Christmas cacti are related to desert cacti, these plants still have succulent stems but without spines. They also require more shade than their desert relatives and definitely require protection from strong, direct sunlight, a cool, bright window is best or in a shady location outdoors during the summer. They also require moist, well-drained soil but avoid over watering. A weekly fertilizer helps promote growth and blooms.

Shorter days and/or a cold shock will prompt Christmas cacti to begin flowering. To promote flowering, move outdoors for the cooler fall days but never leave outside if there is a chance of frost.

The secret to blooming success is to keep these plants slightly or even severely root bound.