The Christmas cactus is an iconic plant you’ll see everywhere at the holidays. With their handsome, notched foliage and exotic-looking flowers, these handsome plants can live for decades. (Some up to 100 years.) Native to Brazil, they grow in the rainforest on tree branches as an epiphyte, a type of plant that grows on another plant but isn’t a parasite (air plants and most orchids also are epiphytes, just for reference).
Any Christmas cactus plants that you purchase in the fall are bred to bloom in time for the holidays with no help from you. But if you have one from last year, you may wonder how to get it to rebloom. There’s definitely a trick to it, because they’re what is known as short-day plants, which means they need long nights and short days to initiate flowers. If you interrupt their day/night cycle, they won’t cooperate. You’ll be left with a nice plant but no blooms, and then, what’s the point?