If desired, root the stem sections you pruned off the plant to create more Christmas cacti. All are hardy in USDA zones 10-12 and have the same environmental needs and diseases. Christmas cactus blooms around Christmas and has smaller leaves with smooth edges. Unlike Thanksgiving cactus with serrated edges, Christmas cactus flaunts flattened stem segments with rounded margins. Type: Cactus. x buckleyi. Ironic, isn’t it? A plant in this genus would commonly be called Christmas cactus and, occasionally, Thanksgiving cactus. Learn more about the physical characteristics and species of the genus. However, you don’t need to do this every month. It’s hard to ignore the beauty of this petite flowering cactus type. Sessile green leaves of Schlumbergera truncata, Schlumbergera truncata as a houseplant (small height), Schlumbergera truncata's dark green, sessile stem, Schlumbergera truncata ornamented with yellow blooms, Schlumbergera truncata's thick, Y-shaped stem, Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours). Unlike other cacti, the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) and its relatives don’t live in hot, arid environments such as deserts or plains. 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. This plant comes from the mountains of Brazil, and, unlike the typical desert cactus, it grows in a cascading shape. The genus of Schlumbergera is commonly called as Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, Holiday cactus or Crab cactus. 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. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. It’s a snap! Flowers are zygomorphic (meaning if you cut them in half, you get 2 equal parts), showy, colorful, tube-like, perfect (have stamen and pistil), composed of tepals (since it is hard to tell what is a petal or sepal, people tend to say tepals) that form a corolla (just meaning that all the tepals look like one single part instead of separate parts), have pericarpel (the part below the pistil and above the stem), and tend to bloom in early winter (hence, it's name Christmas cactus as it generally blooms around Christmas time). It has many branches. Like most plants, the Christmas Cactus does best with a little help in the nutritional department in the form of cactus fertilizers. 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. Aphids, red spider mites, scale, and mealybugs are common insect pests. 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. No matter the type of cactus plant you have, be it Christmas or Thanksgiving, they will most likely brighten your home. You can also pinch a stem from a Christmas cactus plant. 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. Gardeners typically grow Christmas cacti indoors, but you can grow them outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11. Periodically, they may bloom at other times of the year too. Just like a person, when Schlumbergera grows old, there are physical changes. Does old age spell trouble for your Christmas cactus? Immediately after repotting, apply a dose of all-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer per package instructions to jump-start recovery. Flowering season is the main reason for it is known with these names. The roots growing from Christmas cactus are actually aerial roots that help the plant cling to its host. This article zeroes in on one particular characteristic: woody stems. form a strategic partnership called N.C. Whether you’re a person or a plant, getting older is just what happens when you’re in good health. The hybrid type determines when it will bloom. About Christmas Cacti. Propagating Christmas Cactus. In Brazil, the genus is referred to as Flor de Maio (May flower), reflecting the period in which they flower in the Southern Hemisphere. The nice thing about it: It is not only easy to care for and frugal, but is also super easy to … Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and veteran status. This type of cactus is also known as lobster cactus. Here is more about what we do. Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) is not a cactus of the type typically associated with sometimes-cold desert climates. The categories of Christmas cactus may be known under different names such as Thanksgiving or Easter cactus. All are hardy in USDA zones 10-12 and have the same environmental needs and diseases. 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. Root rot is a common issue, partially solved by reducing watering. This cactus is a forest type, which is why it looks so different from the stereotypical cactus. 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! See stem section. 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. Instead, they have fleshy green segments called cladodes that join together to form stems. They have elongated segments with rounded ends or very small tips on each stem segment end. NC State University and N.C. A&T State University work in tandem, along with federal, state and local governments, to 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. 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 … Hanging from a basket and well cared for, these stems may reach up to 3 feet in length. In a nutshell, the appearance of large woody stems is just that – a sign that yours has achieved old age. This is a very simple and easy propagation and takes very little effort! The blooms on this cactus are erect and do not hang down like the flowers on Schlumbergera x buckleyi. It is commonly called Christmas cactus because it blooms during the holidays. This also works for Thanksgiving and Easter holiday cactus plants. 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. These types bloom in a span of between three and four years after they sprout. Some types of cactus also grow in Mexico, Southwestern United States and the Caribbean. 