Christmas Cactus

The Christmas cactus or Schlumbergera , also called Thanksgiving, Santa Teresa or Easter cactus, owes its name to it blooms in December. It is a tropical plant whose white, red or pink flowers give it a very beautiful and decorative appearance.

Being a tropical plant, it needs more moisture than normal cacti, so we must know how to take care of it so that it lasts as long as possible and in perfect conditions.

The Christmas cactus is usually bought at this time, because it is in full bloom and that makes it a very striking plant. Not only its flowers are a great attraction when choosing it in a store, but also its cylindrical stems at the base and planes at the end, which give it a very different look to the rest of flowering plants. Ideally, choose a specimen with many buds (the flowers are born on the edge of the stems), because that indicates that the specimen is strong and healthy.

Location

Find an indoor location. Although you can live with virtually no light, it is recommended that you have some natural lighting.

If you want to put it outside, wait for the winter to pass and place it in a cool place in the shade, because it does not hold the direct sun well. If you put it in a hanging pot, you will achieve a very colorful set, since the stems tend to fall due to the weight of the fleshy leaves.

Care

As we have already told you, this cactus needs more water, because it does not store it like the rest of the cactus. You should water it more frequently and spray it with water from time to time, but always taking care that water is not stored in the base and the roots rot.

It is a slow growing plant, so you will need to change the pot every three years or so. The change must be done in spring and using a porous substrate to achieve good drainage.

To favor flowering, you should fertilize it regularly with a fertilizer rich in potassium and phosphorus. Irrigation with iron chelates also invigorates the plant.

Specific tips

  • The pests that most affect it are the cottony mealybug (visit our post to know how to properly eliminate it) and the aphids, which you can eliminate by spraying with a mixture of soap and water and then rinsing.
  • Avoid getting waterlogged, but don’t let the earth dry between waterings.
  • Do not overdo it with nutrients, as they can suppress flowering.
  • Do not move the position plant in time of outbreaks as they may fall if they need to look for other positions.
  • Avoid drafts because they can make flowers fall.

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