Schlumbergera bridgesii
Christmas Cactus

Cactaceae

Schlumbergera bridgesii

Schlumbergera bridgesii or Christmas Cactus, a native of Brazil, is an epiphytic cactus with flat-jointed stems. The arching stems reach about 1 foot in height, which makes it a great hanging basket subject.

Blooming Time: Flowers are borne at the tips of the arching stems in winter.

Culture: Schlumbergera bridgesii need an average to warm climate, with a minimum temperature of 62°F (16°C) at night. We use a soil mix consisting of 3 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand or perlite. The soil should be kept moist during the spring and summer with high diffused light. Fertilize every 2 weeks during this period. For bud formation, plants require full sun with a drier, cooler conditions, plus the shorter days of fall. In the fall, reduce watering and keep the plant cooler, with a minimum of 55°F (13°C) at night. Increase watering when the flower buds appear and fertilize every 2 weeks with a houseplant fertilizer diluted to 1/2 the strength recommended on the label until the flowers open. After flowering, resume normal water and fertilizer treatments.

Propagation: Schlumbergera bridgesii is propagated by cuttings of the flat-jointed stems inserted in moist sand or vermiculite.

Schlumbergera bridgesii was featured as Plant of the Week December 22, 2009-January 7, 2010.

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