Plant type: cactus.
- Origin: South America.
- Growth rate: slow.
Description: Frederick Schlumberger was one of the leading cactus collectors and grew them at home. Most likely, he was the first European who was able to cultivate this plant. It was discovered in Brazil around 1816. Most people think that cacti grow in the hot sands and rocks of deserts, however, Schlumbergera grows as an epiphyte on the trees of forests and jungles. In such conditions, it blooms magnificently, receiving the necessary nutrients, a certain amount of shade and a lot of heat and moisture. All these factors should be considered when growing a flower in a greenhouse or on a windowsill. The jaggedness on the foliage gives it the appearance of claws of some kind of mollusk, but in fact, these are not leaves at all, but flattened twigs that grow from a thick, lignified trunk. Young plants grow quite tall and bushy, but as they grow, their branches droop down, creating an attractive shape. The Schlumbergera cactus grown in a hanging basket looks great decorating any place. It is also an excellent plant for growing in a jardinière. If you don’t have the option of planting the flower in a hanging basket or jardinière, additional height can be achieved by placing the cactus pot on top of another inverted pot. Schlumberger is also called the Christmas cactus (Christmas Cactus), and ideally it blooms on this day. But these cacti are unpredictable, and they can even bloom in midsummer, in October, or after Christmas – in February. But some gardeners still ensure that the plant blooms on the holiday. The hue of flowers is usually white, yellow, orange, red or pink. Sometimes people call this cactus the Decembrist Schlumberger.
Schlumbergera – care
Humidity level: moderate. In dry and hot conditions, place the pot in damp gravel to create the proper moisture level, and spray the Schlumbergera with fresh water from time to time.
Lighting: Good sunlight is required, but the rays should be indirect. It is desirable that they come from the south, west or east.
Temperature regime: these plants are hardy to different temperatures from 2 to 37°C. Of course, it is not recommended to set such extreme temperatures, it is best to grow a flower at 18-27 ° C.
Soil type: Schlumbergera, which requires special care, grows best in a soil mixture containing coarse sand or gravel. Also add more peat moss to the soil.
Watering: This flower is not exactly a true cactus that needs to be watered infrequently. Rather, it belongs to the category of indoor plants. Water the cactus when the soil feels dry to the touch. You can water the plant with rainwater, but be careful as it may contain harmful acids.
Fertilizers: Don’t fertilize frequently. You need to fertilize the flower 2-4 times a year. If you have been growing a plant for several seasons and you know when flower buds will appear, then stop fertilizing a month in advance, otherwise stop fertilizing by the end of October. Freshly planted cacti do not need to be fertilized for at least two months.
Schlumberger disease: may be affected by mealybugs, mites and scale insects.
Propagation: This plant is fairly easy to reproduce. Just break off a piece of a twig with two or three leaves and plant it in small pots that have compost.
Application: Schlumbergera varieties are grown in hanging baskets or containers for decorative purposes. The Schlumbergera mix flower variety is especially popular.
Additionally: in the summer, it is necessary to ensure good ventilation by placing the pot in the garden in partial shade. Keep it in the garden no more than until the end of October. If you live in a cool region, then it is better to bring the Schlumberger indoors in September. After the plant has faded, it is desirable to prune it. Due to this, the flower will branch better, and new roots will form in it.
Schlumbergera buckley – Schlumbergera x buckleyi
Like other types of this plant, the Schlumbergera buckley prefers sunlight with indirect rays. They often have a broad, almost shrubby habit. The flowers are long and star-shaped, they appear around the winter solstice and then continue to bloom for about three months.