Seeing these beautiful plants is a sure sign that Christmas is on its way! This colorful winter-blooming plant can last for many years with the proper care.
Types: Christmas Cactus, Easter cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus... ey-eye-eye! There are subtle differences between them all. 'Christmas cactus,' Schlumbergera buckleyi, is the most common with tubular, brightly colored flowers. S. truncate or 'Thanksgiving Cactus' has similar blossoms but slightly different leaf segments. 'Easter Cactus,' S. gaertneri, has a much different star-shaped blossom and slightly different leaf segments.
Light: Bright, indirect. Too much sun can scorch the leaves and too little will weaken your plant’s health and decrease blooming. You can put your plants outside in the spring after the last frost and outside in summer in total shade. Bring them in before the first frost in fall. These light and temperature fluctuations will help them set buds.
Water: A slight dryness in between watering or when the top third of the plant is dry. Water more often when plant is flowering.
Humidity: Christmas cactus is a tropical succulent, so they enjoy and require a little extra humidity. You can do this by adding some pebbles and water into the saucer. The pot will rest on top of the pebbles, never sitting in water, and as the water evaporates it will create humidity.
Soil: Always use a good cactus and succulent soil when transplanting. You can use a slightly larger pot than the one the plant was in.
Fertilizer: Feed from spring to early fall a balanced houseplant fertilizer.
Repotting: Repotting should be done after blooming in late winter or early spring. This is also a perfect time for pruning, which will help increase branching, resulting in more flowers.
Temperature: Average home temperatures--70 degrees with nighttime being a little cooler 65 degrees or so. Blooms will last longer when it is cooler inside.