Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas Cactus

Yesterday, for Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law brought me a Christmas cactus.  This gave me the idea to tell you a little about the plant, and to give some tips about how to care for it.

The Christmas cactus, or Schlumbergera, is native to the mountains of south-eastern Brazil.  It likes shade and high humidity.  It can be recognized by its leaf-like pads and pink flowers which flower only around Thanksgiving or Christmas (hence the name).

Here are some tips for caring for your Christmas cactus:

1.  Keep away from direct sunlight, drafts, heat vents, or fireplaces.

2.  Provide a source of humidity.  You can put a tray of water next to the plant, so that the water evaporates and provides humidity.

3.  Do not  overwater.  Once a week should be enough.  And if you can, don't water from the top.  It is best to put the plant in a tray of water and allow water to seep through holes in the bottom of the container.

4.  Prune your cactus one month after blooming.  

9 comments:

  1. Hi Sherry .. my sister-in-law has one .. and it's been through the severe drought period, with loads of dust all over it .. at some stage - the poor thing got rescued and cared for - then flowered!! Stocky and tough little things - I had one .. but loved it too much!!

    Cheers - and what a thoughtful MIL ... Hilary

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    1. That was one tough Christmas cactus!

      Yes, my MIL is very thoughtful!

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  2. I'm hoping to get a Christmas cactus this year, so thank you for sharing about the care of them.

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    1. Now you'll know how to take care of it!

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  3. Nice plant! With all those rules though, we'd kill it for sure.

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  4. very pretty and good to have tips. I got a Black Friday 99 cent poinsettia yesterday at Lowe's. Hope I can keep it alive until Christmas. I'm notorious for overwater. I shall contain myself. Enjoy your cactus for the month.

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  5. Funny enough I just found an abandoned Christmas Cactus and adopted it. I didn't know what it was until I read this post!

    Thanks for the info! Now to take it out of the sunlight...

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