Botanical Identify: Schlumbergera bridgesii
Good Christmas cactus care will carry a present of lovely winter blooms 12 months after 12 months.
Uncover find out how to prune, when to repot, find out how to propagate (it is simpler than you suppose!), and get your vacation cactus to re-bloom subsequent 12 months. With this information, I will let you know how.
Get to Know Your Christmas Cactus
Identified botanically as Schlumbergera bridgesii, this tropical cactus doesn’t exist within the wild. It’s a hybrid of Schlumbergera truncata and Schlumbergera russelliana that develop as epiphytes within the rain forests of South America, making their dwelling on tree branches. (Epiphyte comes from the Greek phrases epi which means upon and phyton which means plant.)
Schlumbergera bridgesii has dark-green flattened stems composed of segments joined in a scalloped sample.
Flowers seem on the suggestions of the stems, about 2 in (5 cm) lengthy. The flowers have stamens protruding from the back-swept petals, accessible in shades of pink, pink, purple, yellow and white.
Greater than 200 cultivars exist. ‘Christmas Flame’ is golden yellow…‘Lavender Magnificence’ is purple and white…and snowy ‘White Christmas’ are only a few. With so many charming colours to select from, why purchase only one? Newer cultivars carry collectively two colours, providing some thrilling new combos.
12 months-Spherical Christmas Cactus Care
What to Do After Flowering
After placing on a giant present of blooms for the vacation season, this magnificence wants a relaxation. When the flowering has stopped, water sparingly and cease fertilizing for about two months. Sustain the humidity. You may resume regular care whenever you see new development, starting in spring.
Prune and Propagate Christmas Cactus Cuttings
Questioning whether or not to prune? It isn’t obligatory, however this tropical cactus will ultimately get “leggy” in case you let it develop.
Common pruning will encourage the plant to department out the place the stem was lower, making a fuller plant. As a result of flowers develop on the ends of the stems, you will additionally get extra flowers this manner. Spring is the finest time to prune it again, when it begins actively rising once more.
Do not toss out these stem cuttings! Propagate them for extra vegetation. See “Propagation” beneath.
Get Christmas Cactus to Bloom Once more
Schlumbergera bridgesii is usually coaxed into bloom by greenhouse growers to promote earlier than the vacations. You may anticipate an abundance of colourful winter flowers yearly with none particular therapy, however they will in all probability seem later within the season than whenever you purchased your plant.
Need to coax it early? I believed so. There are some things you need to do to make it bloom earlier than the vacations.
- Shorter, cooler days and nights for about 8-10 weeks are wanted for the plant to set buds. Transferring it outdoor in fall is good, simply preserve it out of direct solar. Deliver the plant again inside earlier than the primary frost.
- Hold soil barely moist, however not too dry. Shriveled, limp stems are an indication that it is too dry.
- After you carry your plant indoors, preserve it in a room that stays fully darkish after sundown, giving the plant complete darkness for 12-14 hours an evening. Cowl the cactus with a field or bag, if wanted for this darkish interval every evening.
- As soon as it begins budding, transfer your plant to a location the place you wish to show it for the season, and preserve it there. Modifications in mild and temperature by transferring it round will trigger it to drop its buds and flowers. Additionally preserve it away from drafty areas like doorways and warmth vents.
Issues, Options and Solutions
Dropped blooms? This vacation cactus will drop its flower buds when it is burdened from dry soil, low mild, blasts of chilly air from doorways or repotting whereas it is in bloom. As soon as buds set, do not transfer your plant round. Modifications in mild and temperature (apart from nightly fluctuations) might trigger blooms to fall off.
Questioning when to repot? Repotting Christmas cactus is often solely vital each 2 to three years. Christmas cactus prefers to be barely pot-bound and blooms finest this manner. Wait until spring or early summer season to repot — by no means whereas it is budding and blooming, which might trigger them to drop. Use a heavy pot to steadiness the load of an older, bigger plant. Lengthy stems can topple a light-weight pot. If you wish to cowl up a plain nursery pot, slip it right into a cachepot — an ornamental container with out drainage holes.
Wrinkled, drooping stems are sometimes an indication this plant is thirsty. Take care to not over-water, however do not enable the potting medium to dry out, both. Yellow stems point out an excessive amount of water. (See “Water” within the suggestions beneath.)
Is Christmas cactus toxic? No. Whereas it is not a good suggestion to permit your pet to chew on houseplants, you do not have to fret about this one. In keeping with the ASPCA, it is secure for cats and canines.
Christmas Cactus Care Suggestions
Origin: Hybrid of Schlumbergera truncata and Schlumbergera russelliana, native to the Brazilian rain forest
Top: To 2 ft (60 cm)
Gentle: Christmas cactus care contains numerous brilliant, oblique mild. This tropical cactus would not like scorching, direct daylight as a result of it can burn the foliage. Stems that flip purplish-red have been uncovered to an excessive amount of direct daylight.
Water: Water completely, then empty the drainage tray. Permit the floor of the soil to dry earlier than watering once more. One factor this cactus will not tolerate is soggy soil, which might result in root rot and presumably stem rot. Delicate, mushy, or yellow stems are signs of over-watering. Do not enable the potting medium to dry out both — stems will shrivel and wilt, and people buds and blooms might drop off, if will get too dry. After the flowering season is over, water sparingly till new development begins in spring.
Humidity: Attempt to keep round 50% relative humidity close to the plant. Indoor air can turn into extraordinarily dry within the winter, so it is a good suggestion to make use of a humidity gauge, moderately than guess. Hold tropical vegetation away from warmth vents and fireplaces. Stand the pot on a dish of moist pebbles or use a cool-mist room humidifier, if wanted. Try the following pointers for elevating the humidity.
Temperature: To set flower buds, the plant wants cool 60-65°F/16-18°C days and 45-55°F/7-13°C nights. As soon as buds set, 70-75°F/21-24°C days and 60-70°F/16-21°C nights.
Soil: Nicely-drained potting medium is crucial. Combine 1 half peat moss-based potting combine and 1 half fine-grade fir bark.
Fertilizer: Feed each 2 weeks spring by way of fall with a water-soluble fertilizer that features micro-nutrients. Do not skip this — common feeding will give your plant extra oomph for blooming.
Propagation: Christmas cactus cuttings may be propagated for extra vegetation. In spring, take stem cuttings of 2-3 segments. Permit the lower ends to dry for a day or two, then place lower finish upright in moist perlite or peat moss-based combine.