Schlumbergera russelliana (Hook.) Britton & Rose
Schlumbergera russelliana is a cactus with stems composed of strongly flattened segments with few notches along their edges. The stem segments can grow up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long and 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide.
The flowers are radially symmetrical, reaching up to 2 inches (5 cm) in length and 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter. They hang downwards and appear in the spring. The tepals are in various shades of pink. They are arranged in two groups, appearing as a "flower within a flower."
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
Growing 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% to 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 to 3 years (even back into the same pot) is plenty. If you repot, use sterile, well-draining potting soil.
Holiday Cactus can easily be propagated by cuttings. First, pinch off a stem section with 2 to 3 jointed segments. Let the cuttings dry for a few hours, then push them into a small pot with the same planting mix as the adult plant.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Holiday Cactus.
Schlumbergera russelliana is endemic to a small area of south-eastern Brazil's coastal mountains, where it grows in moist forests.
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