This blooming cactus comes into flower towards the end of the year. It will be in full flower at Christmas – hence the name Christmas Cactus.
How to grow Schlumbergera
Flowering time: This cactus will come into flower anytime between late November to late January.
Location: This houseplant will thrive in an east-facing widow. They like bright light, but not direct sunshine.
Soil: Cactus and succulent soil is great for a Schlumbergera.
Light: Christmas cacti will adapt to low light conditions but will produce better blooms if they receive a good dose of morning sunlight. But keep out of direct sunlight as this may scorch the leaves.
Water: Water well in the summer months, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Cut back on watering in September/October to allow your plant to ‘rest’ ahead of blooming.
Care: Easy to care for, and with the right conditions your Christmas Cactus will produce beautiful blooms year after year.
Schlumbergera is a small group of epiphytic cacti that comes from the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil. There are only 9 known species in this genus of plant, but even so, you have probably seen this plant without appreciating it! In the run up to Christmas, supermarkets, DIY stores and garden centres all stock up on this popular festive plant.
Schlumbergera has been in horticultural circles since the early 1800s. With species being crossed to make new cultivars. By the 1860s, a wide number of cultivated varieties were available, meaning you could get your Christmas Cacti in a range of coloured blooms. The early appeal of Schlumbergera was that it offered flowers in the winter months when many other plants had long finished producing blooms.
Christmas Cacti start to bloom anytime from November to January and remain in flower for the early parts of the year, but by the end of summer it will have completed the flowering process. This means that your plant should be in flower from November, all the way through to August, roughly.
It will duck into a resting period for 6 to 8 weeks after it finishes flowering. This is your window to propagate and re-pot. During this time, cut back on the amount of water you give the plant and pop it in a darker spot. To make sure you get a full, strong bloom come November, the Schlumbergera needs 12 to 14 hours of darkness per day.
Once you have understood how to care for a Schlumbergera it will give you years and years of flowers. There are some spectacular older examples of these plants. They look great on a pedestal or hanging from a shelf.
What is different about this plant?
The main reason this plant differs to other epiphytes or jungle cacti, is the fact that it flowers in the winter months.
If you are a fan of a plant-in-bloom, then this houseplant will fill the void in winter months when other houseplants will have finished being in flower.
Where you can get hold of a Schlumbergera?
Christmas Cacti are widely available in the run up to the festive period. You can pick one up from supermarkets, DIY stores, and garden centres. Or you can purchase yours direct from www.prettycactus.co.uk, to be delivered to your door.
About Pretty Cactus
Pretty Cactus is run by Donna and her lovely team from the shop in Brooke, South Norfolk.
Donna started the business in 2018, growing a passion into a business. Donna had always been a plant lover, spending hours in the garden centre and DIY stores picking up sad and reduced pants – nursing them back to health. The homegrown plants were sold at country fayres and craft markets. Before long, Donna was so busy she decided to give up her corporate job and run Pretty Cactus as a full-time venture. Opening her very first shop and website to sell online.
Donna now works with a team of growers and distributors in the UK and Holland to source plants, trying, where possible to get hold of more unusual cacti, succulents, and houseplants.
Donna and the Pretty Cactus team are always looking for new ways to style plants. Displaying these ideas in the shop and on social media. The Pretty Cactus shop has become an inspirational hub for plant lovers near and far who love to visit the store for ideas, plants, pots, and a bit of friendly plant chat too.