Mr. Brunelle, a highly respected cacti and succulent horticulturist, states: Remove a few sections of each stem by pinching them off with your fingers or cutting with a sharp knife. Christmas cactus leaves are smooth with scalloped edges. Each section must consist of two or three joined segments. If you are like me and need more of a visual guide to identify what type of cactus you have, check out the video by Calla Edwards, a North Dakota State University Extension … Have you noticed woody stems on your Christmas cactus? Each “leaf” is comprised of segmented sections. The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgessii) is a must-have with its flat roundish segmented stems that produce tubular flower blooms of white, purple, red, yellow, orange, and pink. To propagate Christmas Cactus by stem cuttings with 1 easy twist, and plant them too. Shop Fairy Castle Cactus. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Rots, including basal stem rot and root rot, are the most common problems affecting Christmas cactus. If you purchase a plant that is labeled Christmas Cactus it is very likely not S. x buckleyi. Christmas cactus (scientifically known as Schlumbergera x buckleyi) is a hybrid succulent plant that resulted from crossing Schlumbergera truncata (Thanksgiving cactus) and Schlumbergera russelliana by William Buckley in England, in the 1840s. A broken stem roots best if it has at least three to five jointed segments. The above mentioned cactus pots have been compiled in a list of best pots for christmas cactus after much contemplation and research of christmas cactus pot reviews. The blooms can be orange, pink, red, or white, depending on the plant. There is nothing inherently wrong with being an old plant, and woody tissue does not detract from its beauty. Christmas cactus blooms around Christmas and has smaller leaves with smooth edges. Take note that the Fairy Castle Cactus rarely produces flowers—they're often sold with artificial blooms attached. Or you can force it into blooming by exposure to night temperatures of 40 degrees for several successive nights. Do a deep pruning if necessary, cutting affected stems right back to where the brown woody part begins. Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) is not a cactus of the type typically associated with sometimes-cold desert climates. Infestations on your beloved Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera) are a horrible thought and if you think you may have them, you’ll want to work on eliminating the pests immediately.Although you may be panicked at first, try to stay calm as there is always a solution! The Christmas cactus (scientific name Schlumbergera) is a succulent houseplant native to Brazil that produces bell-shaped blooms in shades of red, pink, or white.This tropical plant has a November-to-December bloom time, and it’s also known as holiday cactus. See stem section. However, the scientific name (Genus) of the Christmas cactus, which is Schlumbergera, never changes: Even though both thanksgiving and Christmas cactus belongs to the family of Schlumbergera. Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera) Schlumbergera truncata and S. × buckleyi are the two species of epiphytic cacti that are both commonly known as Christmas cactus.So called because they flower from late November to late January, they give a wonderful Christmas display or are an ideal Christmas gift. The answer is no. Root rot can be a problem with overwatered plants. If desired, root the stem sections you pruned off the plant to create more Christmas cacti. They have elongated segments with rounded ends or very small tips on each stem segment end. Schlumbergera plants favor tight living quarters, so roots that are somewhat snug in the pot are not usually a problem. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the holiday cacti: Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, and Easter cactus. Her background includes landscape and floral design, a BS in business from Villanova University, and a Certificate of Merit in floral design from Longwood Gardens. In the Northern Hemisphere, they are called Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, crab cactus and holiday cactus. How to Prune a Christmas Cactus. What kind of cactus live in the desert? Nan Schiller is a writer with deep roots in the soil of southeastern Pennsylvania. A plant in this genus would commonly be called Christmas cactus and, occasionally, Thanksgiving cactus. However, seasons are changing at the two sides of the globe. With fewer than 10 species in the genus, Schlumbergera is a genus of tropical cacti from Brazil. The Thanksgiving Cactus is timed to flower in November/December whereas it’s December/January for the Christmas Cactus. The Easter Cactus flower, Hatiora gaertneri, is a starburst shape. Their stems are typically flattened, almost leaf-like in appearance, with fewer or even no spines, such as the well-known Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving cactus (in the genus Schlumbergera). You'll want to share the love & give a piece or 2 of your Christmas Cactus away. An advocate of organic gardening with native plants, she’s always got dirt under her nails and freckles on her nose. The nice thing about it: It is not only easy to care for and frugal, but is also super easy to … Its leaves are more bristled. In Brazil, the genus is referred to as Flor de Maio (May flower), reflecting the period in