Holiday Cactus

Schlumbergera spp.

Mayflower, Christmas Cactus, Easter Cactus

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The genus Schlumbergera consists of 9 species of bushy, perennial cacti. They produce showy, colourful flowers with different lengths of petals from the tips of the stems. These may be red, pink, orange, yellow, white or some shade in-between. As such, they provide a wonderful Christmas display and are an ideal Christmas gift. The plant is often grown as a houseplant in a well-lit spot out of direct sunlight, ideally with some humidity (as these epiphytic species grow without the need of soil substrate on coastal rocks and trees around Mexico). The humidity can be improved by placing plants on stone or pebble trays filled with water.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Winter

Propagation

Cuttings

Take stem segments in spring and place upright in moist compost, sand and perlite mix. Push the bottom of the cutting into the soil about 1cm or just deep enough to keep them upright.

Special features

Indoor plant

A houseplant that makes a great addition to nearly any indoor setting. Make sure they do get a night rest without light though to ensure flowers forming.

Drought resistant

Fleshy stems store water for drier times, and flower formation depends on a dry time!

Pot plant

A good container plant – if properly repotted, it can be passed on from generation to generation.

Attractive flowers

Attractive leaves

Special features

Origin

Central and South America.

Natural climate

Temperate to Subtropical

Environment

Light

Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Air, Sand, Compost

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid

Frost hardiness

Tender

Personality

Family

Cactaceae

Flower colour

Red, Yellow, White, Orange, Pink

Scent

None

Problems

Pest and disease free with only mealybug being a common pest. Flower bud dropping is usually cause by fluctuating temperatures. Too hot by day too cold by night. However, overwatering can also cause flower buds to drop.

Related Problems

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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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