A flower store owner shares a proven, homemade Christmas cactus trick: just pop a pill in the water and the cactus will start setting buds!

In the colorful world of flowering houseplants, the Christmas cactus stands out with its vibrant, festive blooms. While many enthusiasts struggle to encourage their cacti to flower each year, one flower store owner has shared a surprisingly simple, yet effective, trick to ensure a stunning display: adding a common household pill to the watering routine.

The Trick: A Pill to Promote Blooming

The trick involves dissolving an aspirin tablet in water used for irrigating the Christmas cactus. Here’s how this unconventional method works and why it might just be the secret you need to coax your cactus into full bloom:

  1. The Science Behind Aspirin: Aspirin contains acetylsalicylic acid, which can mimic certain plant hormones responsible for stress resistance and growth. By adding aspirin to the water, you essentially give the plant a boost that can help trigger flowering, especially during the crucial bud-setting phase.
  2. Preparation and Dosage: Dissolve one standard 325 mg aspirin tablet in approximately one gallon of water. Ensure the tablet is fully dissolved to avoid any concentration pockets that could potentially harm the plant.
  3. Application: Water the Christmas cactus with the aspirin solution once every three to four weeks during the lead-up to its typical blooming season, which usually begins in late fall. It’s important to start this regimen about two months before the expected bloom time to allow the plant to absorb the benefits fully.
  4. Why It Works: The aspirin in the water helps reduce plant stress and can enhance the immune response, making the cactus more robust and more likely to set buds. This response is particularly beneficial when the plant is shifting from growth phase to the dormancy period prior to blooming.
  5. Additional Benefits: Besides encouraging blooming, aspirin water can help strengthen the overall health of the plant, making it more resistant to diseases and pests.

Caution and Care

While this method has been proven effective by the flower store owner and other enthusiasts, it’s essential to observe your plant closely for any signs of distress. Aspirin should be used sparingly and not substituted for regular plant care practices:

  • Monitor Soil Moisture: Christmas cacti require well-draining soil and should not sit in overly wet conditions.
  • Light and Temperature: Ensure the plant is kept in a bright, indirect light area with temperature consistency, avoiding drafts and sudden temperature changes.
  • Fertilization: Continue with a balanced fertilizer regimen, appropriate for cacti, during the growing season to ensure your plant receives all necessary nutrients.


The addition of aspirin to your Christmas cactus’ watering schedule could be just what you need to inspire spectacular blooms. This simple, cost-effective trick has transformed the blooming habits of many Christmas cacti, turning them into the stars of the holiday season. Give it a try and watch your Christmas cactus thrive, offering a burst of color when it’s most welcomed.

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