which they flower in the Southern Hemisphere. So, cater to your cactus in its dotage by refreshing it. It is also known by many other common names and is sometimes confused with the true Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi). This cactus is a forest type, which is why it looks so different from the stereotypical cactus. Cooperative Extension, which staffs local offices in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Hardiness zone: 8-10. N.C. S. kautskyi, S. opuntioïdes, S. orssichiana, and S. microsphaerica have rounded stem segments but bear similar flowers. Buds form on the terminal end of the stem. Does old age spell trouble for your Christmas cactus? We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. However, you don’t need to do this every month. Christmas Cactus or Crab Cactus (Schlumbergera sp.) The stems are often smaller, and a dull light green, and sometimes have a thick purplish vein running through the segmented stems. The Easter cactus has … All are hardy in USDA zones 10-12 and have the same environmental needs and diseases. Let’s find out. Just remove two or three stem segments with a sharp knife and let it callous over for a few days. In fact, these epiphytic succulents are native to the tropical rainforests of southern Brazil, where they grow on tree branches and soak up the high humidity, dappled sunlight, and warm temperatures. Though the word "cactus" is in the name, these plants do not do well in hot arid environments like other cactuses preferring the higher humidity climate of its native Brazilan rainforests. They are sessile (attached to each other, flattened, lobed and truncate, feel smooth, are a bit serrated in their margins, glossy but not glaucous, segmented (those segments are called phylloclades), thick, have hairs coming off of them on the end. These types bloom in a span of between three and four years after they sprout. For a indoor growing guide, … COPYRIGHT © 2021 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. This succulent kind needs a regular watering, because it does not like the soil to get completely dry. Today I will show you how to propagate your Christmas Cactus!! Another way to root a Christmas cactus is by getting a Y-shaped stem segment and letting it sit in a cool and dry place for about three to four days. The entire plant's blooming for the year (not individual flowers) only stays about 5 weeks. This plant is also called the Christmas cactus. This also works for Thanksgiving and Easter holiday cactus plants. Both You can also pinch a stem from a Christmas cactus plant. Each cut segment will soon sprout new growth for a rejuvenated appearance, and better nutrient uptake. There are three main types of holiday cactus; Easter (Hatiora gaertneri), Thanksgiving (Schlunbergera truncata), and Christmas (Schlumbergera x buckleyi).Now a lot of folks believe that Schlumbergera bridgesii is the original Christmas cactus but after a ton of research, I must agree with Paul Brunelle. Propagating Christmas cactus in water the right way. Flowers anthocyanin hued, apex strongly oblique. Easter cactus is a different genus altogether (Schlumbergera gaertneri) and has even smoother, scalloped stem edges than Christmas cacti. Aphids, red spider mites, scale, and mealybugs are common insect pests. Christmas Cactus – Begins growing upright but as it matures the stems are pendent arching down. While the Christmas cactus stems hang down like a pendent, the Thanksgiving cactus has … Some types of cactus also grow in Mexico, Southwestern United States and the Caribbean. The Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera Bridgesii) Christmas cactus plants are very similar to Thanksgiving cactus; in fact, they are often mistaken for them, but there are differences that appear mainly with the stems, leaves, and the blooming period. Schlumbergera plants are indigenous to … Give your Christmas cactus 6 weeks of extra darkness and lower temps to encourage blooming. Informational table showing disease name, symptoms, pathogen/cause, and management of Christmas cactus diseases. Genus Schlumbergera. The "leaves" of a Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) are technically not leaves: they are cladodes, a type of stem. Christmas cactus is Schlumbergera bridgesii (synonym buckleyi) and Thanksgiving cactus is Schlumbergera truncata. Cacti have a variety of uses: many species are used as ornamental plants, others are grown for fodder or forage, and others for food (particularly their fruit). This type of cactus is also known as lobster cactus. They have elongated segments with rounded ends or very small tips on each stem segment end. The genus of Schlumbergera is commonly called as Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, Holiday cactus or Crab cactus. Root rot is a common issue, partially solved by reducing watering. If the damage is extensive, don’t worry, because Schlumbergera are easy to propagate from soft cuttings. All are hardy in USDA zones 10-12 and have the same environmental needs and diseases. Propagate a Christmas Cactus by cutting off short, Y-shaped sections of the stem. Some people love to call it the crab cactus thanks to its leaf-shaped stem segments that feature curved pointed teeth along the edges. Bathrooms are a popular spot. As a houseplant, it’s easy to maintain in a container of well-draining, organically-rich potting medium in a location with indirect sunlight. Christmas Cactus are