Schlumbergera

 

There are half-a-dozen of Schlumbergera native from southwestern Brazil. They are epiphytic cactus, with flattened, leaf looking stems. Many hybrids are available around Christmas, sold as Christmas cactus. The genus is named after Frédéric Schlumberger, a French cactus collector from the 19th century.

The original hybrids had cherry red flowers. Nowadays, many colors are available. They bloom when the day starts shortening. In order to get blossoms around Christmas, Put them in a cool place where they will get at least 12 to 14 hours of darkness a day.

Schlumbergera are epiphytic cacti and should be grown in containers. The soil should stay always moist, although they will need less water when not in bloom. Use a soil mix that is light and drains easily. They need bright indirect light.

They are propagated mostly by cuttings. Three-inch cuttings are ideal and can be taken from an existing plant soon after the plant finishes blooming. Let the cuttings dry for a week, and plant them in potting mix. It is better to put several cuttings per pot to get a good density of stems. With adequate care, they should bloom the following winter.

Species and varieties
Schlumbergera buckleyi
Schlumbergera exotica
Schlumbergera kautskyi (Thanksgiving Cactus)
Schlumbergera microsphaerica
Schlumbergera microsphaerica ssp. candida
Schlumbergera 'Nicole' (Christmas Cactus, Holiday Cactus)
Schlumbergera opuntioides
Schlumbergera orssichiana
Schlumbergera reginae
Schlumbergera russelliana
Schlumbergera 'Thoralise' (Christmas Cactus, Holiday Cactus)
Schlumbergera truncata (False Christmas Cactus)
Schlumbergera bridgesii synonym of Schlumbergera truncata (False Christmas Cactus)
Schlumbergera epiphylloides synonym of Schlumbergera russelliana
Schlumbergera gaertneri synonym of Hatiora gaertneri (Easter Cactus)
Schlumbergera obtusangula synonym of Schlumbergera microsphaerica
Schlumbergera truncata var. altensteinii synonym of Schlumbergera truncata (False Christmas Cactus)
Schlumbergera truncata var. delicata synonym of Schlumbergera truncata (False Christmas Cactus)
Schlumbergera truncata ssp. kautskyi synonym of Schlumbergera kautskyi (Thanksgiving Cactus)

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