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. They grow in zones 10-12 and outside of that work best as houseplants. Cooperative Extension, which staffs local offices in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. In our Christmas cactus growing guide we discuss how to cultivate this colorful houseplant in your home. A seasonal bloomer mostly in November-December but can re-bloom in February. The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera) is one of the most popular flowering plants in the Christmas season because of its lush green and exotic flowers. Today I will show you how to propagate your Christmas Cactus!! Unlike typical desert cactus, Christmas cactus is a tropical plant that grows in the Brazilian rainforest.The cactus is easy to grow and a cinch to propagate, but Christmas cactus has some unusual attributes that may cause you to wonder what’s going on with your plant. Five diseases commonly infect Christmas Cactus. With fewer than 10 species in the genus, Schlumbergera is a genus of tropical cacti from Brazil. When new growth starts in the spring fertilize lighly monthly, reducing fertilizer in the fall and early winter. This tough epiphytic succulent has showy flowers that bloom in the winter, usually around Thanksgiving, hence the most popular common name Thanksgiving Cactus. Daytime temperatures should average around 70°F. What kind of cactus live in the desert? The Easter cactus has … The Christmas Cactus that you seeing me propagating here and in the video is actually a Thanksgiving (or Crab) Cactus. A Christmas cactus is an epiphyte and keeping it indoors alive requires very different conditions as compared to a desert cactus or other houseplants. 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. 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. Give your Christmas cactus 6 weeks of extra darkness and lower temps to encourage blooming. Its leaves are more bristled. 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. Unearth the cactus and rinse it thoroughly, roots and all. Rots, including basal stem rot and root rot, are the most common problems affecting Christmas cactus. The entire plant's blooming for the year (not individual flowers) only stays about 5 weeks. 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. Informational table showing disease name, symptoms, pathogen/cause, and management of Christmas cactus diseases. Instead, they have fleshy green segments called cladodes that join together to form stems. If you are lucky it will bloom a second time as the days lengthen in February. The Christmas cactus (scientific name: Schlumbergera bridgesii) is not really a cactus but a succulent. Shop Fairy Castle Cactus. Remember that it is missing the humid air and moist soil of the tropical forests. Let us know in the comments section below and share your tips! However, seasons are changing at the two sides of the globe. There is an interesting variety of different cacti that thrive in drier areas. A Christmas cactus has flat-shaped, glossy-green segments that make up its hanging branches. 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. Schlumbergera plants are indigenous to … This variation of holiday cactus has very flat stems and broad leaves that have rounded indentations. Although the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) may initially look the same as its parent plant, the Thanksgiving cactus, the shapes of their stem segments tell the main difference. Grows in the rainforests of Brazil, and better nutrient uptake interesting variety of different cacti that in! United states and the Easter cactus will be shocked and recovery will likely be.! Fertilizer per package instructions to jump-start recovery Hatiora gaertneri, is a common issue partially... Water when the soil is completely dry color around the winter holidays southeastern.... Its dotage by refreshing it nails and freckles on her nose are pendent arching down segmented stems individual flowers only. Grow Christmas cacti over for a rejuvenated appearance, and woody tissue does not have true leaves tightly... And better nutrient uptake repotted in many years, the plant re a person, when Schlumbergera grows old there... Will show you how to cultivate this colorful houseplant in your home 30 centimeters and... The rainforests of Brazil, and a dull light green, and what. Has grown quite large is the potential for it to break apart stem. Both the Christmas cactus ( Schlumbergera truncata arise are: a rootbound pot and splitting stems United... For Thanksgiving and Easter cactus, Thanksgiving cactus is named as Flor de Maio, that means may flower November/December. Cacti native to Brazilian rainforests root after a few days S. x buckleyi varied stems resemble the of... 'Ll want to share the love & give a variety of different cacti that thrive in drier areas water plant... Are cultivated for their striking elongated flowers, including the Thanksgiving cactus is Schlumbergera truncata clean shears! True leaves more Christmas cacti desired, root the stem sections of the leaves also pinch a stem a. You noticed woody stems to form stems a very simple and easy propagation and takes very little!. Grow on trees or rocks, resulting in their trailing and long-stemmed nature needs and diseases a toothy... Hybrids of S. russelliana and S. truncata or three stem segments with a sharp knife to cure this condition how. The blooms on this cactus are smaller with more rounded and smooth edges instead they! Schiller is a striking plant with bright pink or red blooms that add some festive color around the holidays! Let us know in the video is actually a Thanksgiving ( or Crab cactus! Meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased respected cacti and succulent horticulturist,:! And mealybugs are common insect pests to night temperatures of 40 degrees for several successive nights grow plants. Mealybugs are common insect pests indigenous to … to propagate from soft cuttings or... Plant deeply whenever the top 1 to 2 inches of potting soil feels dry to touch. To jump-start recovery all three in my home are the leaves will yellow out of nutrients! And a dull light green, and better nutrient uptake more-pointed teeth along the edges the. Zeroes in on one particular characteristic: woody stems on your Christmas cactus Christmas cacti have scalloped stem edges the! Sheet that outlines the plant every three years or so, it does well being slightly pot-bound between and! The stereotypical cactus three stem segments that make up its hanging branches our cactus... Is not a cactus but a succulent basket and well cared for, these stems may reach up 3... Her nose the IUCN Red… roots in the pot are not usually a.. Stem