Zygocactus, Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera species)
Brighten up winter with the vibrant, exotic flowers and when the blooming period ends, enjoy as an attractive, easy-care foliage plant. Cacti are always an easy care choice that can provide years of enjoyment in the home. Also well-suited to spending warmer months on a sunny patio or deck.
Great in containers in a bright window. Can be grown outdoors in warm weather. Makes a great gift plant especially for those inexperienced with houseplants.
Apply feed monthly.
Allow soil to dry between thorough waterings.
Well-drained potting mix for cacti and succulents.
Basic Care Summary
After flowering allow the plant to rest by withholding water for 30 days, then return to normal watering. To encourage reblooming, keep plant in a cool location at 55-60°F (13-16°C) with 8-11 hours of light each day, for 4-6 weeks until the flower buds are fully formed. Once flower buds develop the plant may be moved to desired location. Repot if needed after blooming ends.
If the plant was purchased in a pot, then it is probably already in a quality potting soil and requires little more than watering and grooming for a while.
Apply water at the soil level if possible to avoid wetting the plant. Water the entire soil area until water runs out the base of the pot. This indicates that the soil is thoroughly wet. Discard any excess water that has accumulated in the pot’s saucer.
Don’t water again until the top 1-2” (3-5cm) of soil is completely dry. Check the soil moisture with your finger. Plant may require less water during the winter months when it’s growing more slowly because of lower light levels. Some species may even go dormant for a few months in winter.
Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product with a nutritional balance designed for foliage plants.
Too much fertilizer can damage plants so it’s important to follow the package directions to determine how much, and how often, to feed plants.
Slow-release fertilizers are an especially good, care-free choice for container plants. Follow the product directions for proper timing and application rates.
Remove the flowers as they fade. This keeps the plant looking tidy and may encourage more blooms depending on the type of plant. After flowering many blooming plants make attractive houseplants. Be sure to trim the foliage to maintain the desired size and shape. Occasional trimming encourages the plant to develop more side-shoots and flowers, and reduces the demand for the plant to develop a larger root system. This is important since the roots are in a confined space.
Some plants will re-bloom on their own, but others may have very specific day-length or temperature requirements to flower again. A bit of research may be necessary to determine what is needed to encourage future blooming. Some plants, such as bulbs or perennials, can be turned into wonderful garden additions after the flowers have been enjoyed indoors.
|Available Colors:||Flowers in shades of pink, red, and purple|
|Height Range:||8-12" (20-30cm)|
|Space Range:||9-12" (23-30cm)|
|Lowest Temperature:||60° to 80°F (16° to 27°C)|
|Plant Light:||Bright Light|
|Companion Plants:||Kalanchoe, Calla Lily, Cactus|