When the weather outside is frightful, it’s time to focus on houseplants that are delightful.
Schlumbergera, or Holiday Cactus are an easy and rewarding houseplant to help bring holiday cheer inside once your outside gardens have been put to bed. These plants have lush green flattened leaves with rounded teeth on the margins of the leaves, and bloom with almost orchid looking flowers in early winter. These beautiful flowers can continue to bloom for six weeks or longer, keeping your house popping with vibrant blooms.
There are 3 different types of Holiday Cactus:
Thanksgiving Cactus– Schlumbergera truncata, the leaves are broad and flat with slight serrations on the edges. The first of the blooming Holiday Cactus, they require approximately 6 weeks of short days in order to bloom.
Christmas Cactus-Schlumgera bridgesti, has leaf projections which are more scalloped or teardrop-shaped. The second of the blooming Holiday Cactus, they also require approximately 6 weeks of short days in order to bloom. Some people use the term Christmas Cactus to describe both the Christmas and Thanksgiving varieties.
Easter Cactus-Rhipsalidopsis gaertnerrii, has very rounded edges which are centralized on the leaf. The last of the Holiday Cactus to bloom. They require 8-12 weeks of short days to bloom hence the name Easter cactus.
Like most succulents, these Holiday Cactus have incredibly easy to care requirements making them a wonderful plant even for the novice gardener.
HOLIDAY CACTUS CARE TIPS
Keep soil moderately moist, allow to dry down between thorough waterings. While it is flowering, mist lighting to encourage longer lasting blooms.
No need to fertilize while it is blooming. Afterward, fertilize with water-soluble fertilizer every other watering during the growing season
Does well in front of a cool, bright window
Can move outdoors in summer (Just make sure to bring it in before the first frost in Fall)
Flowering results from short days during October & November or from cool temperatures
Before blossoming, maintain night temperatures between 55-60 degrees
Once buds set they prefer to be around 65-70 degrees