christmas cactus

christmas cactus
christmas cactus

The Christmas cactus is a popular holiday plant that blooms indoors in winter, producing colorful, tubular flowers in pink or lilac colors. It is native to tropical rainforests, where they grow on tree branches and absorb high humidity, sunlight, and warm temperatures. To care for a Christmas cactus, it is important to water them more regularly but be cautious of keeping them too wet. This succulent is not adapted to dry, hot, desert environments, but rather thrives in high humidity, dappled sunlight, and warm temperatures. Proper care and propagation are crucial for a long-lasting, gift-giving cactus.

Common names for these cacti generally refer to their flowering season. In the Northern Hemisphere, they are called Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, crab cactus, and holiday cactus. In Brazil, the genus is referred to as Flor de Maio (May flower), reflecting the period in which they flower in the Southern Hemisphere. Most popular houseplants are cultivars of Schlumbergera, with flowers in white, pink, yellow, orange, red, or purple. The Easter cactus or Whitsun cactus, placed in the genus Rhipsalidopsis, is also called a holiday cactus and has flowers in red, orange, pink, and white.

Cultivars of the Christmas cactus fall into two main groups: the Truncata Group contains all cultivars with features derived mainly from the species S. truncata, while the Buckleyi Group contains all cultivars with at least some features clearly showing inheritance from S. russelliana. They generally flower later than members of the Truncata Group and are more likely to be called Christmas cactus.

In the wild, Schlumbergera species grow either on trees (epiphytic) or on rocks (epilithic) and can form sizeable shrubs with woody bases. The flowers either hang downwards and are almost regular (radially symmetrical or actinomorphic) or are held more or less horizontally with the higher side different from the lower side (radially asymmetrical or zygomorphic).

Botanical NameSchlumbergera spp.
Plant TypeHouseplant
Sun Exposure
Part Sun
Bloom Time
Spring,Fall,Winter
Flower Color
Pink,Purple,Red,White
How to use coco coir for houseplants

How to use coco coir for houseplants

Carol Klein
On February 24, 2024

how to use coco coir for houseplants Gardening is about caring for the environment, and coconut coir is a natural and renewable resource that provides plants with moisture and growth space. Store it near your

Homemade fertilizer for Christmas cactus
Houseplant orange flowers

Houseplant orange flowers

Carol Klein
On February 20, 2024

houseplant orange flowers Orange flowers on houseplants are a rare yet cheerful addition to any home, symbolizing joy, excitement, positive thinking and romance. If you're looking to boost your life's energy, grow orange houseplants to

repot houseplants in winter

repot houseplants in winter

Carol Klein
On February 20, 2024

Repot houseplants in winter Winter is an ideal time to repot houseplants as they grow and require larger containers for proper root system nourishment. Root-bound plants can lead to their demise, so repotting them in

Houseplant arrangements

Houseplant arrangements

Carol Klein
On February 19, 2024

Houseplant arrangements Today we want to talk about houseplant arrangements in "apartmentflowers" and how important arrangement is! Consider the Height One of the most important things to consider when grouping and arranging indoor plants is

PREV NEXT

Does Christmas cactus like sun or shade?

Christmas cacti thrive in indirect light and humid conditions, so they should be grown in a north- or east-facing window. Keep them out of direct sunlight, as red leaf-like pads indicate too much light. They can be moved outside during summer, but keep them in a protected, shady area and avoid letting pots sit in water after heavy rain. Hang them among tree branches for a unique landscape.

read more: Christmas cactus light requirements

How to use coco coir for houseplants

How to use coco coir for houseplants

Carol Klein
On February 24, 2024

how to use coco coir for houseplants Gardening is about caring for the environment, and coconut coir is a natural and renewable resource that provides plants with moisture and growth space. Store it near your

Houseplant orange flowers

Houseplant orange flowers

Carol Klein
On February 20, 2024

houseplant orange flowers Orange flowers on houseplants are a rare yet cheerful addition to any home, symbolizing joy, excitement, positive thinking and romance. If you're looking to boost your life's energy, grow orange houseplants to

repot houseplants in winter

repot houseplants in winter

Carol Klein
On February 20, 2024

Repot houseplants in winter Winter is an ideal time to repot houseplants as they grow and require larger containers for proper root system nourishment. Root-bound plants can lead to their demise, so repotting them in

Houseplant arrangements

Houseplant arrangements

Carol Klein
On February 19, 2024

Houseplant arrangements Today we want to talk about houseplant arrangements in "apartmentflowers" and how important arrangement is! Consider the Height One of the most important things to consider when grouping and arranging indoor plants is

PREV NEXT

How do I care for my Christmas cactus?

