Christmas cactus, or hybrid Schlumbergera buckleyi, is a well-known cactus in the Cactaceae family that is grown for its eye-catching cerise flowers, which bloom inside around the time of Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere. The majority of Christmas cacti that are currently grown are thought to be hybrids between S. russelliana and the Thanksgiving, or crab, cactus (Schlumbergera truncata, originally Epiphyllum truncatum). It is native to Brazil, where it grows as an epiphyte in rainforests, primarily on trees or bushes but also in shaded areas among rocks. It is a member of the Schlumbergera genus. Zygocactus, the alternate name for the genus, is commonly used.
The Thanksgiving cactus and the Christmas cactus are sometimes confused, although the former has crenated (rounded) stem joint margins, and the latter has strongly saw-toothed stem joint margins. Thanksgiving cacti are frequently mistakenly marketed as Christmas cacti since they bloom in the late fall.
When is the best time of year to purchase a Christmas cactus?
In the late fall and winter, Christmas cacti are typically bought already in bloom or at least budded. Avoid drastic temperature changes when transporting your Christmas cactus since they can cause some of the buds to fall off. For optimal results, place in a light window and maintain the soil just moist enough. During the winter flowering season, fertilizer is not required.
Christmas cacti require as much light as possible once the last blooms have faded and prefer to be maintained on the cool side during rest periods (February – March and July – August). The plant needs to be transferred to a normal room temperature once the flower buds begin to appear in the fall.
At the start of the growth period, these cacti should be repotted every three to five years. It’s important that the soil flow easily, so always use a light soil (commercial cactus soil is acceptable).
The right amount of water, food, and relaxation must be given at the right times. Additionally, the length of daylight and the temperature of the environment will affect flowering.
The plant needs to rest when flowering is finished. Sparingly water it; do not let the stems to shrivel. If at all feasible, relocate the plant to a cool, well-lit area.
From the first of April, begin watering more frequently. Now that winter is over, the cactus will begin to flourish once more. The tips of each stem will have fresh shoots that may be seen plainly. If necessary, pot in April, and then feed a few times throughout the following months. Use a regular cactus soil that allows water to drain freely. If the soil is excessively damp, the weak roots will decay.
Christmas cacti can be placed outside in a light spot once the weather warms up. Avoid direct sunlight because certain types’ stems might become sunburned. I prefer bright, dappled shade.
This time of year is ideal for taking cuttings if you wish to. Placing good stems with two to four segments in damp sand makes propagation simple.
Reduce watering and let the soil completely dry in between waterings so that it doesn’t shrivel.
If you have your cactus outside for the summer, you can leave it there until the temperatures at night fall below fifty degrees (this period of cool nights and shortening days will encourage lots of flower buds). Restart increasing watering as soon as there are any indications of blossom buds. When growing blooms, the cactus must never become dry or be moved around excessively, as this will cause the buds to fall off the plant.
Mid-fall is when you should start to notice little, spherical buds emerging at the tips. When buds are growing in September and October, a few fertilizer applications may be beneficial for an old, huge plant.
It is diagnosed as needing more water. Give it a good soak in a basin of water or the sink, and after about 30 minutes, let it completely drain.
The roots are rotting, thus that is the diagnosis. Either the soil composition is incorrect or the plant has been overwatered. Take good cuttings and establish new plants because the plant cannot endure much longer.
The plant has either experienced too much movement or not enough water during the period when it establishes its buds, according to the diagnosis. More care should be given to it; observe the results. The next bloom cycle might be all that’s necessary for you to witness its splendor.
This year, give a Christmas cactus a try! The plant you purchase now might end up as an heirloom tomorrow!
Why is it so difficult to locate real Christmas cacti?
Weihnachtskakteen Schlumbergera bridgestii “Christmastime is a rare time to find true Christmas cacti for sale. The branches of these plants drop downward like pendants, and their leaf segments are smooth and scalloped. The plant is more fragile than the Thanksgiving Cactus, making shipping more challenging.
Schlumbergera truncata, the Thanksgiving Cactus Around the holidays, this is the plant that you will probably find for sale being marketed as a “Cactus of Christmas. In contrast to the “real Christmas Cactus,” which has scalloped leaves, these plants’ leaves have pointed “hooks” that set them apart from their closely related relatives. As opposed to the Christmas Cactus, which has more pendulous branches, its branches arch UP before hanging down.
Tropical plants with South and Central American native ranges include Christmas cactus. Although they are not true cacti, they do grow in a setting resembling that of epiphytic orchids in the forks of tree branches, where they thrive in decomposing leaves and other organic matter that gathers there. Can you picture seeing these in full bloom high in the trees?
Your Christmas cactus will most likely be in bud and bloom when you get it home. If at all feasible, place the plant in bright light in a humid environment to avoid bud drop. As the water evaporates, placing them on a saucer or tray with pea gravel and water will enhance the humidity around the plant. They won’t grow as well if you position them near a door, heating ducts, a fireplace, or other drafty spots.
Water less regularly during the flowering period and for approximately a month after it, letting the soil dry in between applications, than you would in the spring and summer. When you do water, keep in mind to water WELL.
How long is the lifespan of a Christmas cactus?
During the holidays, the Christmas cactus may be seen everywhere, and with good cause. It’s a blooming succulent that requires little maintenance, produces lovely blooms, and, with the right care, can last up to 100 years! That is correct! This plant may endure for a long time, bringing color to your holidays for many years. For a plant that is as cheap and uncomplicated as the Christmas cactus, that’s a fairly great investment!
