We have written a series of articles about beautiful houseplants that we enjoy with their beautiful flowers in winter. The poinsettia is undoubtedly the most popular flower in the world during Advent and expresses the special anticipation of the big festival everywhere. The Christmas rose also impresses with its white flowers in December and the Christmas cactus competes with it and enchants young and old with its wonderful flowers.
Interesting facts about the Christmas cactus
The Christmas cactus (or officially the Schlumbergera) blooms in winter when other flowers are resting. This popular houseplant belongs to the cactus family (Cactaceae), but does not have spines. The Christmas cactus originally comes from the Brazilian jungle, where it grows between the tropical trees. Today’s hybrids show us their wonderful flowers, which are colored in pink and red to orange, yellow and white, especially at Christmas.
The shoots are flat and fleshy, usually hanging down from the flower pot and making a nice sight. The flowers are nicely shaped, but not very long-lived. They remain vital for about five to six weeks. But that doesn’t bother any hobby gardener, as they occur in large quantities, so you can safely say that the Schlumbergera flowering period lasts for weeks. Actually, one can clearly distinguish the following development phases in this flower.
When does the Christmas cactus bloom?
The flowering phase lasts from November to January. During this period of time, the flower shows us its full bloom. During this time, it needs to be watered regularly and fertilized once a week. The best room temperature would be between 10 degrees C and 23 degrees C. The Christmas cactus blooms in winter when the days are shorter, because in this development phase it needs at least eight hours of darkness every day. The best location in this case is a cool bedroom or some other part of the home where it is not particularly warm. Under no circumstances should you place it on or above the heater, because the Christmas cactus does not like direct heat.
After the flowering phase, the plant has to rest for a while and now needs very little water and no fertilizers. The rest period usually lasts six weeks. The vegetative growth phase begins in March. During this time, new shoots will come out, but the Schlumbergera will not bud at this point. Bud formation does not begin until autumn, more precisely at the beginning of September. Then the impressive flowers grow, which then enchant us at Christmas.
Important care tips to keep in mind
So that you have a well-cared for Christmas cactus at home, you could follow the following practical tips, which we have formulated very briefly here:
Choose a light to partially shaded location for your plant, without direct sunlight.
Never place them over the heater, the Christmas cactus does not like excessive heating
Take it outside, in the garden or on the terrace in summer, but avoid the glaring summer sun.
Bring the plant back indoors when the outside temperature drops below 10 degrees C.
The Christmas cactus likes slightly damp soil, without waterlogging.
You need lime-free or softened water for irrigation.
The Schlumbergera likes to be sprayed with water regularly.
The plant can be propagated by cuttings, which are carefully placed in the ground so that they remain upright.
New shoots come in four weeks.
You can transplant the Christmas cactus in spring.
We hope you enjoy your Christmas cactus!
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