The so-called Christmas cactus is a wonderfully succulent plant of Brazilian origin that belongs to the genus Schlumbergera, also called Ephiphyllum; there are six species of Schlumbergera, all characterized by their winter flowering, short stems and long branches. Learn more about the propagation of the Christmas cactus.
The leaves are usually dark in color but can lighten to pale green if the plant is placed in a dark location, or turn reddish if exposed to bright light.
In the nurseries, hybrid varieties are more easily found, and are very appreciated and used as ornamental plants due to their long flowering period, autumn and winter; these plants generally produce large flowers with fleshy petals of various colors with shades ranging from red to pink.
You can also find hybrid varieties particularly colorful or with very large flowers.
Schlumbergera is a perfect cactus species for cultivation in humid environments, such as the bathroom, and as an ornamental plant in all rooms of the house, provided that certain special conditions are respected.
It is a plant that does not need much light, in fact, in its natural environment, it grows in the shade of the trees, but it requires a high level of humidity throughout the year.
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Christmas Cactus Propagation
Let’s see, now, how to multiply the Christmas cactus following a simple process that takes very little time and ensures excellent results.
1- After flowering, that is with the arrival of spring, is the best time to take the cuttings, taking advantage of the pruning that is done just when the flowers are withering.
We need at least two sections of leaves, even better than three to be sure of the final result.
2- The sections of leaves should be placed in a container full of water; two of the three sections should be completely covered with water.
3- We will place the container in an area where it will receive a lot of light, but never direct sunlight.
4- At this point, we must wait until the roots sprout and reach a length equal to that of the initial cuttings.
5- Once the roots are obtained, we only have to get a small container and fill it with two parts of specific soil for the succulent plants and one part of drainage material, for example, sand or vermiculite.
6- Water and leave the pot in a place where the temperature is about 69.8°F (21 °C) during the day and between 59°F – 64.4°F (15 °C – 18 °C) at night.
Recommendations for Christmas Cactus
New Schlumbergera should only be watered when the soil is dry and fertilized once a month from spring to autumn with a liquid houseplant fertilizer.
The ideal time to multiply our Christmas Cactus is in the spring, but it can be done during the summer. If we live in an area with a mild climate, without frosts or very weak, we can also do it in autumn.