You have to agree that this is an instant love at first sight for succulent lovers. However, its mystery is what attracts most of its lovers.
From botanists, and gardeners, to the typical plant lovers (in this case, succulent lovers), the mysterious Christmas cactus is fast becoming a household name. Its magical nature sells the plant as one of the most amazing succulents for home decor.
This detailed guide unravels the mysteries of a natural Christmas cactus. What is it like? Its origin, mysteries, how to get the best of it…. Much awaits you (like Father Christmas candies) if you only keep reading. ?
The Origin of Mysterious Christmas Cactus
The best way to unravel any mystery is to understand where it has its roots.
Schlumbergera bridgesii originates from the mighty Amazonian rain forests of Brazil. The holiday bloomer hails from the Zygocactus genus or Schlumbergera according to its name. The genus is home to only six species of which the bridgesii is one of them.
Thus absolute beauty was discovered in the mid-1800s by a scientist called Charles Lemaire. The plant has its name from the famous cacti collector from France, Frederic Schlumberger.
How Mysterious is The Christmas Cactus?
In its native home in Brazil, the plant is christened “Flor de Maio.” It is where it gains its fame to be a mystery for most of its growers, and it is all about the blooming time.
Most cacti lovers assume that Schlumbergera blooms during Christmas hence its name is “Christmas cactus”. To your surprise, this is never the case. The Schlumbergera genus is made up of holiday bloomers. The most confusing bloom closer or during Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving holidays.
So after all, the Christmas cactus blooms during Christmas. Its siblings from the Schlumbergera family host its mystery. Want to learn when cacti usually bloom? Read here >>
What Does the Mysterious Christmas Cactus Look Like?
We need to understand the plant’s physical appearance to completely unravel the mystery. In the end, you will find that it is a beautiful house plant from its looks.
The hardest hurdle to getting the real color of any holiday bloomer is the amount of propagation that it undergoes. The six bloomers take several colors ranging from magenta, pink, to white, and even some are bicolor. It is unfair to mention that the plant is one of the easiest to propagate.
The Christmas cactus is leafless with flat, segmented and slightly spiked stems. You will find its beautiful flowers that are red, pink or white in most cases emanating from an areola on its stem.
Blooming the Christmas Cactus
Well, there is more mystery to unraveled than what you already know about this fantastic cactus so far so good.
What Comes into Your Mind When You Hear of ‘Cactus’?
As most of us would have never imagined, the Christmas cactus has its origin in the Amazon, think of the biggest rivers, and the highest rainfall amounts. In short, no desert-like climates where you find the thorned cactus.
Does this Affect How It Blooms? How do You Care For it for Those Scintillating Flowers to Burst Out?
- Christmas is wintertime (well, not everywhere on Earth). Winter is cold, and so does the Christmas cactus hate hot environments. Avoid exposing it to hot air or direct sunlight. Its beautiful foliage can quickly turn into an eyesore.
- Keep the plant exposed to bright light (probably next to your window). However, remember not directly under the sun. You can get it near the north or west-facing window, or easier done, get a light-diffusing semi-transparent curtain. drain
- Unlike other cacti, maintain a humid environment for this zygocactus mystery. The optimum humidity levels range between 50-60%.
- The Christmas cactus is a long-living plant, making it a great gift to be passed from generation to generation. Do not commit the crime of killing this beauty by letting its roots swim in too much water. They can quickly rot. Go for pots and soils that drain the water optimally.
- Fertilizers work magic when it comes to growing indoor bloomers. Consider applying some fertilizer to a 2-3 week old plant. The process can also be done up to four times annually, with breaks smashed four weeks before its blooming period.
- Water your plant at least weakly during winter and 2-3 times a week when it’s a hot and dry summer season. Check the soil water retention(with your hand) before watering, and only water if the top layer is dry.
Is this article helpful to you? I hope that enjoy your stay at SucculentCity. Happy Planting! If you are looking for more informative reads on my blog, check out a few suggestions:
Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!