|12-19-2007, 10:21 AM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: West Hollywood, CA
All about Christmas Cactus
Courtesy of Rojer on Flicker
The common holiday cacti (Thanksgiving Cactus, Christmas Cactus, Easter Cactus) are composed of several closely related species in the genus Schlumbergera and the species Hatiora gaertneri. They are originally forest cacti, growing at elevations between 3280 and 5575 feet above sea level in the Organ Mountains in southeast Brazil.
Many modern holiday cactus cultivars are hybrids between Schlumbergera truncata and Schlumbergera russelliana, first bred about 150 years ago in England.
▪ Holiday Cactus (Schlumbergera & Hatiora hybrids):
▪ Christmas Cactus, (Schlumbergera bridgesii, Schlumbergera x buckleyi, Epiphyllum x buckleyi).
▪ Thanksgiving Cactus, Yoke Cactus, Linkleaf Cactus, Crab Cactus, Claw Cactus, (Schlumbergera truncata, formerly Zygocactus truncatus).
▪ Easter Cactus, (Hatiora gaertneri - formerly Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri).
The joints of the plants are quite fragile and can break apart if the plant is in poor health. The flower buds' joints are especially easy to detach. Christmas cactus will create flower buds when subjected to cooler temperatures (10–14°C/50–58°F) for 6-8 weeks.
Holiday cacti can be propagated quite easily by removing a single segment and planting it a quarter of its length deep in a pot filled with slightly sandy soil. Place the pot in a well lit area (but not direct sunlight) and keep the soil moist. The cutting should begin showing signs of growth after two or three weeks.
The soil should be evenly moist for best growth, but they are intolerant to constantly wet soil and poor aeration. If outdoors, an established plant may only need to be watered every two or three days in warm, sunny weather; or every week in cool, cloudy weather.
Christmas cactus will do best in bright indirect light. Long term direct sunlight can burn the leaves and stunt growth. If taken care of properly, a single planting can last for hundreds of years.
Courtesy of gailf548 on Flickr
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