Christmas Cactus

Schlumbergera russelliana

Holiday Cactus

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The species Schlumbergera russelliana is commonly known as Christmas Cactus. It is a frost-tender, epiphytic, perennial cactus that produces deep pink or sometimes red or white flowers in late autumn and winter, giving a wonderful Christmas display. Its showy, colourful flowers have different lengths of petals from the tips of the stems. It is best grown as a houseplant in a well-lit spot out of direct sunlight. As it is an epiphytic species, growing without the need for soil substrate on coastal rocks and trees, it is important to maintain moderate humidity. One of the ways this can be improved is by placing plants on stone or pebble trays filled with water.
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Flowering time




Take stem segments in spring and place upright in moist compost, sand and perlite mix. Push the bottom of the cutting into the soil, deep enough to keep it upright.

Special features

Attractive flowers

Indoor plant

Makes a great addition to nearly any indoor setting. Make sure they do get a night rest without light though, to ensure flowers forming.

Pot plant

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

Special features


Central and South America

Natural climate

Temperate to Subtropical



Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture


Soil type

Sand, Loam, Compost

Soil PH preference

Acid, Neutral

Frost hardiness





Flower colour

Pink, White, Red, Multicoloured




Flower bud dropping is usually caused 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

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