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Schlumbergera bridgesii – Christmas Cactus

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Scientific Name

Schlumbergera bridgesii (Lem.) Loefgr.

Common Names

Christmas Cactus, Holiday Cactus

Synonyms

Epiphyllum bridgesii (basionym)

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Genus: Schlumbergera

Description

Schlumbergera bridgesii is a very popular and unusual cactus. The plant bodies are flattened and the leaves are actually stems. The flowers are produced from notches in these stems or from the tips. The fuchsia-like flowers bloom any time from December to February and last a long time. They are generally carmine red, tinged purple in the center, and perfectly symmetrical.

Schlumbergera bridgesii - Christmas Cactus

Photo via dottypants.blogspot.com

How to Grow and Care

These plants are easy to grow and are often passed down through the generations. With Holiday Cactus, the million-dollar question isn’t how to grow it, but how to make it bloom. With a little extra attention during the fall months, you can have your plants blooming for the holidays. Don’t expose these plants to freezing temperatures! Despite their love of cooler temperatures, they are still tropical plants that won’t withstand freezing conditions. They like about 50-60% humidity, which can be achieved using a pebble tray. Never place your Holiday Cactus near a heat register, exterior door, or drafty window, and keep it out of burning sunlight.

Don’t fall into the trap of constantly repotting into a bigger pot. Holiday Cactus likes to be root-bound, and repotting every 2-3 years (even back into the same pot) is plenty… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Holiday Cactus.

Origin

Native to the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil.

English botanist Martyn Rix identifies Christmas Cactus as a hybrid, Schlumbergera x buckleyi, originally produced in the 1840s by William Buckley at the Rollisson Nurseries in England.

Links

BACK TO genus Schlumbergera
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