Is Christmas Cactus Poisonous To Humans

Many people enjoy Christmas, and it’s frequently a very significant holiday as well. At this time of year, family or personal customs are very popular. One of these customs is frequently to bring unusual plants into the house and admire their flowers, fruits, or leaves.

Sadly, a number of common Christmas or festive plants are lethal to both humans and animals. Adults and older kids won’t likely have an issue with this because they won’t ingest any parts of a toxic plant and are likely ready to use gloves if necessary when touching the plant. However, it might very likely be an issue for small children or animals. Fortunately, there are some non-toxic plants that make lovely holiday additions to a home.


Do Christmas cacti have poison?

Humans, cats, and dogs are not poisoned by the Christmas cactus. That is not to mean, however, that you should go feeding your dog cactus leaves for Christmas. The fibrous plant matter of the cactus can produce large amounts of diarrhoea and vomiting.

Are Christmas cacti safe for young children?

Some cacti plants, like the Christmas cactus, are sensitive and require an indoor atmosphere to grow. Such plants cannot have their stems or leaves in direct sunlight. However, before you do this, you should be certain that the plant is safe, especially if you have children or pets in your house.

According to research, one of the main sources of toxicity inside of homes worldwide has been plants. It has been shown that many indoor plants contain sizable amounts of toxins that could be dangerous to people.

The majority of cacti species have nearly negligible toxicity, which is a good thing. You don’t need to be concerned about the plant’s impact on the health of your family. In fact, this is one of the main explanations for why a lot of people prefer to grow cacti indoors.

Infants may occasionally be sensitive to the Christmas cactus, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it will hurt them. There is nothing to worry about and the plant is completely safe for your infant.

Small children may, on occasion, try to eat the cactus while playing, though. Put your plant in a slightly elevated location that is out of the reach of your children as a precaution.

The plant is unfit for human eating even if it may not contain any hazardous substances. Only a small number of cacti species have edible fruits.

Are cacti toxic to people?

Are Cacti Toxic to People? Humans cannot be poisoned by cacti. Cacti are only harmful if you eat them, which might result in diarrhea and stomachaches. It’s advisable to avoid touching or eating cacti because some people may be allergic to their thorns.

Is Christmas cactus edible?

Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas Cactus In the coastal mountains of southeast Brazil, there is a small genus of cactus called Schlumbergera that has 6–9 species of cacti.

In settings that are often dark and humid, plants grow on trees or rocks and might look very different from their desert-dwelling relatives.

Charles Lemaire founded the current genus Schlumbergera in 1858. The name honors Frdric Schlumberger, a Normandy chateau owner who amassed a collection of cacti.

Only one species, a plant identified in Brazil in 1837 and given the name Epiphyllum russellianum by William J. Hooker, was included in Lemaire’s new genus. Schlumbergera epiphylloides is the name Lemaire gave it (under the current rules of botanical nomenclature it should have been called Schlumbergera russelliana, which is its current name).

Lemaire recognized that his Schlumbergera epiphylloides was similar to a species that Adrian Hardy Haworth initially described as Epiphyllum truncatum in 1819, but he did not agree that the two species were in the same genus.

By incorporating Epiphyllum truncatum into Zygocactus truncatus, Karl Moritz Schumann established the new genus Zygocactus in 1890.

Zygocactus was later abandoned by him, and he later moved it back into Epiphyllum, but the generic name remained popular.

Lemaire’s practice of retaining Schlumbergera russelliana and Zygocactus truncatus in different genera was followed in 1913 by Nathaniel Britton and Joseph Rose.

Additionally, they added the Easter cactus as S. gaertneri to Schlumbergera, causing a long-lasting misunderstanding between these two genera.

Schlumbergera russelliana and Zygocactus truncatus were both included in the genus Schlumbergera by Reid Venable Moran in 1953. David Hunt later added more species, including those originally included in Epiphyllanthus, to create the current total of six distinct species plus a few hybrids.

The majority of Schlumbergera species have areoles at the joints and tips of their stems, which produce flowers that resemble leaf-like pads united together.