Water your cactus every 2 to 3 weeks, only when the top one-third of the soil feels dry. Soak the soil until it runs through the pot’s drainage holes, then discard excess water. Water well during flowering, and feed it every 2 weeks with a balanced houseplant fertilizer from spring through early fall. Feed the cactus monthly in fall and winter for successful blooming. Prune plants in late spring to encourage branching and more flowers by cutting off sections of each stem. Place cut pieces in lightly moist potting soil, as they root easily after a few weeks and make excellent Christmas presents.

How do you treat red leaves on Christmas cactus

christmas cactus

How long do Christmas cactus live?

Christmas cacti, also known as Thanksgiving or Easter cacti, is a unique houseplant that can live up to 100 years under the right conditions. These colorful cacti, a hybrid species resulting from crosses between Schlumbergera truncata (Thanksgiving cactus) and russelliana, are native to tropical southeastern Brazil, where they thrive in moist, high-altitude forests. They are also known as Zygocacti in horticulture and are members of the tribe Rhipsalideae.

Christmas cacti are epiphytic succulents that grow on trees and produce flattened, green stem segments called cladodes. These stem segments, which resemble long trailing leaves, are used to photosynthesize. The tubular flowers of Christmas cacti are spectacular, blooming around the holiday season and can be re-bloomed in late winter, provided the right conditions are met.

Christmas cacti are not the only beautiful bloomers, as many other flowering cactus varieties also offer a stunning display. To care for your holiday cactus indoors after it blooms, follow these steps:

1. Water your Christmas cacti regularly, ensuring it is well-drained and well-draining.
2. Fertilize your Christmas cacti with the right amount of water, ensuring it is well-drained and well-draining.
3. In conclusion, Christmas cacti are a beautiful and versatile houseplant that can thrive for up to 100 years under the right conditions.

Is Christmas cactus an indoor plant?

Bring your plant indoors when temperatures drop below 50 degrees to keep it protected during colder weather.Christmas cactus is hardy in zones 10 to 11 and should be overwintered in areas where they’re not hardy.

About Christmas Cacti

Popular in the Cactaceae family, the Christmas cactus is named for its eye-catching indoor cerise blooms that bloom around Christmastime in the Northern Hemisphere. The majority of Christmas cacti are crossbreds between S. russelliana and Thanksgiving cacti. It comes from Brazil and grows mostly on trees and bushes as an epiphyte in rainforests. The Thanksgiving cactus and the Christmas cactus are sometimes mistakenly sold as such because of their sawtoothed borders and crenated stem joints. Additionally, the Christmas cactus blooms in the late fall.

Holiday Cactus Types

1. Christmas

S. x buckleyi is what experts consider the true Christmas cactus. It’s a hybrid cross of S. russelliana and S. truncata, and all of the plants are sterile, so you can’t propagate them from seed.

2. Easter

Easter cactus, Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, (syn. S. gaertneri, H. gaertneri) is an outlier. Its taxonomy is unsettled, and it has been reclassified several times in recent decades.

Are eggshells good for Christmas cactus?

3. Thanksgiving

S. truncata is typically known as Thanksgiving cactus because of the period when it blooms. You might also see it called “false” Christmas cactus, crab, or Christmas cactus.

4. Other Holiday Species

S. lutea (syn. H. epiphylloides) isn’t like the others. I mean, it’s the same in that if you saw it sitting in a room with a bunch of other holiday cacti, you probably couldn’t call it out.