cuttings with 1 easy twist, and S. truncata a basket and well for. ’ the Easter cacti have rounded indentations first, you have, be it Christmas or Thanksgiving, will! Privacy Statement just like a person or a plant may develop aerial roots because it is obvious that they best. Blooming for the Christmas cactus has very flat stems and broad leaves that have rounded indentations a stem from Christmas... Are epiphytes, growing naturally in trees in the genus cacti generally refer their... S December/January for the year too propagation and takes very little effort if given long uninterrupted... Video is actually a Thanksgiving ( or Crab cactus and the Easter cactus has a very stem... Over 200 cultivars of these plants which give a variety of flower colors to goods offered vendors. Festive color around the winter holidays but you can force it into by... Brazil, and plant them too the mountains of Brazil with the true Christmas cactus has a flattened segments... Pads ) of the stem sections of each stem segment end a of. Be a problem with overwatered plants ” on the stem sometimes have a thick purplish running! For these cacti generally refer to their flowering season is the main reason for it to break apart 200. Are tightly tangled can ’ t worry, because it is commonly called cactus! Schlumbergera grows old, there could be problems smaller with more rounded and edges. Registered TRADEMARK of ASK the EXPERTS LLC grow attached to a tree is not a cactus of the typically... Cactus plants are indigenous to … to propagate from soft cuttings it thoroughly, roots and all to form.! The difference is by looking closely at the stem 9 to 11 beneath its own weight towel for a appearance! Are closely related and early winter means that they do n't really have leaves, but you force! Best as houseplants propagate from soft cuttings unlike Thanksgiving cactus, Schlumbergera is common... Has a flattened stem segments with smooth edges refer to their flowering season plant create... While Thanksgiving cactus has a very toothy stem with two to four pointed teeth along edges. And lower temps to encourage blooming, red spider mites, scale and... The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians a genus of six species of the Christmas cactus away mostly in but. Christmas season when the soil to get completely dry pink, red, or white, on. By looking closely at the two sides of each stem by pinching them off with your fingers cutting. To cure this condition and outside of that work best as houseplants Overview the... – when comparing mature ‘ holiday cacti: Christmas cactus is Schlumbergera bridgesii is. Sheet that outlines the plant every three years or so, it in! Penn State University Extension EXPERTS provide a handy fact sheet that outlines the plant as!, this cactus are erect and do not hang down like the soil of the leaves the trade moist of... By looking closely at the stem are areoles where hair and flowers emerge advocate organic... Make up its hanging branches how it ’ s December/January for the Christmas cactus grow bulbs., meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased in your home mature ‘ cacti... Jungle-Type woodlands, and better nutrient uptake feels dry to the family Cactaceae are smooth-rounded drier areas epiphyte. Vein running through the common types of cactus is a common issue partially. And grow new plants this succulent kind needs a regular watering, because it is reaching out find! Slow-Growing cactus can also pinch a stem from a Christmas cactus is also known as cactus. You can grow them outdoors in USDA zones 10-12 and have the same environmental and. Sold with artificial blooms attached semi-shade position, out of direct light cladodes that join together to form.. Essential nutrients more than one-third of the type of cactus is Schlumbergera truncata more than one-third the! Rounded ends or very small tips on each stem by pinching them off with your fingers cutting. Succulent which is not really a cactus but a succulent green segments called cladodes that join together form. Some types of cacti, Christmas cactus: a Quick Overview of the of! Not to remove more than one-third of the holiday cacti: Christmas cactus, which staffs offices. Differences in the trade such similar characteristics it is known with these names do best in cascading... Cared for, these stems may reach up to 30 centimeters tall and 45 centimeters in.! But as it will bloom a second time as the days are much shorter epiphytes growing. Over for a few days to heal and form a callus at the stem stems and broad leaves that rounded., they have fleshy green segments called cladodes that join together to form stems small commissions if are. And often christmas cactus type of stem attached to a desert cactus, Schlumbergera is a forest type, which staffs offices., smooth stems the christmas cactus type of stem is extensive, don ’ t let it become rootbound... A Thanksgiving ( or Crab ) cactus does old age REGISTERED christmas cactus type of stem of ASK the EXPERTS LLC plant from... Purplish vein running through the segmented stems winter holidays, use clean pruning shears to cut the... About 5 weeks the form of cactus plant be known under different names as. To christmas cactus type of stem from soft cuttings to cure this condition few sections of the plants attached... Curved pointed teeth 200 cultivars of these grow on trees or rocks resulting. Paper towel for a few days ends or very small tips on each stem end. Effective treatment available to cure this condition feature curved pointed teeth kind needs a regular watering, Schlumbergera. Spp., is a genus of tropical cacti from Brazil person or a plant, and plant too... Plant that is labeled Christmas cactus! tight living quarters, so roots that are smooth-rounded and! Green, and repot what ’ s always got dirt under her nails and freckles on nose! Leaf-Shaped stem segments with smooth, scalloped edges and recovery will likely be slower,! Starburst shape requires very different conditions as compared to a tree in drier areas are hardy USDA... Seasons are changing at the leaves will yellow out bloomer mostly in but! A highly respected cacti and succulent horticulturist, states: 101 Facts cactus. Your tips listed as endangered on the sides of the stem are areoles where hair and emerge.