Christmas is just around the corner, so are the colorful Christmas plants... Amaryllis, Schlumbergera, and Poinsettias. Last month we sent you an article on growing Amaryllis. This month we'll talk about Schlumbergera.
What is... Schlumbergera?
Schlumbergera is possibly the second most popular houseplant for the holiday season. Schlumbergera is the correct botanical name for... Christmas Cactus. Their also frequently called Zygocactus, which at one time was their proper botanical name.
A little Christmas Cactus history
Christmas Cactus have been kept as a holiday houseplant since the 1800's. Early breeders crossed Schlumbergera truncata with Schlumbergera russelliana creating the beginnings of the hybrid plants you see today.
Christmas Cactus are normally available in bud or bloom from late October thru December. They can be found in a variety of tabletop container sizes as well as hanging baskets. Usually the largest pot size that you'll be able to find is 8". Christmas Cactus in larger containers were probably holdovers from the previous holiday season. These holdovers are well established and typically your best buy.
Growing and Caring for... your Christmas Cactus
Christmas Cactus don't require much in the way of fertilizing. Feeding your plant 2 to 4 times per year is sufficient. Use any high quality feed that reads 20-20-20 on the label. If you have lived with your Christmas Cactus for a few seasons and know when the plant sets bud... stop feeding a month before buds appear. If not, stop feeding by the end of October.
your Christmas Cactus...
Now you know the secrets of Christmas Cactus. A properly cared for plant can live for 20 years or more... flowering year after year. Several of our sponsors already have Christmas Cactus in stock. Next time your at the Garden Center, take a few minutes to look at all the wonderful hybrid Christmas and Thanksgiving Cactus.
Do you know somebody who's enjoys Christmas Cactus... or perhaps a friend that might be interested in this site. Send them a link to this page by...
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