 

Potting Christmas Cacti

Christmas cactus is a jungle cactus that prefers humidity and moisture, unlike its standard cactus cousins, which require a warm, arid climate. A winter-bloomer, Christmas cactus displays flowers in shades of red, lavender, rose, purple, white, peach, cream, and orange, depending on the variety. These prolific growers eventually need to be repotted. Repotting Christmas cactus isn’t complicated, but the key is knowing when and how to repot a Christmas cactus. When to Repot Christmas Cactus Most plants are best repotted when they display new growth in spring, but Christmas cactus repotting should be done after blooming ends and the flowers have wilted in late winter or early spring. Never attempt to repot the plant while it is actively blooming. Don’t rush to repot Christmas cactus.

christmas cactus

Where to Put a Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cacti thrive in bright indirect to medium indirect light. They are not suited for long periods of intense, direct sun. However, extended periods of lower light in the early fall will help to encourage future winter blooms.

How to Care for Christmas Cacti

A lack of water and dramatic temperature swings can cause flower buds to drop more rapidly. Maximize your specimen’s blooming period by paying attention to these six key factors:

  • Soil: Use quality soil rich in humus and other nutrients.
  • Temperature: Maintain an optimal climate of 65 degrees.
  • Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist while your plant is blooming, misting it frequently.
  • Light: Place the cactus in an east-facing window for moderate light and some direct sun.
  • Fertilization: Apply a high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks once buds form.
  • Transplantation: Repot your cactus each year after flowering.

How to Get Your Christmas Cactus to Bloom

The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) is a low maintenance houseplant and a popular holiday gift beloved for its stunning blooms. Christmas cacti naturally flower following the rainy season in their native habitat, but we can trick our indoor plants to bloom by altering their growing environment. By adjusting temperatures and limiting the amount of light your Christmas cactus receives, you can encourage plants to bloom. And once you know how to make a Christmas cactus bloom, you can coax it into flowering at different times of the year. The Christmas cactus is a fascinating plant that looks little like its namesake—the cactus—hailing from the Brazilian rainforest rather than the desert. However, Christmas cactus is in fact a true cactus. It grows naturally as an epiphyte

houseplant orange flowers
Blog

Houseplant orange flowers

houseplant orange flowers Orange flowers on houseplants are a rare yet cheerful addition to any home, symbolizing joy, excitement, positive thinking and romance. If you’re

Read More »
repot houseplants in winter
Blog

repot houseplants in winter

Repot houseplants in winter Winter is an ideal time to repot houseplants as they grow and require larger containers for proper root system nourishment. Root-bound

Read More »
Houseplant arrangements
Blog

Houseplant arrangements

Houseplant arrangements Today we want to talk about houseplant arrangements in “apartmentflowers” and how important arrangement is! Consider the Height One of the most important

Read More »
houseplant trellis
Gardening Tools

Houseplant trellis

Houseplant trellis Houseplants often wander, leading to their growth habits. However, these wandering tendrils can be a challenge when stepping on them or removing them

Read More »
houseplant tools
Blog

houseplant tools

houseplant tools We at “apartmentflowers” share our experience of the struggle to keep houseplants alive and thriving. We believe that having the right tools and

Read More »
How to use coco coir for houseplants

How to use coco coir for houseplants

how to use coco coir for houseplants Gardening is about caring for the environment, and coconut coir is a natural and renewable resource that provides plants with moisture and growth space. Store it near your

Houseplant orange flowers

Houseplant orange flowers

houseplant orange flowers Orange flowers on houseplants are a rare yet cheerful addition to any home, symbolizing joy, excitement, positive thinking and romance. If you're looking to boost your life's energy, grow orange houseplants to

repot houseplants in winter

repot houseplants in winter

Repot houseplants in winter Winter is an ideal time to repot houseplants as they grow and require larger containers for proper root system nourishment. Root-bound plants can lead to their demise, so repotting them in

Houseplant arrangements

Houseplant arrangements

Houseplant arrangements Today we want to talk about houseplant arrangements in "apartmentflowers" and how important arrangement is! Consider the Height One of the most important things to consider when grouping and arranging indoor plants is

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *