Cactus Schlumbergera: How To Care For Christmas Cactus


In nature, there are cacti, afraid of the sun, who love water and who have no thorns. This plant is part of the genus epiphytic South American cacti that grow on tree branches in tropical forests. Cactus schlumbergera blossoms when in his homeland there is a tropical summer, namely, in November or December and flowering ends in the last days of January.

The brief description of the cultivation of the cactus schlumbergera

  1. Flowering. It is observed in winter, or rather, in December–January.
  2. Illumination. A little shade, or bright filtered light. Perfectly fit the Windows on the East or West orientation, if the pot will stand on the South windowsill, then during lunch hours, the flower will need shading.
  3. Temperature regime. Cactus Schlumbergera is able to grow normally at a temperature of 18 to 40 degrees. But in the summer the flower grows best and develops at an air temperature of 18 to 22 degrees, and in the winter ― from 14 to 16 degrees.
  4. Irrigation. Moisten the soil mixture in the pot moderately, after its surface dries to a depth of 10-30 mm.
  5. Air humidity. It should be elevated. To do this, the Bush in the summer, be sure to moisturize from the sprayer several times a week, in the winter months, the number of sprays is reduced to 1-2 in 30 days.
  6. Fertilizer. The flower is fed every half a month from March to September. To do this, use a mineral complex fertilizer for cacti.
  7. Period of rest. It is observed in October–November.
  8. Transplantation. Transplantation of young bushes is carried out regularly once a year, adult plants are transplanted less frequently, or rather, 1 every 5 or 6 years.
  9. Clipping. For the formation of the crown of the Bush, unnecessary segments are gently torn off my hands.
  10. Reproduction. Cuttings and grafting.
  11. Pest. Spider mites, scale insects and mealybugs.
  12. Diseases. Pythium, Phytophthora, Fusarium, and still lose bacteria of the Erwinia group.

cactus schlumbergera

Growing schlumbergera cactus

It differs from many home flowers in that it blooms at a time when most of the plants there is a period of rest. In this plant, there are other features, which must be aware of the grower:

  1. The flower is not recommended to grow on the windowsills of Western and southern orientation, as due to too much bright light in the Bush may begin to die off the final fragments of the stems.
  2. In summer, the plant needs a lot of fresh air. Therefore, at this time it is recommended to move to the loggia, balcony or terrace, while it is necessary to choose a place in the shade.
  3. In summer, it responds very well to a warm shower. If you do not have time for this, then at least systematically moisturize the Bush from the sprayer.
  4. If plant provides good care and suitable conditions for growth, then normally grow and regularly bloom it can for 15-20 years.
  5. Schlumberger is one of those colors that during the formation of buds is better not to disturb. The pot of flowers cannot be transferred to another location or even rotate, as it could trigger the reset buds.
  6. If desired, the cactus can be grown not only as an ordinary potted flower but also as an ampel plant.

cactus schlumbergera

Care for the schlumbergera cactus at home

Irrigation and humidity

Features cactus cultivation in indoor conditions is radically different from those recommended for the cultivation of other cacti. Most of the rules of care are similar to those used in the cultivation of conventional deciduous domestic plants.

For example, if you forget to moisten the substrate in a pot with a cactus in time, then nothing terrible will happen because of this. But the cactus should be watered systematically, and use warm well-settled water.

Also, it can suffer from too dry air in the room, so it is recommended to systematically moisten the Bush from the spray. And you can increase the humidity by placing a pot with a plant on a tray in which the moistened pebbles are poured.cactus schlumbergera

The light and temperature

Ordinary cacti well tolerate direct rays of the sun, but Schlumberger can suffer from them, so it requires mandatory shading. But it is not demanding on temperature, but it is best during the growing season grows and develops in coolness (from 18 to 22 degrees).


cactus schlumbergeraFeed the flower begin in March, for this at intervals of 1 once a month in the soil mix makes a complex mineral fertilizer for cacti while using a half dose from the one that is recommended by the manufacturer on the package. In the summer, after the shoots begin to grow and develop rapidly, the frequency of feeding is increased to two times in 30 days.

With the onset of September, stop fertilizing the substrate. Experienced growers recommend systematically treating the Bush with a solution of fungicide to protect it from fungal diseases.


cactus schlumbergeraFormative pruning of the flower is carried out in June. To do this, the excess part is not cut and carefully Unscrew the hands. As a rule, pruning is subjected to too long shoots, as well as those that grow incorrectly. In addition to the fact that after pruning the Bush looks more impressive, it also has a positive effect on its flowering, which becomes lusher.

Transplantation of the Christmas cactus schlumbergera

cactus schlumbergeraThe Christmas cactus is transplanted in the last days of February after he finally fades. Transplantation of young bushes is carried out 1 time a year, and adult specimens ― 1 time in 4 or 5 years.

