Christmas Cactus

Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata)

Latin pronunciation: (shlum-BER-jer-uh BRIJ-zee-eye)

Christmas cactus often is confused with Thanksgiving or Easter cactus. All have arching foliage with brilliant flowers that cascade in whorls of colored petals. And all require care similar to that outlined below. Their leaves do vary in shape.

  • LIGHT: Place in high light (southern exposure) in fall and winter, and medium light in spring and summer. Keep dark 12 hours a day from October 1 until bloom.
  • WATER: Keep soil evenly moist except in fall; then, let it dry between waterings. Raise humidity.
  • TEMPERATURE: Maintain temperatures in the low 70s during the day and no lower than low 50s at night, except between October 1 and bloom. Then, keep temperatures below 53 degrees all day.

Comments:

Feed less in fall. Never move or turn plant once it's in bloom; it will drop buds and stop flowering. Propagate by stem cuttings or seed.

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