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Thanksgiving cactus

Diana Asked

When is the best time and method for replanting a Thanksgiving cactus? Also, I have an orchid that has new leaves but has not bloomed since original bloom fell off. What can I do to get it to bloom?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Diana: The best time to repot Thanksgiving Cactus is during the spring. These succulents do like to be a bit pot bound and only need to be repotted every few years. If it has outgrown its current container or you are moving it into a more decorative one, make sure that it is the same size, or no more than 2 inches larger than the current one.  The general rule is to increase the container size by no more than 2 inches and make sure it has drainage holes. Use a high-quality potting soil specific for succulents. Gently palace the plant on its side and loosen from the container, keeping the soil and roots intact. Prep the new container with a bit of soil. You may need to adjust the soil level but don’t plant it too deep in the new container. It should be planted at the same depth as it is currently. Add more soil around the edges and gently pack the soil to make sure there are no air pockets. Water thoroughly and then keep it on the dry side.

As for your Orchid, it will eventually bloom again if given the right growing conditions and rest time. The blooms are long-lived and once they fade, it can take 3-4 months to develop more. It will not produce flowers on the same stem so if that has not been cut back, go ahead and remove it. Orchids should be grown in bright filtered light and a bark-based soil. Water weekly or adjust according to the temperature and humidity. Feed with water-soluble orchid fertilizer once per month to help encourage future blooms. It is a process but well worth the wait!

Angie Oakley

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