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Christmas Cactus Care

Schlumbergera (Christmas Cactus) Varieties & Care

September 17, 2022

Schlumbergera is a small genus of cacti with around nine species found in the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil. These plants grow on trees or rocks in habitats that are generally shady with high humidity, and can be quite different in appearance from their desert-dwelling cacti cousins. Common names for these cacti generally refer to their flowering season. In the Northern Hemisphere, they are called Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, crab cactus and Easter 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.

Watering: Unlike its cacti cousins, the Schlumbergera likes to be watered when the top 2"-3" of its soil is dry. This plant does best when watered from the bottom and allowed to drain well before replacing.
Light Requirements: Bright, indirect light. Too much direct sun will burn the plant turning its leaves a dark red.
Humidity Needs: Average household humidity is sufficient. Will benefit from slightly higher while blooming.
Soil Preference: 
Well draining soil with additional perlite is ideal. Cactus or regular houseplant mix will both work well.
Well-balanced or blooming fertilizer 1-2x/month during spring/summer months. Suspend fertilizing during fall/winter.
Every 3-4 years to ensure soil nutrients during Spring/Summer months. Avoid repotting while actively blooming.
Pet Safe: Yes!
Common Issues: 
Underwatering is the most common issue for this plant as many assume it requires the same care as other cacti. Simply resuming a regular watering schedule will bring a struggling Schlumbergera back to health as they are very resilient!

Christmas Cactus Varieties

*Not intended to be a comprehensive representation of varieties.

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