Since the zygocactus has a surface root system, it is used for planting a low but wide pot. At the bottom of the pot is a drainage layer, the thickness of which should be equal to 1/3 of the height of the container. For transplanting ready to use purchase soil mix for cacti. In order to prepare the soil mix with your hands, it is necessary to connect the leaf and turf soil and sand (2:1:1).

Then to the mixture add a little bit of expanded clay or brick chips for looseness, and very little of carbon powder for disinfection. The resulting substrate should be a slightly acidic reaction.

Reproduction of the Christmas cactus schlumbergera

cactus schlumbergeraMost often room cacti propagated by cuttings. For starters from the stem is needed to turn off two or three extreme “managers”, after what they’re on a few days leave on fresh air, where they must well dry up. On rooting, cuttings are planted in a moistened substrate, and on top of them is covered with a cut plastic bottle or a transparent glass jar. Remove the cuttings in a shaded place and provide them with systematic ventilation and coolness (from 15 to 20 degrees).

Most often, reproduction by cuttings is carried out after the Schlumberger is cut since after this procedure a large number of ready cuttings can remain.

Pests and diseases of the schlumbergera Christmas cactus

cactus schlumbergeraChristmas cactus can suffer from fungal diseases, for example, Fusarium or Phytophthora. The causative agents of these diseases can be in a poorly prepared substrate, from which they penetrate into the flower, and the root neck of the plant is damaged first. The affected Bush becomes faded and it has a grayish tint, and also begins the withering away of segments.

As a result, the flower begins to fade even with systematic watering. In order to get rid of Fusarium is treated with a solution of a special fungicidal agent, and with the defeat of Phytophthora ― the Bush is sprayed with Topaz, Maxim or Vitaros.


cactus schlumbergera cactus schlumbergeraThe appearance of a rusty plaque on the surface of the Bush may indicate that it settled spider mite. It is a very small insect with yellow, brown or pale red color, which is almost impossible to see with the naked eye. There is a tick where for a long time there is very low humidity. To destroy the pest, the plant sprayed with Phytoverm, Actellic.

If between the stems you see white lumps that look similar to cotton, it is a sure sign that the flower settled mealy worms. In order to get rid of them, treat the Bush with a solution of Actara.

How to achieve lush flowering schlumbergera

cactus schlumbergeraTo bloom Schlumberger was truly fabulous, you need to take into account its natural features.

The General care of the  Christmas cactus directly depends on the phase of the natural cycle that the plant is experiencing at the moment. At Schlumberger distinguish four periods of development:

  • the growing season (March – September);
  • rest period (September – November);
  • flowering (November-January);
  • the second period of rest (February – March).

Care from March to September

cactus schlumbergeraThe period of rapid growth begins in the spring of cactus Schlumberger, it increases the segments and responds well to feeding complex fertilizers. Fertilizing is selected with a minimum content of nitrogen to avoid rotting roots.

If you make it for the summer “walk” in the garden will love it. However, it is necessary to allocate space in the scattered shadows and does not forget to water the Bush.

Care from September to November

cactus schlumbergeraSince September, the plant begins to prepare for flowering and lays flower buds (but externally it is invisible to the observer). Perhaps this period – the most responsible for the grower. If you make a mistake – you will lose the flowering of a spectacular plant.

As already noted, during this period, reduce watering, reduce the air temperature. However, you do not have to do this on purpose, because it becomes cool outside. Do not take away from the garden or balcony pot with Christmas cactus, while there is no threat of frost. Reducing the temperature to +3 C is not critical for the plant, on the contrary, stimulates the laying of buds.

Best content in rest period – unheated terrace, there may be until Nov. Watering is rare. Usually, after such a shake bloom Schlumberger is very abundant and long.

Care from November to January

cactus schlumbergeraIn early November, the plant is brought into the room, and soon it is covered with buds. At this time, the Bush is watered with fertilizers for flowering (with a high content of phosphorus and potassium), as well as 1-2 times with a solution of calcium nitrate.

Care from February to March

cactus schlumbergeraAfter flowering, the plant is formed for the splendor of the Bush and more abundant flowering later. To do this, Unscrew (it is unscrewed, not cut, and do not break off) some segments. Soon there will grow new shoots, which bloom buds.

What to do if Schlumberger does not give flowers

And now some recommendations in order that it blossomed. Perhaps Schlumberger does not bloom, because the plant does not feel the time of flowering. In this case, it must be moved to a cool place and hold there from September to November inclusive.

While pouring, hold rarely, do not feed. In early December, make a warm bright room (but not under direct sunlight). The plant should Wake up. After a certain time, be sure to appear flower buds.

How to distinguish schlumbergera from easter cactus

Rhipsalidopsis also applies to epiphytic plants, but of another kind. In appearance, it is very similar to the cactus. However, on closer examination, there is a difference. Rhipsalidopsis the edges of the plates around the stems, and Schlumberger – pointed. The flowers of Easter cactus have the shape of an asterisk, symmetrical, plant with beveled tips. But the most important feature is that unlike the cactus schlumbergera blooms only in the spring, and therefore it is also called the Easter cactus.

