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How to Make Your Succulent Bloom

Introduction

Watching your succulent blossom is one of the most rewarding aspects of succulent care. However, getting your succulent to flower can be one of its most difficult aspects. If you want to make it bloom, you need to give it extra care and attention for it to happen. Just remember not to give them too much care, like the alien giant who forcefully coddled the Looney Tunes characters!

Age

You should think about how long you’ve had your succulent if you want it to start blossoming. It is best to try to get them to blossom after you’ve had it for 4-6 years at the minimum, as this is when many succulents, and cacti in particular, begin to start flowering. If you’re lucky, you could purchase a succulent that’s already blooming.

Temperature

Succulents like cacti prefer very hot temperatures to blossom

Normally, your Succulent will do well in reasonably warm temperature. However, if you want to get your succulent to bloom, you need to pay much more attention to how much heat your succulent is getting. Succulents need high temperatures to start flowering, so you may want to invest in a heat lamp for your succulent, or slowly move them outdoors in summer;  moving them to warmer and brighter locations over the course of several weeks.


However, if you keep succulents from deserts with cold winters like the Great Basin Desert, you should keep it cool and dormant in the wintertime, as the sudden increase in warmth and nutrients in summer after the period of winter dormancy will better trigger them to start flowering. See How to Take Care of Your Succulent in Winter for more advice on this subject.

Lighting

The majority of succulents need intense light in order to bloom so that they can photosynthesise enough food from the sun to start flowering. If you want to make your succulent flower, it’s best to keep it by an eastern or southern window where they will get plenty of sunlight for this purpose. Likewise, most succulents will need longer periods of light than usual in order to blossom, as summer is the period when this normally occurs. Again, keeping them by an eastern or southern window is recommended; otherwise, you could buy a grow light in order to get your succulents to bloom.


However, be careful that you’re growing the correct succulent: some, like haworthias, could blossom in full shade; others, like holiday cacti, in fact need short periods of daylight in order to flower. If you’re buying a succulent and you don’t know how much light it needs, check out the profile of the plant on the Succuterra website to find out.

Water

How to Water Your Succulent will cover the basics of this aspect of succulent care. Succulents generally prefer thorough watering periods about once a week during growing season. However, in order for your succulent to flower, it will need more frequent watering. Water the plant heavily— until the water begins to pour out of the drainage hole. Don’t water it again until the top inch of your succulent’s substrate has dried out. Remember not to drown the plant; it is a succulent after all!

Fertilizer

Strong, phosphorous rich fertiliser is the best to get succulents blooming

Your succulent needs lots of food to produce the flowers and seeds that it could propagate itself with, and fertilisers have all the nutrients it needs to help it flower— provided it is the right one, of course. As you read in How to Take Care of Your Succulent, you’ll still only need to fertilise it once a month, but instead of diluting it 4:1, only dilute it 2:1. To help it flower, use a fertiliser that’s rich in phosphorus, like 10-15-10.

Conclusion

It’s important to keep all elements of this article in mind if you want your succulent to blossom. Light and heat alone won’t do it, or simply watering more than usual, and not even giving the most lavish care to your plant won’t do anything if it isn’t mature enough. If you aren’t careful, you may even kill your plant by mistake if you don’t heed all the advice you’ve read here. However, if you’re both careful and caring to your plant, you could be rewarded with one of the most unique and beautiful displays a plant can give you.