Family: Cactaceae

Countries: Americas, Brazil, South America

Schlumbergera, are a group of epiphytic cacti that are more commonly known as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter cactuses, so called, as these Schlumbergera plants usually flower at these celebratory times of year: in November, December, March, and April, though plants can flower anytime from October onwards.  Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter cactuses make super houseplants, which thrive inside our homes, flourishing in rooms that offer a range of conditions, from soft, bright but indirect light, to semi shaded, or shaded conditions.

Schlumbergera are epiphytes – in the wild these cacti grow upon the branches of trees and other large sized plants, taking all of their nourishment from the collected debris that has gathered within the branches of their host plant, rainwater, and the air.  While in cultivation, Schlumbergera’s naturally rounded, or weeping form, make these fantastic plants to use in indoor hanging baskets, or to grow as regular container plants, grown indoors, inside our homes.

If you’re growing Schlumbergera as a container plant, re-pot your plant in spring, every year or two.  Select a container that is no more than one size up from your plant’s previous pot size, make sure your container has a number of holes at the base – to allow water to drain through easily.  Select a speciality cactus compost, or mix your own compost using a peat-free, loam based compost, blend with some leaf mould (if you have it), and sharp grit, to form an open, gritty, free-draining compost.

I find Schlumbergera to be very rewarding, easy to grow houseplants.  These floriferous cactuses can be successfully grown by many gardeners, in a range of conditions; they make a great gift for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter, and form long lived plants that can be enjoyed by families, and passed on to future generations.

If you’re looking for more information about Schlumbergera plants, you might be interested in this article I wrote, which has lots of information and pictures of these super houseplants.

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