Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas Cactus


Gardening for Successful Blooms

CREATING a sunny canopied site for your Christmas cactus

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesi )

The Christmas cactus had to come inside today because we are expecting a freeze tonight in zone 7b-8a. The Christmas cactus is native to South America. It grows in trees, and is considered an air plant, where it receives mottled sunlight. I have the perfect site for Christmas cactus. Our porch faces southward but protects plants from the burning afternoon sun. You will need a site rich with sunshine but mottled to prevent burning. Ideal temperatures are between 55 and 68 degrees. Plant the "leaves" directly into a slightly acidic, well draining soil and allow the soil to dry between watering. Growing and flowering instructions change dramatically depending on latitude. You will want to check with your local Agricultural Extension Office for specific instructions to ensure flowering in December. I don't normally place potted plants on furniture without a saucer to catch water but this is a temporary site for the picture. You do not want a saucer under your pot because the roots will rot readily. The flowers are available in red and this magenta pink. I like to place the pot at an eye level location to show off the flowers when they are in bloom and this also serves to keep it from spirited wagging puppy tails. 

All material © 2007-2017 by Jeanette Hyden for Grassroots Horticulture