Holiday Cactus
(Schlumbergera russeliana)
(Schlumbergera truncata)
Other Names - Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus, Easter Cactus, Crab Cactus, Valentine Cactus, Mother's Day Cactus, May Flower, Flor de maio, Yoke Cactus, Linkleaf Cactus, Claw Cactus.
Origins - Organ Mountains, Brazil, S. America.
Type - Perennial (Succulent) (evergreen). Hardiness (see References, below) - Zone 11.
Bloom - September till June. Height - Approx. 10 in (25 cm).
Cultivation - In nature, these tropical plants grow on tree trunks.
In our, home conditions, Holiday Cactus will love being close to filtered sunlight/light shade. Christmas Cactus likes rich, peat-like soils, with good drainage at the bottom. To make sure it blooms, remember - from mid-September, let your Christmas Cactus rest in cooler rooms (approx. 55F/12C) till buds begin to form.
Water, and fertilize regularly from this point, till the end of blooming.
Avoid planting in deep containers.
Propagation - Very easy, just break of a few segments, and either place one end in water, or just plant directly in the soil. It will root, in no time.
Avoid direct midday sunlight (it will burn your plant), and cold dump dark location with standing water (to prevent rotting).
Other - Very attractive, and rewarding plant to grow, and enjoy. There are many theories regarding differently shaped segments being more likely to bloom at Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter time, but in practice, all Holiday Cactus plants, no matter how they look, can bloom from Fall till late Spring.
Feedback -
References - Find more about Hardiness Zones
Special Thanks
Special Thanks to Town & Country Gardens Contributors: blogger, bulabean, dive-angel (Karin), flickr, Jasmine&Roses, Mr. T in DC, Rita Crane Photography. Rita Crane, daughter of LIFE magazine photographer Ralph Crane. Her work can be seen on Flickr at Rita Crane Photography or on her website., TMR Davies, Wikipedia, W.D. Williams

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