Dear friends do not forget to watch a short video about the Schlumberger plant, thanks to this video you will learn more about the care and maintenance of the flower at home.

Possible problem

cactus schlumbergeraImproper care cactus schlumbergera can cause problems, for example:

  1. Wilting Bush. The withering of the plant may be due to the fact that it is affected by the phytium or Phytophthora. Also, shoots can become sluggish due to root system disease. If the trunk of the Bush sways and became unstable, this may be due to the fact that the roots of the flower have died out as a result of hypothermia (in the room too cold or the Bush was watered with very cold water). Also, the roots could die because the pot overheated in the sun. Even severely damage the root system and the solution of fertilizer very high concentrations. In this case, the
  2. It is immediately transplanted into fresh soil mixture, otherwise, the concentrated solution can completely burn the roots.
  3. The lack of flowering. Cactus schlumbergera does not bloom until you feel that it is time to bloom. To make this happen, the flower needs to provide a full period of rest. To do this, from the last days of September to the end of November, the plant is transferred to a cold room, at this time it is not fed and watered very rarely and a small amount of water (make sure that the lump of land in the pot is not dry). In the last days of November, move it in a warm and well-lit place, and start watering it systematically. Regularly rotate the Bush around its axis, so that all its sides will be illuminated evenly. After the buds appear, do not allow the coma to dry the earth in the pot, and do not turn and do not move the Bush to another place, otherwise, it can fly around all the buds. If done correctly, the zygocactus will undoubtedly please you with lush flowering.
  4. Dying segments. In some cases, may begin to die and fall off the leaves of a seemingly perfect healthy Bush. The most common death of segments due to the fact that the Bush settled spider mite. In the event that the pest has not been found, then the “leaf fall” may be associated with a lack of nutrients (too poor substrate or very rare feeding). In this case, the Bush should be fed 1-2 times on the sheet with a solution of fertilizers for epiphytic cacti, then it is introduced into the substrate. If even after such feeding, the subsidence of the segments continues, then it is necessary to transplant the plant into a fresh soil mixture. If fly around the end segments, the reason for this may be excessively low humidity or stress (changes in the environment, a sharp fluctuation in daily temperatures, untimely transplant or draft).

Care after flowering

After flowering Schlumberger end, it should be moved to a cooler place and gradually reduce watering. The growing season of the flower begins in the last days of March, so at this time it should be moved to its usual place in the heat. Gradually increase watering and provide the plant with timely fertilizing.

The types of Cactus Schlumbergera with photos and names


cactus schlumbergeraSchlumbergera cactus class “Buckley” is considered to be the most persistent. He stands a good change of environment and some deficiencies in care. “Buckley” grows by 40-50 centimeters, it turns out a large and lush Bush. Buds cactus schlumbergera class has a large. They can reach eight centimeters in length.

Cactus flower varieties “Buckley” is a variety of colors. They can be different colors. But the leaves are always dark green.

Blossoms this zygocactus from November to March. Such a large period of formation of buds can not please.


cactus schlumbergera Varieties “White” looks very gentle and elegant at the same time. Usually, this plant blooms profusely. Sometimes under the buds cannot see the stems and leaves. Flowers have “White” large.


cactus schlumbergeraThis type of zygocactus is characterized by light green pointed leaves and a variety of colors. The stems of the plant reach six centimeters and have teeth on the edge.

Flowers “Truncated” two-tiered. They have bent back petals. Colors such cactus is very diverse. Buds can be purple, white, pink, orange and a combined color. That is why this variety is especially popular.


cactus schlumbergeraThe cactus growing not above thirty inches. Its leaves are flat and glossy. It is worth noting that this sort has no needles, which makes it very nice. Tube peduncle of the plant has a green color. Themselves buds can be red, pink, purple. The short stature and the abundance of colors make a sort of “Russeliana” very attractive. He can decorate any room.

It is worth noting that “Russeliana” is also resistant to negative environmental factors. This makes it popular among the population because the unpretentious plant is easier to care for.

Golden Cream

cactus schlumbergeraThe variety of cactus schlumbergera very interesting. The fact is that it has a yellow inflorescence. And the shade of their gentle and pleasant, just the same Sunny. It should be noted that the nature of the plant yellow blossom. But breeders have tried to develop such a view. They had to work for a long time, the task before them was not easy. Yet they managed to create a warm Sunny cactus schlumbergera.


cactus schlumbergeraThis cactus is Terry. It blooms white and pale pink. The stamens of the plant are yellow. The cactus of the class is a bit like a carnation in bloom. He looks very solemn. This plant is well placed in the hall, where a lot of space and the flower can appear in all its glory.


cactus schlumbergeraCactus schlumbergera of “Gertner” is very bright and beautiful. Its flowers resemble bells with pointed petals. Buds have a bright red-orange color. Leaves are dark green. This color contrasts sharply, which makes “Gertner” very noticeable and expressive.

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