Getting A Succulent To Flower: Why Won’t My Succulent Bloom
By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
Most of us love our succulentsjust for the unusual and different types of foliage. Getting a succulent toflower is an additional bonus from this already wonderful plant. Yet, as proofthat our thumb is really green, we may be concerned if there are no blooms onsucculents. Learning how to make succulents bloom is somewhat different fromgetting blossoms on other plants. Let’s look at ways to encourage timelysucculent flowering.
Why Won’t My Succulent Bloom?
Flowers usually appear on matureand properly located succulents. If you start new plants from leaves orcuttings, it might be five years or more before blooms appear. This time-frameis even longer for cactus, as some varieties don’t flower until the plant is 30years old.
If you know the name of yoursucculent or cactus, try searching for bloom information for the individualplant. Some experts say your succulents bloom when they’re four to six years.But don’t be discouraged. I’ve had several succulents bloom during theirearlier periods.
Many succulents form buds duringthe moderate temperatures of spring while some wait for the autumn cool down.Others produce blooms in summer. Adequate sunlight is necessary for blooms onmost of them, but some plants, such as Haworthiaand Gasteria,might bloom in the shade.
Getting a Succulent to Flower
Try to adjust houseplant and outdoorsucculents to half a day of morning sun. This helps the plant tochemically create what it needs to produce blooms and is a long-term process.Open and stretched growth on plants that should be compact shows they are notgetting enough sun. The same goes for globular cacti. Warmer temps and longerdays promote flowering in many of these specimens.
If you keep your succulentsindoors, getting them to bloom may be more of a challenge, but getting themsettled into the right lighting encourages blossoms. If you’ve been withholdingwater for winter, resume watering as temperatures warm. Don’t provide excesswater, but saturate the soil.
Fertilize while soil is still damp.Increase from ¼ strength to ½ strength feeding of a high phosphorous foodmonthly. Use these steps if you find your succulent not flowering at theappropriate time.
Learning why a succulent won’t bloomexplains how to care for your plants to get them to flower, but it is not muchdifferent from the care that keeps them at their healthiest and most appealing.The exception is water. You may be limiting the water you give your plants inorder to stress them and get more color. If so, decide whether you wantcolorful succulents or blooms and water accordingly.
Keep in mind, however, succulentsdon’t need heavy watering, even to bloom. You may be surprised by a flower onthe stressed succulent if it is sited properly – sometimes it’s all aboutlocation, location, location.
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Read more about General Cactus Care
How to propagate
There are three ways to propagate an Echeveria ‘Black Prince‘: through leaf cuttings, from offsets or pups, and by beheadings. The plant may produce pups or offsets that you can remove from the mother plant. If not, you can still propagate by using leaf cuttings.
Besides, how do you care for Echeveria Black Prince? Black Prince echeveria care includes growing the specimen in a fast-draining succulent mixture, amended with coarse sand, pumice, or other additions normally used in a succulent soil mix. Locate your plant in a sunny spot. Full morning sun is best, but some afternoon sun fills the plant’s needs.
How to get a Holiday Cactus to bloom
Schlumbergera and Rhipsalidopsis or Hatiora (Holiday Cactus, Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus, or Easter Cactus) have different watering and temperature needs from desert cacti and succulents. Native to the tropical rain forests of Brazil, they require some humidity and will not tolerate intense heat and frost. They belong in the Schlumbergera and Hatiora species, and are different from other cacti in their appearance and habits. They are epiphytes, meaning they grow on trees in wet and humid regions, or on rocky grounds as lithophytes. One of the most common varieties are the Christmas Cactus or Easter Cactus, which are popular houseplants for their beautiful, showy flowers. These tropical cacti does not do well on full sunlight and afternoon sun.
To encourage flowering, the plant needs to enter a period of dormancy. Here are ways to help them enter dormancy and encourage them to bloom or to force them to bloom again:
Limit the amount of water
Starting fall season, around October, cut down on watering but do not let the soil completely dry out. Wait until the top ½ of the soil feels dry before watering again. Depending on the temperature, the medium used, and the size of the pot, this can be anywhere from 3-6 weeks between watering.
Provide a period of darkness
The plant needs about 12-14 hours of darkness during the night in order to encourage it to bloom. Provide bright, indirect light during the day and at least 12 hours of darkness at night. This reduction in light needs to start approximately 8 weeks before you expect it to bloom.
Provide cooler temperatures of about 50-60 ⁰F (10-15⁰C). Avoid placing the plant where the temperature can vary greatly from extreme hot to extreme cold.
Your holiday cactus may bloom on its own without much help from you, but some may need to be placed in environments where it is more conducive for them to bloom. These tips may hopefully help to get yours to flower.
Monocarpic & Polycarpic Succulents
|Monocarpic Succulents||How Many Varieties?||Polycarpic Succulents||How Many Varieties?|
As you can see from this list above, most succulents are polycarpic, with multiple bloom seasons.
How to Stop a Monocarpic Succulent From Dying?
Is it possible to save a monocarpic pant from dying by removing the blooms? Sometimes. Like every other aspect of the monocarpic succulents topic, the answers are not always clear. While there is no way to stop a flowering sempervivum “hen” from dying, if you cut the bloom stem from a Kalanchoe flapjacks plant, you can often keep the plant alive. While we say a monocarp dies after blooming, it is in truth the seed production that triggers the death of the plant – to the extent that it does die. So some monocarps can be saved by removing the flowering stem. If you elect to try this, cut the stem while it is still in the bud stage. And remain vigilant! Some plants are so anxious to reproduce that new flower stems emerge after you remove the first one. Be sure to study the list above, so that you don’t needlessly remove the flowers from your echeveria, or any other polycarpic variety!
Do Succulents Die After Blooming?
So – do succulents die after blooming? Yes, some varieties do. But not that many, and not really that dead. If only it were like this for pets and beloved family members, right? Don’t fear growing and enjoying monocarpic succulents. They are beautiful and charming, and won’t leave you empty handed after they flower.