Schlumbergera - Christmas Cactus
DESCRIPTION: Commonly known as Christmas Cactus, a true cactus, native to Brazil (also known as Zygocactus). These plants have a wide flat green stem that look like leaves and produce colorful flowers. The flowers come in a wide variety of colors, red, purple, peach, orange, pinks and creams. Christmas cactus grows best in bright light, direct sun can cause the plant to turn yellow. Most of the growing is done between April and September, ideal temperature at this time is around 70 to 80 F. Buds will begin to set in September or the beginning of October, to obtain the best blooms the cactus needs long nights, thirteen hours or more of darkness and night temperatures between 55 and 65 F. Buds can drop off if the temperature is too high or humidity is to low. Watering should be done when the soil quite dry. Do not allow the pot to sit in water.
POTTING: Christmas Cactus tolerates being pot-bound, it is only necessary to re-pot once every three years. The cactus does not like heavy wet soil. A mixture of one part potting soil, two parts peat moss and one part sand is best. Do not re-pot in an over sized container this will cause more green stems and less flowering.
PROPAGATION: In the spring or summer take a cutting from the plant, the cutting should have two segments. Let the segment dry for a few days allowing a callus to form. Place the segment into damp sand. Roots should form in about four weeks, at this point re-pot the cactus in the potting mix mentioned above.
VARIETIES: S.Russelliana; S.Truncata; S.Opuntioides; S.Obtusangula;
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