How to grow and care for the Christmas cactus, one of the most popular winter plants, so that it can continue to thrive after the holiday season.
During the next holiday season, you could receive a Christmas cactus as a gift.
You will have to take care of it so that it can survive without problems and keep you company for a long time with its beautiful, colorful flowers, which can brighten up any room.
First of all, know that the Christmas cactus is a plant species native to Brazil, botanically called Schlumbergera and belonging to the Cactaceae family, which generally grows in tropical forests.
It is a plant that prefers shade and humidity. This is why the interior environment of our homes in winter, with the heating on, becomes an ideal climate for lush growth.
- When does the Christmas cactus bloom?
The Cacraceae can have different flowering periods, but what characterizes the Christmas cactus is the fact that its flowers bloom precisely as the end of year holidays approach, hence the name of this wild plant native to Brazil and other parts of Latin America and imported into Europe as a houseplant.
You can admire the flowers of the Christmas cactus between December and January. Their colors can vary from pink to red and from purple to red-purple.
So that the flower buds do not wither before flowering, the Christmas cactus must be carefully kept away from drafts and heat sources.
The Christmas cactus should therefore not be placed near a frequently opened door or too close to a fireplace, stove or radiator.
- Where to place it?
The ideal temperature for indoor Christmas cacti is 20°C. To prolong the flowering of the cactus in winter, it is necessary to place it in a bright room.
Later in the summer, the Christmas cactus can be placed outdoors in a partially shaded location so that excessive exposure to direct sunlight does not cause leaf burn.
In autumn, from the beginning of September, the plant can be moved indoors. The reduction in sunlight hours and its exposure to the sun mean that its flowering can be delayed until the Christmas period.
One of the perfect places to keep Christmas cacti indoors during December and January is the interior windowsill, so that the flowers can take advantage of daylight to bloom during the winter.
The elevated position of the plant is essential if you have pets like dogs or cats. Ingestion of certain parts of the plant may cause diarrhea or vomiting in animals.
It must therefore be positioned so that pets cannot reach it easily. If there is a problem, the veterinarian should be consulted immediately.
- When should you water the Christmas cactus?
The Christmas cactus is native to the rainforests of South America and therefore prefers a humid climate. Particular attention must therefore be paid to watering, both summer and winter.