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.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.