A native of Mexico, Disocactus ackermannii, commonly known as red orchid cactus, is a flat-stemmed cactus notable because of its brilliant-red flowers, which might be around 6 inches across. Flowering does not come easy for this inconsistent cactus, which requires specific cultural conditions so as to thrive. Gardeners who have worked over the cactus with no consequences should note it might take 10 to 15 years prior to the cactus is big enough to produce flowers.
Orchid cacti do best in temperatures that remain always between 45 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, though in shady, humid situations that they endure extreme heat, as stated by Clemson Cooperative Extension. Do not allow your red orchid cactus to be in a temperature below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, even in winter, because it is going to die back. An east- or west-facing windowsill with indirect sunlight or filtered lighting is ideal for a indoor crimson orchid cactus. The plant should have bright-green, healthy stems. If its growth seems wilted or yellowish, then the cactus receives a lot of light; even if its growth is leggy and weak, the cactus doesn’t receive enough light. Outdoors, red orchid cactus is hardy in only U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11.
Pot Bound and Away
Orchid cacti perform best when they are root bound, meaning their origins fill their container or other growing space completely. An orchid cactus implanted in a 4-inch pot will flower quicker than one in an 8-inch bud, based on a post by Oregon State University Extension Service, Douglas County. If your crimson orchid cactus is in a pot, then repot it every seven years by removing the cactus from its container, tapping extra dirt from its origins and putting the cactus in a bigger pot with fresh, well-draining, cactus potting soil. Consider one week before watering the plant’s soil. If the cactus has flowered, wait one month after it flowers before repotting it. Only a grass with a bottom drainage hole should be used.
Although cacti can be killed easily by excessive watering, it’s crucial to water a red orchid cactus year round because a very long dry spell can dissuade it from flowering. Water whenever the top one-third of this dirt has dried out, but do not let all the plant’s soil dry out. Water the ground deeply; when the cactus is in a pot, water till water drips from the pot’s bottom. The cactus should not be splashed with water during the process. In winter, when the cactus is dormant, water its dirt about every couple weeks. If you grow your crimson orchid cactus from a cutting, then do not allow the cutting to dry out; water a frozen cutting around once every week in the growing season and once every month in winter.
During the growing season, fertilize your crimson orchid cactus once every month with a water-soluble, 10-10-10 fertilizer. Dilute the fertilizer with water, using about 1 teaspoon of fertilizer a 1 gallon of water. When fertilizing, it’s better to err on the side of less rather than more, as stated by the Clemson Cooperative Extension. Avoid using fertilizer using a hydrogen content greater than 10 percent. The initial 10 in a 10-10-10 fertilizer refers to the product’s hydrogen percentage. Switch to a 2-10-10 fertilizer, which has less hydrogen, in early spring and in late autumn to encourage flowering.