Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera sp.) is a temperature-sensitive houseplant. Its natural growth, bloom, and other functions are disturbed when the temperature is too hot or cold. That’s why it is always important to keep attention on the ongoing temperature if you have a Christmas cactus in your house. Especially in hot summer days, or extremely cold winter days. Do you know up to what temperature Christmas cactus can tolerate?
Well, the ideal temperature range for Christmas cactus: 15°C to 21°C
So, if you want to grow and bloom your Christmas cactus properly, then you need to provide it within this favorable temperature. But how can you do that? Also it is an overall idea, but scenerio changes from species to species!
In this article, I have discussed about how much temperature in appropriate for Christmas cactus in real life, when it is too hot or cold. I also have shared some of my experiences in the form of trick and tips. These will help you to over summer or overwinter your Christmas cactus.
Let’s start with the temperature issue.
How cold is too cold for a Christmas cactus?
Christmas cactus can not tolerate freezing temperatures which is less than 10°C (50° F). This is an in general view. Some of the varieties may also desiccate within 15°C. Because, the tolerance of cold temperature varies from species to species.
You must be thinking why Christmas cactus are so sensitive to cold temperatures!
Well, the leaves of Christmas cactus are thin and delicate which explains the sensitivity. Hence, exposure to extremely cold temperatures will make the stems weak and leaves wilt. Consequently, the overall life cycle will be hampered severely. But that’s not all. Do you know what more damage is done?
You already know that cold temperature stimulates blooming in Christmas cactus. But extreme cold temperatures will instead disrupt blooming in your cacti! The immune system will also be damaged by the excessively cold weather.
You may have realized how cold temperature can lead your Christmas cactus towards death. So, be careful and place your cacti in a moderately cool place.
What temperature is too hot for Christmas cactus?
Well, Christmas cactus can tolerate maximum temperatures around 27°C (80°F). More than this temperature will make your cacti suffer badly. It will not be able to perform all the physiological functions properly. Symptoms like reduction in blooming, leaf, and bud dropping will occur.
Christmas cactus prefers bright but indirect sunlight. So you cannot place it in a high-temperature area. Hence you need to know the maximum temperature at which your cacti can survive. I have discussed later about how to deal with summer days.
What happens if the Christmas cactus is exposed to unfavorable temperatures limit?
Christmas cactus are very particular about temperature range. So you have to be careful while placing your cacti. Unfortunately, if it gets exposed to a temperature above the favorable limit, then serious damage can occur!
Some of the negative effects due to facing excessive temperature are given below:
- Leaf drop: Excessive temperature will force your loving cacti to drop leaves. As a result, it will turn out to be leafless and less attractive.
- Reduced blooming: The vibrant bloom gives Christmas cactus an attractive appearance. But exposure to unfavorable high temperatures is a barrier to blooming. The such temperature will block the formation of flowers and also lower the rate of blooms.
- Stunted growth: Exposure to high temperature hampers the physiological functions of your cacti. It will slow down the growth or stop totally. Such stunted growth will negatively affect the overall size and shape of the poor cactus.
- Increased susceptibility to disease: As you know, temperature above the ideal range will cause stress in your cacti. A stressed cactus becomes weak and more susceptible to various diseases. Also, pests can easily attack stressed weak cacti.
So, to ensure your cacti’s healthy growth and abundant blooming, you must keep an eye on the temperature range. Maintaining a favorable temperature is the key to happy blooming!
Importance of maintaining consistent temperature for Christmas Cactus
Temperature is a very crucial factor in the life cycle of the Christmas cactus. There are different stages in this cycle such as growth, budding, blooming, flowering, etc. All these stages are directly related to temperature!
I am giving here some of the most important roles temperature plays for your cactus. Let’s go down!
The mesmerizing colorful flowers make Christmas cactus a popular gift. You can see flowers are a key part of your cacti. But do you know that temperature has a direct influence on flower formation?
Well, your favorite cacti would require a specific temperature range for budding. The optimal temperature for Christmas cactus flowering ranges from 15°C to 21°C ( 60°F to 70°F). Outside this range, budding and flower formation are not possible.
A healthy Christmas cactus comes with an ideal temperature range. Let me make it clear! Proper nutrition and physiological function shape healthy growth.
Firstly, the optimal temperature helps your cacti to absorb water and essential nutrients in a proper amount. Secondly, your cacti can perform all the physiological functions smoothly only under favorable temperatures. In this way, temperature plays an important role to ensure the healthy growth of your cacti.
Continuous rise and fall in temperature cause stress for your cacti. Exposure to more than the maximum temperature limit also brings stress. Such stress results in leaf and bud drops, a low rate of blooming, and some other negative effects.
Getting stressed about your cacti? Relax! You just have to maintain the optimal temperature range and keep it consistent. Your part is done. The favorable temperature will make your cacti stress-free and prevent those negative effects.
Hopefully, now you’ve realized the vast importance that temperature holds in the overall growth of your Christmas cactus. So let your cacti produce vibrant flowers under favorable temperatures!
1. Does Christmas cactus need Sunlight to bloom?
Yes! Christmas cactus needs sun to bloom but to a very low extent. Christmas cactus prefers bright but indirect sunlight. This is because excessive direct sunlight can seriously damage your cacti. Hence you need to place it in a bright corner where sunlight is available indirectly.
Also, don’t forget to maintain the ideal temperature range which is 60°F to 70°F (15°C to 21°C).
2. What is the lowest temperature a Christmas cactus can tolerate?
Christmas cactus are typically considered tropical plants and are sensitive to cold temperatures. The lowest temperature they can tolerate without damage is around 10°C. Exposing them to temperatures lower than this for extended periods can lead to stress, leaf discoloration, and even death of the plant. It’s best to keep Christmas cacti indoors during the colder months and away from drafts or windows that might expose them to chilly air.
3. How many hours of darkness a Christmas cactus need?
Christmas cactus needs a minimum of 12-14 hours of darkness every day which must be complete and uninterrupted. Such a period of darkness should be maintained for at least 2-4 weeks. The dark period helps the Christmas cactus to start forming buds and blooms.
Remember, the Christmas cactus prefers a consistent temperature. Any fluctuations in the temperature can lead your loving cacti towards damage. Such damages include bud drop, no blooming, etc.
Hence you need to be careful about maintaining a suitable temperature and thus save your cactus buddy!