Thanksgiving cactus, holiday cactus, and crab cactus are all names for the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata). The leaf-shaped stem segments with curled, pointy teeth or claws around the margins are known as crabs. The leaf segments of the Easter cactus (Schlumbergera buckleyi) have rounded edges. They all came from wet, dark forests around the southeast coast of Brazil. Because they reside above ground in trees, where branches meet and decaying leaves and moss amass, they are categorized as epiphytes.
Although this plant has the moniker “cactus,” the maintenance it needs has nothing to do with its relatives in the desert. It is regarded as a type of woodland cactus. Its needs can be traced back to its beginnings. It is recommended for Christmas cactus to grow in “Potty trained That entails storing it in a small container for as long as possible before transferring it to a pot that is only marginally larger. They should not be allowed to dry out and like a thick organic potting mix. When the plant is blossoming, increase the watering. They favor direct, bright light. As the plants start to burn in full light, the leaf segments might turn a dark red color.
The “secret to getting Christmas cactus to bloom in the following years after purchase comes down to two things: light and temperature. These two hold the secret to the realm of flowers. Flowers are produced by Christmas cacti during a chilly, brief day cycle. It takes at least eight days of 16 hours of darkness and 8 hours of light every day for flower buds to begin to form. No matter where the plant is located, avoid using the lights at night, even for a little time. That ends the necessary dark cycle. Around 61 degrees should be the ambient temperature. Place the plant away from drafts of either cold or hot air.
All that is required is to set the Christmas cactus on the window sill in a chilly area without turning on the lights. In a brightly lit space, a plant’s side towards the window will frequently sprout buds, but not the other way around. It usually has to do with either receiving too much or not enough water or with there being insufficient humidity in the air if the plant sets flower buds and then they fall off. The good news is that if their temperature and light needs are met, Christmas cacti are thought to be rather simple to induce to bloom once more.
Do zygocactus and Christmas cactus look alike?
Zygocactus can be found in nurseries, florists, grocery stores, and other places that sell plants throughout the Christmas season. They may be referred to as Zygocactus, Holiday Cactus, Christmas Cactus, or Thanksgiving Cactus.
What three varieties of Christmas cacti are there?
Thanksgiving cactus, Christmas cactus, and Easter cactus are the three popular holiday cacti, each of which is called after the season in which its blooms occur. All three are straightforward to cultivate and have comparable growth patterns and maintenance needs.
Today’s holiday cactus variations are available in magenta, pink, scarlet, as well as yellow, white, orange, purple, salmon, and apricot, however these well-known cacti are typically only available in red-hued hues. The Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti are tropical rain forest species, while the Easter cactus is indigenous to Brazil’s natural woods. All three are endemic to Brazil.
Why is it referred to as a Christmas cactus?
The origin of the Christmas cactus is entrenched in hot, tropical climates in Brazil, which heightens the mystery. Christmas cacti are a member of the Schlumbergera family and get their name from the season in which they bloom in the Northern Hemisphere. They bloom in their native area from April to May, hence the popular name is meaningless. Because of their clawed limbs, they are known as crab cactus in Europe.
The primary Schlumbergera species number six. Several of these have the label “holiday cacti in commercial manufacture.” These are forced to bloom between September and February and are then sold as gift plants during Thanksgiving and Christmas, hence earning the names Thanksgiving cactus and Christmas cactus. The name of the genus is a tribute to French botanist and exotic plant collector Frederic Schlumberger. Allen Cunningham found the group of holiday cacti in the early 1800s, and by the 1900s, there were a number of hybrids.
These were included in Christian holiday customs since Thanksgiving and Christmas fell during their blossoming seasons.
Do Epiphyllum and Christmas cactus look alike?
Fans of the Epiphyllum refer to them as “Eppies,” which are epiphytes.
Epiphyllum, sometimes known as “eppies,” are commonly referred to as orchid cacti due to their massive and exquisite blooms. Their blossoms, unlike those of actual orchids, typically only last a few hours, but fortunately, they frequently have numerous over the course of a few days or weeks, giving you a chance to carefully examine them as they go through their transformations.
Where do Epiphyllum Grow?
You can get an idea of the circumstances that these plants prefer based on the ecosystem in which they have developed; for example, give your epiphyllum adequate drainage, a high level of organic matter in the soil, and bright but filtered light, and it will thrive.
Schlumbergera, or Christmas Cactus, Rhipsalis, Hatiora, and a number of other closely related taxa are related to Epiphyllum, as are other jungle plants that grow high in the tree tops. They occasionally interbreed to create novel and fascinating hybrids.
How to Propagate Epiphyllum Cuttings
In no time, you’ll catch the propagation bug and start producing your own hybrids.
I spent a few years in the 1990s working at the now-defunct Fletcher Greenhouses in Tomslake, British Columbia. Dick and Sheila Fletcher were the owners, and they propagated a large number of exquisite Epiphyllum from cuttings as well as from seeds.
The seeds are produced inside a red fruit that is then removed from the plant to ripen and dry before being harvested for consumption.
They don’t require stratification or any other kind of treatment because they are a tropical plant and can germinate right away.