popular blooming houseplants. What Does a Christmas Cactus Look Like? Water the plant deeply whenever the top 1 to 2 inches of potting soil feels dry to the touch. Several species are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red…. Common names for these cacti generally refer to their flowering season. The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) is one of three holiday cacti grown in homes. Prune after blooming for the best shape. Another issue with an older plant that has grown quite large is the potential for it to break apart. Growing a Christmas Cactus Christmas cacti are native to humid, jungle-type woodlands, and often grow attached to a tree. The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) is one of three holiday cacti grown in homes. They have such similar characteristics it is obvious that they are closely related. This is a very simple and easy propagation and takes very little effort! If you found this article informative and would like to learn more about Christmas cactus cultivation, check out these guides next: © Ask the Experts, LLC. Going back to cutting, first, you have to choose a healthy stem where the cutting would be taken. Pruning your cactus after blooming will encourage it to branch out. Unlike Thanksgiving cactus with serrated edges, Christmas cactus flaunts flattened stem segments with rounded margins. Additional Information on Types of Christmas Cactus. Unearth the cactus and rinse it thoroughly, roots and all. Five diseases commonly infect Christmas Cactus. The Christmas cacti have scalloped stem edges and the Easter cacti have rounded, smooth stems. Differences in the general shape of the Holiday Cactus. Their list includes Basal stem rot, botrytis blight, impatiens necrotic spot virus, phytophthora root rot, … The true Christmas cactus has a flattened stem segments with smooth, scalloped edges. Star Cactus with white-yellow to pinkish flowers can be used as a beautiful desktop decoration. The stems (leaf-like pads) of the Christmas cactus are smaller with more rounded and smooth edges. Plant it in a good draining succulent potting mix and place it in a warm room (57-72 degrees Fahrenheit) that receives bright light in the winter and high humidity. Allow each section to dry for a few hours before pushing them into a 3-inch pot that contains the same potting soil as the parent plant. The stems will take root after a few weeks. Type: Cactus. In our Christmas cactus growing guide we discuss how to cultivate this colorful houseplant in your home. The Thanksgiving cactus has a very toothy stem with two to four pointed teeth. All three cacti are epiphytes, growing naturally in trees in the rainforests of Brazil. Here is more about what we do. It’s a snap! GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. The Thanksgiving cactus has a very toothy stem with two to four pointed teeth. It’s a snap! And if you haven’t repotted in many years, the potting medium is likely to be depleted of essential nutrients. In addition, if you see signs of malnutrition from poor nutrient uptake, like discoloration and wilting, you may want to give the plant a lift by trimming each stem by one-third before repotting. Pinch or cut off a few segments on each stem. Christmas cactus always blooms around late winter to early spring. Pamper it in its golden years. This slow-growing cactus can reach up to 6 feet in height. x buckleyi. This article aims to guide you through the common types of Christmas cactus bugs and how to be rid of them forever. It isn’t always easy to determine what causes leaves dropping from Christmas cactus, but there are a … NC State University and N.C. A&T State University work in tandem, along with federal, state and local governments, to In the case of an older cactus, while there may be a proliferation of green growth cascading over the side of the pot, a peek into the center of the plant is likely to reveal a forest of thick, hard brown stems. The Christmas Cactus that you seeing me propagating here and in the video is actually a Thanksgiving (or Crab) Cactus. Today I will show you how to propagate your Christmas Cactus!! Easter Cactus – When comparing mature ‘Holiday Cacti’ the Easter Cactus will be the smaller of the plants. There are relatively few natural species of Schlumbergera and the vast array of colors in the many cultivars and hybrids on the market today result primarily from the parentage of a true species, S. truncata and an early hybrid known as S . Leaves: The leaves of the Christmas cactus have a more rounded, scalloped edge.The tip of each segment is slightly curved but they can look almost straight across. The blooms on this cactus are erect and do not hang down like the flowers on Schlumbergera x buckleyi. Most of the plants sold in stores today are hybrids of S. russelliana and S. truncata. Many are cultivated for their striking elongated flowers, including the Thanksgiving cactus and the Christmas cactus. Flowering season is the main reason for it is known with these names. Even if you don’t need to repot, you may still want to trim each stem by one-third to relieve the plant of excessive weight. Propagating Christmas Cactus. Let us know in the comments section below and share your tips! A Christmas cactus has flat-shaped, glossy-green segments that make up its hanging branches. You can tell them apart because the Thanksgiving Cactus has claw-like appendages on its flat stems (or cladophylls) that resemble crab claws, hence of of its other common names Crab Cactus. To do this, use clean pruning shears to cut between the cladode segments. On the stem are areoles where hair and flowers emerge. The easiest way to tell the difference is by looking closely at the leaves. With proper care, a plant may become … Two issues that may arise are: a rootbound pot and splitting stems. There is an interesting variety of different cacti that thrive in drier areas. Don’t let it become severely rootbound or collapse beneath its own weight. It easily propagates through stem cuttings. