around 4-6 hours a day to mimic the amount of direct sunshine these cacti would normally receive in a sunny window, by the use of grow lights you will definitely be able to grow your Desert Cacti in north facing windows and you will get them to flower for you too. 

I hope you found this Article helpful and here is a video below that I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on ‘Can you Grow Cactus Plants in a North Facing Window ? ‘ 

For lots more Tips and Tricks on How you can care for Cacti and Succulents then please do check out my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon by clicking HERE

Thanks so much for reading and wishing you ALL a fantastic Plant Powered day or evening.

 

 

 

How To Get your Cacti To Flower ALL Year Round

Hi Guys 😀 

We all love to see our cacti flower, and I am often being asked if its possible to get a cactus to flower not just in the Spring and Summer but also in the Autumn and Winter too, and how lovely would it be to experience a display of cactus blooms all through the year.

Sulcorebutia in flower, Sulcorebutia cactus, red flowering sulcorebutia
How lovely would it be to see a display of Cacti Flowers all through the year.

Now all Cacti have their own flowering seasons, and the majority of them do have their flowering seasons during the Spring and Summer only, but there are also many Cacti that have their flowering season in the Autumn and Winter, think of the Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti ( Schlumbergera ) these cacti produce and abundance of blooms from October until February often blooming more than once during the Winter season, and some of the Epiphytic cacti such as Rhipsalis are Winter bloomers and Rhipsalis also has the advantage of re blooming again in the Spring and Summer too.

Christmas cactus flowers, Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera buckleyi,,
Schlumbergera buckleyi The Christmas Cactus blooms from late November until early February
Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera truncata, red flowering Christmas cactus, Christmas cactus red flowers, Xmas cactus,
Schlumbergera truncata, the Thanksgiving Cactus blooms from October till December

Is it possible to get an individual cactus to flower all year round ?

Now as I mentioned above all cacti have their own flowering Season, but it is possible to artificially force a cactus to flower out of season by using LED Plant Grow lights and leaving them on in Winter for around 15-17 hours a day, this will make the cactus think it is Spring and Summer and will encourage the cactus to come into bloom, this is why Desert Cacti that are sold in flower in Winter in garden shops have been forced to flower at the wrong time by the plant nurseries by the use of grow lights, and of course many cacti are sold with fake plastic or paper flowers stuck onto them just to get a quick sale. However I strongly advise against forcing your cacti to flower out of season because this can weaken your cactus, cacti really need to have a resting period, they need this so they can put their natural energy into producing blooms and growth in the Spring and Summer, by forcing your Desert cacti to bloom in Winter when they should be resting is a recipe for disaster long term.

Mammillaria carmenera, Mammillaria carmernera flower
Mammillaria carmenera a beautiful Spring and Summer bloomer

So then How do you get your Cacti to flower all through the Year ?   

Well I suggest that you grow a variety of different types of Cacti such as Desert Cacti, Holiday Cacti like Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti ( Schlumbergera ) and Epiphytic Cacti like Rhipsalis, and you will have Cacti that flower for you ALL year round.

Rebutia albipilosa flowers, Rebutia albipilosa
Rebutia albipilosa, a gorgeous striking bloomer with bright orange blooms in spring

Cacti really do surprise us with the most BEAUTIFUL of Blooms.

Echinopsis subdenudata, sea urchin cactus,
Echinopsis subdenudata a prolific bloomer in Spring and Summer and even early Autumn.
Rebutia perplexa, Rebutia perplexa flowers
Rebutia perplexa produces a stunning bouquet of pink blooms in Spring
Gymnocalycium pflanzii. Gymnocalycium pflanzii blooms
Gymnocalycium pflanzii a stunning Spring, Summer and early Autumn bloomer

Here is a video that I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon where I talk about How you can get your Cacti to Flower ALL year round.

If you want to know How to get your Cacti to Flower then watch my video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to Get your Cacti to Flower  

If you want to know what Cacti are the best and easiest to get to flower then you can watch my video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on the Top 10 BEST Flowering Cactus Plants

I hope you enjoyed the read and wishing you all a blooming lovely day.