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Help! My Christmas Cactus Has Not Bloomed In 2 Years

Ask The Plant Expert:

My Christmas cactus has not bloomed the last 2 years. I love my cactus and have not had the problem before. I get new growth, but no blooms. -Loree

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

Get Your Own Pink Christmas CactusLike poinsettias, daylight length is a major blooming factor for Christmas Cactus. Blooming is triggered by short days. If the cactus doesn’t receive the right short-day light exposure, the plant will not bloom.

To force your Christmas cactus to bloom place the plant in a dark bedroom, or cover for 15 hours a day. Do this for up to 30 days. Once the bloom buds appear the plant can be returned to its usual viewing location.

Be careful not to exposure the plant to extreme temperatures since this will cause pre-mature bud drop/loss.

Hope this information was helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

What Is This Flowering Plant With Coral-Pink Blooms

Christmas Pride Ruellia macranthia

Christmas Pride Ruellia macranthia

Ask the Expert: Could you please tell me the name of this flower

This plant was given to us by a friend who does not know the name of it. We think it may belong to the Begonia family, but are not quite sure. It was thought that perhaps its common name was African Rice plant but I don\’t think this is correct Can you help please.

Kind Regards

Plant Expert Reply:
I can’t see the flower detail exactly, but I believe what you have is a Ruellia macrantha commonly called Christmas Pride or Brazilian Rose. This erect soft stemmed shrub blooms fall and winter and occasionally. It is used as a container plant , although in California it is used as a garden plant. They like bright filtered light and high humidity.

This flower identifications was brought to you by the local florists in Elverta California.

What Perennials Can I Use With Lantana To Extend The Blooming Period?

Ask the Expert: lantana groupings
Last year I created an octagon flower bed with lantanas that looks wonderful when in bloom, but they bloom so late in the season that the bed looks empty now. What can I plant in the bed with them that will come back year after year? I live in Eclectic, AL, close to Montgomery, the bed receives full sun, & the soil is mostly red clay with potting soil in the plant hole. Jennifer

If you want something blooming every season, you will need to plant several different kinds of plants.
For winter blooming, I suggest Helleborus orientalis (Lenten Rose) which grows to about 15″.
For early spring blooming, I suggest Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox) which will need to be at the front of your bed since it will only get about 4-6″ in hgt but will spread.
For late spring try Stokesia laevis (Stoke’s Aster) which will grow to about 15″ in height. Kniphofia uvaria (Red Hot poker) with blooms that can be 3′ height.

You can also plant tulips and daffodils in the bed with the lantana for late winter/early spring blooming. Since lantana last well in to the late fall I would bother with a fall blooming perennial unless you want to plant chrysanthemums.

Good luck and keep me posted on your garden’s progress. I would love to see pictures of it as it progresses.