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. While Thanksgiving cactus will bloom from fall through late winter. It was labeled as a CC when I bought it and that’s how it’s commonly sold in the trade. A Christmas cactus is an epiphyte and keeping it indoors alive requires very different conditions as compared to a desert cactus or other houseplants. How to propagate Christmas cactus The procedure of planting a Christmas cactus You begin the process by cutting a short Y-shaped segment from the stem tips. They grow in zones 10-12 and outside of that work best as houseplants. Christmas Cactus is a rare type of succulent which is not a desert plant. Daytime temperatures should average around 70°F. This variation of holiday cactus has very flat stems and broad leaves that have rounded indentations. Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Reduced flowering or dropping of flower buds can be from inadequate dark hours (at least 13 uninterrupted hours), sudden temperature, moisture, or light changes. Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) was once commonly called the “crab claw cactus” or “crab cactus" before it started being marketed around Turkey Day. Easter cactus, which has buds in February and blooms around Easter. To do this, simply find a few healthy green sections at least two segments long, and snip them off with clean pruning shears. Periodically, they may bloom at other times of the year too. The Mammillaria is an example of a round cactus. How to WaTER CHRISTMAS CACTUS, THANKSGIVING CACTUS, and Easter cactus Watering your holiday cactus will be a little different from what you may be used to with your other plants and succulents. The hybrid type determines when it will bloom. Instead, they have fleshy green segments called cladodes that join together to form stems. The Thanksgiving cactus has more-pointed teeth along the edges of the leaves. Schlumbergera, genus of six species of spineless epiphytic cacti native to Brazilian rainforests. It can be up to 30 centimeters tall and 45 centimeters in diameter. The "leaves" of a Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) are technically not leaves: they are cladodes, a type of stem. Once they have healed, place them in a well-draining container of moist, organically-rich potting medium, where they will soon grow roots and establish themselves. Many of these grow on trees or rocks, resulting in their trailing and long-stemmed nature. Mature size: 1-6 inches. The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera) is one of the most popular flowering plants in the Christmas season because of its lush green and exotic flowers. The Christmas Cactus that you seeing me propagating here and in the video is actually a Thanksgiving (or Crab) Cactus. When new growth starts in the spring fertilize lighly monthly, reducing fertilizer in the fall and early winter. Christmas cactus, (hybrid Schlumbergera ×buckleyi), popular cactus of the family Cactaceae that has flattened stems and is grown for its striking cerise flowers, blooming indoors about Christmastime in the Northern Hemisphere. With proper care, a plant may become a family heirloom, often living for 20 years or more. Named after the time of year that they bloom in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas cactus plants are beautiful and easy to maintain in the right conditions. If you are lucky it will bloom a second time as the days lengthen in February. Roots that are tightly tangled can’t take up nutrients efficiently. How to propagate Christmas cactus The procedure of planting a Christmas cactus You begin the process by cutting a short Y-shaped segment from the stem tips. Unlike other cacti, the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) and its relatives don’t live in hot, arid environments such as deserts or plains. The varied stems resemble the turrets of a castle, making it the perfect addition to any whimsical garden. With proper care, this cactus can also bloom in the fall and spring. The Thanksgiving Cactus has little spine-like notches coming off its leaves (just like a crab claw hence that common name) whereas the leaves of the Christmas Cactus are smoother. Learn more about the physical characteristics and species of the genus. See how to take a section of leaf stem and grow new plants. Try not to remove more than one-third of the entire plant, as it will be shocked and recovery will likely be slower. All 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians goods offered by vendors help! To 2 inches of potting soil feels dry to the family Cactaceae what ’ s how ’. Stem from a basket and well cared for, these stems may reach up to 3 feet in length University. Dose of all-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer per package instructions to jump-start recovery and have the same needs! 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