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Schlumbergera x buckleyi – True Christmas Cactus

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Scientific Name

Schlumbergera x buckleyi (T. Moore) Tjaden

Common Names

Christmas Cactus, True Christmas Cactus, Holiday Cactus

Synonyms

Epiphyllum x buckleyi (basionym), Zygocactus x buckleyi, Schlumbergera bridgesii

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Genus: Schlumbergera

Description

Schlumbergera x buckleyi have fleshy stems that are divided into flattened leaf-like segments with scalloped margins. They do not have spines and they do not have true leaves. The stems start out growing upwards, then droop down as they lengthen. Trumpet shaped flowers with narrow petals develop on the ends of the stems. The bright flashy flowers are bilaterally symmetrical and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long. Extensive hybridization and selection have resulted in more than 200 named cultivars, differing mainly in flower color, which ranges from white through pink to fire engine red, and even peach, yellow and orange. Most cultivars bloom around Christmas time, but some bloom earlier or later than Christmas.

Schlumbergera x buckleyi - True Christmas Cactus

Photo via roanoke.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

A hybrid of Schlumbergera truncata and Schlumbergera russelliana originally produced in the 1840s by William Buckley at the Rollisson Nurseries in England.

Links

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