Christmas Cactus

By: Larry Hodgson

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 RequirementforChristmas Cactus: Evenly Moist (spring, summer); Drench, Let Dry (fall, winter)

HumidityforChristmas Cactus: Average Home

TemperatureforChristmas Cactus: House to Cool

FertilizerforChristmas Cactus: High Phosphorus

Potting MixforChristmas Cactus: All-Purpose

PropagationofChristmas Cactus: Stem Cuttings

Decorative UseforChristmas Cactus: Hanging Basket, Table

Care RatingforChristmas Cactus: Easy


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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.