Did you already cross this very common beautiful Plant called Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving Cactus? or maybe you have the chance to get one at home. It turns out that many call it Christmas/ Thanksgiving Cactus, while its real name is Schlumbergera (Schlumbergera truncata and Schlumbergera bredgesi).
This beautiful indoor plant is in great demand especially during the Christmas holidays, because of its beautiful bloom that appears only during this time, unlike its green long arms that remains more attractive throughout the year.
This winter cactus can live for tens of years, always carrying more flowers, but provided that we take good care of it. Here you can find all you need to know about how to grow and care of a Schlumbergera!
How to grow a Christmas cactus/ Schlumbergera?
The schlumbergera is not very difficult to cultivate if you manage to follow some simple tips.
The easy way to propagate a Christmas/ Thanksgiving cactus is by cuttings. It can be grown by cuttings at any time of the year, except at flowering, and if you want it to bloom beautifully in autumn, make the cuttings in spring and at the latest in summer.. Cut fragments with at least 3 segments, let them dry for a few days and repot them in the same mixture as the mother plant.
Seedlings can also be done in the spring between 19 and 21 °C.
How to care for Schlumbergera?
Choose the best soil for Christmas cactus. This wonderful flowering cactus likes to grow in a small pot because its roots like to be cramped, in a mixture of garden soil, peat and sand and a slightly acidic substrate. Make sure that your pots have drainage holes.
2. Sun exposure
These houseplants should be kept in bright, indirect light. In the summer, they can be placed in a shady spot in the garden or in an unheated porch until temperatures get below 10°C.
how often should I water my Christmas cactus? Generally, Christmas/ Thanksgiving cactus requires less water during fall and winter and more in spring and summer. One watering per week is enough. It must be regular avoiding excess water. Unlike other cacti, the Christmas/ Thanksgiving cactus enjoys a humid atmosphere, don’t hesitate to spray its foliage.
The best is a homemade fertilizer for Christmas cactus. From spring to early fall, apply a high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks once buds form. During the fall and winter, feed the cactus monthly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer.
The Christmas/ Thanksgiving cactus is repotted only every 2 or 3 years, especially after it finishes blooming. If the Christmas cactus does not bloom, transplant it in late winter.
In summer, take the plant in a shady place, where it would return to its natural position. Then, put it indoors before the first cold.
Once in buttons, it is better not to move them to not make them fall before blooming.
After the bloom care and once flowering is over, stop watering for about a month and a half to allow the plant time to rest. Resume watering when new stems form.