Two species resemble other cacti more with their cylindrical stems. Three species of the allied genus Hatiora were placed into Schlumbergera as a result of recent phylogenetic analyses utilizing DNA, albeit this modification has not yet been widely accepted.

Hatiora and Schlumbergera have long been confused. Species in the first genus often have zygomorphic tubular flowers, whereas those in the second genus have actinomorphic blooms with discrete tubes.

The three species of the Hatiora subgenus Rhipsalidopsis have been placed into Schlumbergera, according to DNA evidence, albeit this shift has not yet been widely accepted. The two genera are not monophyletic.

These cacti’s common names typically allude to when they bloom. They go by the names Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, crab cactus, and holiday cactus in the Northern Hemisphere. Because they bloom throughout May in the Southern Hemisphere, the genus is known as Flor de Maio (Mayflower) in Brazil.

Growing Schlumbergera

The Schlumbergera species can develop substantial shrubs with woody bases in the wild, growing either on trees (epiphytic) or on rocks (epilithic); a height of up to 4 ft has been documented for one species (S. opuntioides). They lack leaves, and their green stems serve as their photosynthesis organs. The segments that make up the stems can be classified into one of two types.

The segments in the majority of species are highly flattened (cladodes), consisting of a central core with two or, less frequently, three side segments “wings.

special cacti-specific features known as “Areoles then appear at the tips of the stem segments. Two species have stems that are less flattened, more cylinder-shaped, and have areoles that are distributed across the segments in a roughly helical pattern.

The flower buds develop in both situations in the areoles, which may include wool and tiny bristles.

Blooming Schlumbergera

The blooms are hung more or less horizontally, with the top side of the flower being different from the lower side, which is radially asymmetrical or zygomorphic, or they hang downward and are almost radially symmetrical, as in most species.

In addition, they are cyclical and only bloom in the fall, winter, or spring, hence the moniker “holiday cactus.”

Easter Cactus blooms in the spring, Thanksgiving Cactus blooms in the fall, and Christmas Cactus blooms around Christmas.

The angle of the flowers with the horizontal in species where the flowers are held up is typically quite constant. There are 2030 flowers. The outer tepals, which are shorter and disconnected, are those found closest to the flower’s base. Tepals may spread wide or may curl backward.

The longer inner tepals that are located closer to the flower’s tip gradually become fused together at the base to form a floral tube.

The distinction between the outer and inner tepals in some species gives the illusion of a “a flower inside of another. At the bottom of the floral tube, in a chamber, the flowers create nectar.

Despite being called a cactus, this plant (Schlumbergera bridesii or Schlumbergera truncata) actually has tropical origins and is a succulent. The Christmas cactus must adhere to a relatively rigid schedule in the fall in order to bloom throughout the holiday season, just like the poinsettia. The plant needs extended darkness for at least four weeks before flower buds may grow for Christmas blossoms.

Place the plant in a dark area or keep it covered (under a box or bag works good) for at least 12 hours each day in late September or early October. The light/dark cycle can end once the little buds start to develop, which usually takes three to four weeks.

Move the plant to its new location as the buds expand “avoiding sudden changes in temperature or illumination in the display area. While blossoming and budding, keep watering and feeding the plant.

When the top inch of the soil around your Schlumbergera cactus feels dry, water it. Consider the weather and time of year at all times. You might need to water your cactus every two to three days if it’s outdoors in a hot, dry region, especially if the plant has been exposed to the sun. The cactus may only require watering once each week if you maintain it indoors in a cool, humid environment. In order to encourage blossoming, water less frequently in the fall and winter.

Like other cactus species, the Schlumbergera cactus has a problem with over-watering. In addition to causing leaves to fall, overwatering can result in fungal rot illnesses like white rot. The white patches on the leaves of plants with white rot disease are easily identified.

Schlumbergera cactus cannot tolerate as much under-watering as other cactus species because it is a tropical, not a desert, cactus. A Schlumbergera cactus will wilt and lose its flower buds if it doesn’t get enough water. A Schlumbergera cactus cannot endure completely dry soil, unlike a desert cactus. Avoid overhead irrigation to prevent fungus issues.