Holiday cacti are generally considered as plain, boring green houseplants. However, during these holidays in December Thanksgiving or Christmas cacti magically bloom and put on a spectacular flower show. The Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) and the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) are, as their names suggest, closely related.

These plants are typical native to the tropical forests of South America. It’s good to grow them in hanging baskets or containers. The baskets or containers should be sturdy, as the plants can grow quite large.

If grown outdoors keep them away from artificial light, until night-time temperatures dip into the 40s. At that point, bring them inside to a cool area, as they do best when temps are between 50 and 65 degrees. Subsequent to moving the plants inside and in order to help initiate blooming, you must keep them away from light from 5 p.m.-8 a.m.

Water sparingly, as too much water can cause bud drop and even root rot. Let the top inch of soil become dry to the touch before watering again.

Cactuses generally grow healthy with 50 percent-60 percent humidity. You could fill a waterproof saucer with gravel, add water halfway full, and put the cactus on the gravel surface.

In any case you should avoid high temperatures and heat fluctuations when the plant is in flower.

It is good and easy to propagate these cactus plants. You’ll need a small container of moist potting soil, a Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus to provide a cutting or cuttings, and rooting hormone. Clip off a 3- or 4-segment piece, dip the cut end in rooting hormone if you have it, then push the cut end into a container of soil about an inch or so.

Rooted, growing cuttings make great Christmas gifts for your friends and families.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tagged with:

Filed under: Container GardeningFlower GardeningGardeningGardening Tipshome and garden

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!