Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus produces hanging flowers in varied colors. See more pictures of cacti.

This flat-segmented, spineless plant looks nothing like our image of a cactus, yet it is one. The segments have rounded to toothed margins and bear hanging flowers in red, pink, white, or yellow in fall and winter.

Cactus Image Gallery


Cool, dry conditions in the fall months coupled with short days stimulate blooming. Moving the plant when its buds are small will cause them to fall off. The Christmas cactus blooms more heavily with time than when first purchased.

Christmas Cactus Quick Facts:

Scientific Name: Schlumbergera X buckleyi (Schlumbergera bridgesii)

Common Names: Christmas Cactus, Holiday Cactus


Light Requirement for Christmas Cactus: Bright Light

Water Requirement for Christmas Cactus: Evenly Moist (spring, summer); Drench, Let Dry (fall, winter)

Humidity for Christmas Cactus: Average Home

Temperature for Christmas Cactus: House to Cool

Fertilizer for Christmas Cactus: High Phosphorus

Potting Mix for Christmas Cactus: All-Purpose

Propagation of Christmas Cactus: Stem Cuttings

Decorative Use for Christmas Cactus: Hanging Basket, Table

Care Rating for Christmas Cactus: Easy



Larry Hodgson is a full time garden writer working out of Quebec City in the heart of French Canada where he grows well over 3,000 species and varieties. His book credits include Making the Most of Shade, The Garden Lovers Guide to Canada, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, Houseplants for Dummies, and Ortho’s Complete Guide to Houseplants, as well as other titles in English and French. He’s the winner of the Perennial Plant Association’s 2006 Garden Media Award.