Can Christmas cacti be kept inside?
The common Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii), which blooms in the winter, is a lovely complement to almost any interior space. It is a superb contender for holiday gift giving because it is not only simple to maintain but also easily multiplies. Let’s examine how to grow and maintain a Christmas cactus.
Are Christmas cacti seasonal bloomers?
In November or December, your Christmas cactus plant blossomed profusely, and now you’re wondering if you’ll have to wait a whole year for it to bloom once more. The unexpected response is: Nope! The appropriate (and somewhat severe) conditions can cause holiday cactus to bloom once more after the season has passed. What must be done to ensure a repeat blossoming in February?
How should a Christmas cactus be watered—from the top or the bottom?
To ensure that the water reaches the Christmas cactus’ roots, irrigate it from the bottom up. Continue adding water to the soil until it begins to seep through the pot’s openings. It hydrates the ground.
Ensure that there is no standing water beneath the pot once the soil has been thoroughly moistened. Never leave excess water in the planter; you don’t want mold, root rot, or insects laying eggs there. If the water is fully separate from the pot and is in a tray underneath the pot, that’s acceptable.
Mist the Leaves
You can sprinkle the leaves with water in a spray bottle to keep them as healthy as possible. When watering the plant, misting the leaves only once will be sufficient to provide appropriate hydration.
Deadhead your Christmas cactus?
Christmas is typically not a time when desert-dwelling flora are highlighted because the holiday generally honors brisk pine tree forests, chilly temperatures, and snowfall. The Christmas Cactus is an exception, though, as it is indigenous to Brazil’s rainforests. It’s difficult to miss this plant during the season with its long flat stems and beautifully colored flowers. The Christmas Cactus will offer you tons of flowers in pinks, reds, purples, and white while it’s tough to get your other cactus to bloom. Possibly not always the colors of the season, but nonetheless lovely.
Perhaps you saw one at the florist or your neighbor decided to give you a Christmas Cactus as a gift in appreciation for your assistance in setting up the lights (well done!). You’re unsure of what to do with it as it sits in your living room, however it got there. You could be a little confused by the fact that it’s a cactus because they are frequently associated with moodiness around water. But unlike its relatives, this cactus is not terrified of water and has very few sharp parts, so it won’t bite. Discover how to take care of your Christmas cactus by reading on.
No life jacket requiredWatering your Christmas Cactus
The Christmas Cactus adores the water, contrary to what you might be used to (swimming, water polo, and perhaps even a little skinny dipping!) It prefers to have regular waterings that thoroughly wet the soil. Despite the fact that you should let the soil dry up a little bit in between your planned waterings, you should never let it become fully dry. This may impede the growth of your plant and lead it to lose all of the carefully tended flowers!
Warm hugsDon’t give your cacti the cold shoulder
The ideal temperature range for your Christmas Cactus should be between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius, despite the fact that hugging cacti is generally not advised. Like any warm-blooded plant, try to keep it away from drafts and vents. For these guys, a constant temperature is optimal. Although bright light is preferred, excessive amounts of direct sunlight can burn the stems.
A life after ChristmasWhat to do with your Christmas Cactus after the season
Deadhead all the wasted blooms to keep your cacti looking their best during and after the Christmas season. Additionally, this stimulates the plant to keep on blooming. You can continue to enjoy your cacti after Christmas until it eventually stops blooming. But once it does, don’t get rid of it! Whether or not they bloom, these cacti make stunning houseplants. And chances are it will blossom for you once more the next year, and occasionally even in the midst of the year. (Bonus!)
You can prune it at the start of the summer by cutting back a few of the stems’ lankier portions. Similar to getting a haircut, this fosters further growth and allows it to blossom once more.
Whether or not it is the holiday season, your Christmas Cactus will stand out from the rest of your houseplants thanks to its tall stalks and vivid blossoms! Enjoy its distinctive design in your house.
Can a Christmas cactus be planted in a hanging basket?
A common indoor plant with winter blossoms is the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii), which often blooms at the winter solstice at the end of the year. Flower varieties come in a wide range of hues. Christmas cactus are epiphytes that grow on tree branches in rain forests and are native to Brazil. They are the ideal plants for hanging baskets because of the way their stems drop down.
It doesn’t necessarily indicate that something is wrong if a stem on your adult Christmas cactus is turning woody. Therefore, there is no justification for attempting to restore a Christmas cactus with woody stems. Continue reading to learn more about woody Christmas cactus.
How long does it take to grow a Christmas cactus from a cutting?
A Christmas cactus might take up to a month to take root. You must therefore exercise patience for at least 3 to 4 weeks.
To determine if they have rooted, there are two methods. You can give them a light tug to check for resistance.
Otherwise, keep an eye out for fresh growth at the segment’s tips. The cuttings will start to develop new leaves or flower buds once they have successfully rooted.
Why Won’t My Schlumbergera Propagate?
Your Schlumbergera won’t spread for a number of reasons. They won’t root if the bottom of the lowest segment is torn or broken.
Rot is another frequent problem. Before planting the clipped ends, give them time to callus and cure to avoid that.
Additionally, be very careful not to overwater them. Keep the soil dry and the air damp until the roots have fully formed for optimal results.