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Christmas Cactus with Shirley Bovshow

Christmas Cactus with Shirley Bovshow

About flowering Christmas Cactus:

  • Schlumbergia is a small genus of cacti family with only 6 species native to jungles of Brazil
  • Grows on tree limbs instead of soil and has no spines
  • Flowers bloom at end of stem in many colors
  • Is a succulent but needs more water, less sunlight and less heat than most succulents

How often does the Christmas Cactus bloom?

  • Christmas cactus varieties can begin blooming as early as October through early January
  • Plant requires "short days of sunlight" and "long" nights of darkness 12 hours plus in order to bloom
  • Plant sets flower buds when temperatures are between 55-65 degrees

Do you have to move your plants to a dark room at night to encourage blooming?
Yes, or try this technique:

  • Christmas Cactus needs COMPLETE darkness for 12 hours daily in order to bloom
  • Cover your plant with a paper bag (SHIRLEY DEMONSTRATES) around dinner time and take off in the morning
  • Start this routine 4 to 6 weeks before you want plant to bloom to force flowering for Christmas time
  • Make sure room is between 55 and 65 degrees

What other care does it need?
It’s not really a big maintenance plant; it’s just in need of some specifics and it will take care of itself.

  • Place in bright room but away from direct sunlight or outdoors in shady patio during summer
  • Place away from cold drafts and heating vents
  • Well draining soil
  • Water when soil BEGINS to feel dry on surface- likes humidity
  • No fertilizing during flowering

How long will a Christmas Cactus live?

  • With proper care:
  • Long-lived plants 30- 50 years
  • Popular "legacy plant" that is passed down generation to generation

How do you share Christmas Cactus?
With cuttings!  Cut pieces of your cactus off and share with your family to continue the legacy of the Christmas Cactus!

  • Cut a 3 or 4 "cladodes" or sections
  • Stick in rooting hormone
  • Place in well draining soil
  • Water and keep moist until it roots
  • Give your Christmas Cactus away!

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Check out Shirley Bovshow’s Garden Designing Expertise at EdenMakers.com, and follow her on Twitter @EdenMaker.


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