Christmas Cactus Care

Ah, the Christmas Cactus,

Schlumbergera x buckleyi,

though in my case it tends to be more of a Thanksgiving cacti.

I've had this mammoth salmon and pink specimen for years and years. I can't recall just how many, but each November it reliably puts on a spectacular show with very little effort on my part.

Quite dramatique, don't you think?

Whimsical, nodding, fuchsia look-alike flowers with lots of personality. Individual blooms don't last long, but there are LOTS of them, coming and going over a couple of weeks.

Keep them out of drafts and away from heat vents to avoid bud drop and don't let them dry out.  They require more water and humidity than you might think, especially while in bloom and in a heated environment.

If the glossy, segmented branches look or feel even the slightest limp, it's probably time for a drink. Placing the pot in a saucer filled with pebbles and water provides much appreciated humidity.

After blooming, I put it in a well-lit, cool room...letting it dry out slightly between waterings, then when the weather vacations outside in light shade, getting watered and fed just like my other outdoor potted plants.

I give no attention to periods of light and dark to get it to bloom again.  By the time it comes inside just before the first frost, it is forming buds (as a response to the shorter days and longer nights)... then repeats the cycle...

and flowers again the following Thanksgiving. 

Mother Nature does all the work, thank you very much.

This sweet pink cutie is just now showing her stuff.

She has some pretty big footsteps to fill.  :)

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