December 6, 2011

Xmas cactus aka Schlumbergera blooming naturally for Christmas…

Sometimes people wonder how commercial growers make xmas cactus to bloom right for Christmas. Don’t let fool yourself!! Schlumbergera’s biological clock makes it bloom from November. This is really annoying to hear all these stupid stories aimed at keeping us ignorant!
I admit – I was also a victim of listening all these weird arguments i.e. I have stopped watering in the summer, which should never be done. Luckily plant survived, but it was not too happy.

Finally I think I understand how take care of that little wonder, so it’s happy and blooms profusely.  
Xmas cactus aka Schlumbergera is thermo-photoperiodic. This means that it blooming is triggered by certain temperature and day length. Actually she is so sensitive to any kind of light that even if lamp light may cause no blooming. So, if your xmas cactus is standing too close to a lamp that is on in the evening that might be one of the reasons she is not blooming.

Fertilizing xmas cactus - it is known that xmas cacti doesn’t need too  much fertilizing, 2-4 times in the period of spring-summer is enough. Use 20-20-20 fertilizer and stop it one month prior expected blooming.
There is information that it grows best in the soil mixed with peat or leafmold. It likes watering with tea and you may mulch it with used tea leaves. Such treatment causes no need for repotting.

Repotting - Xmas cactus likes tight pots, so you don’t need to be in a hurry with repotting. While you repot don’t use pot that is too big both in diameter and depth.

Pruning - right after blooming or early in the spring if you would like to root the cuttings. I never cut the segments, rather twist them.

On the photos you can see my new xmas cactus – love it for the color. 


Barbara said...

Is it yours Xmas cactus or is it mine??? I think we both have the "same looking" plant at the moment. Up to now I didn't like this plant so much, but I wanted to have another go and so now one is blooming in the kitchen. I bought it not knowing its color It's white with this tiny pink spot.
Advent greetings to you!

Ewa said...

Oh Barbara! we have same blooming plants in our kitchen!
Advent greetings to you too!

Tara Dillard said...

Ha, you describe every reason mine don't bloom.

They are my only houseplants. The cats don't seem to bother them.

Nell Jean said...

Your white Schlumbergena is a beauty.

I water mine in summer when I think of it, but not as much as when in bud. I rarely fertilize. Sometimes I add some fresh potting soil. It bloomed despite an outside security light shining into the greenhouse.

Click my name to see it in glorious bloom.

Ewa said...

Tara, maybe next year it will bloom?

Ewa said...

Nell, your schlumbergera is beautiful! I can see on the 'leaves' color, that it gets some direct sunlight also in the summer?

Jean Campbell said...

It's in shade in summer, moving to direct sunlight in October.

Miele Staubsuager Shop said...

These are so lovely pictures shared here. So nice post is this! Amazing flowers and are looking like greeting cards.