One of the plants that is beginning to be sold in these pre-Christmas dates and that is not as famous as the typical poinsettia (the typical red one although it is in different colors), is the Christmas cactus. It is called that, although its scientific name is Schlumbergera X Buckley.

It can also be known by other names such as Santa Teresina, but it depends, as always, on the place where you are. The best known and the one that we will make the most reference to is the Christmas cactus.

It is a very curious plant, since it is from the cactus family, but it does not prick. It does not withstand temperature changes or extreme heat (like the rest of the cacti) and its beautiful and striking flowers only bloom in winter. Curious, right?

Instructions

  1. The Christmas cactus does not look anything like the rest of its “family” in terms of aesthetics or care. It is even, we could say, one of the most delicate cacti. It does not support changes in temperature, nor does it handle extreme heat or cold… yes, it is very special with the minimum care it requires. And something that should be known in advance is that its striking and beautiful flowers only bloom in winter. A pity, because really, they shine for a very short time. But if they are cared for and maintained throughout the year, it blooms again the following year. Therefore, patience is required to care for and maintain this plant.
  2. In general, this plant is easy to grow if you know what to do and how. If you observe that over time, as it grows, it takes shape and falls, there is no need to worry.  This is because the weight causes it to fall down and is normal. In fact, you’ll be able to drop down and pick up that shape where it will be in a drooping shape and also at ground level.
  3. The flowers with their striking colors can be found in different shades: white, red, fuchsia, pink, yellow, with variegated tones, etc.
  4. In general this plant is more of an indoor plant. Outside you have to take great care of it due to temperature changes. Both by temperature and by irrigation.
  5. The type of irrigation will depend on where each one is and the season of the year. You have to be very careful and even if the plant is inside the home, indoors, watering must be careful. You should not wet it excessively, that the water is not stagnant and the leaves, even the rain, if it falls on it, the flowers and the plant are spoiled.
  6. Do not mix the issue of being a kind of cactus, with needing the same type of irrigation.  In this case, it has nothing to do with it because it is more delicate. If we are in a hot season or a very hot place or country, we will have to water more often. For example daily if the weather is very extreme or two or three times a week. The type of water is careful if you live in a place with water with a lot of lime. Calcareous water is not good at all. As we said, the water that is necessary but that does not flood the earth. If this happens, it can rot or die full of fungus.
  7. The trick: go touching the earth. If the land is very dry, it is time to water. But very carefully so that it does not get soaked or puddled. If you play and the soil is moist, it does not need to be watered.
  8. The thing changes instead, if you are making cuttings and you want the plant to reproduce. In these cases, irrigation should be more continuous. When the Christmas cactus no longer has flowers, after flowering, it is convenient or ideal (if it is not in the garden or in a very dry climate) that it not be watered for a few weeks.
  9. The ideal temperature for the Christmas cactus is warm and neither severe in heat (from 20 degrees) nor cold, below fifteen degrees.
  10. The lighting should not be lacking. It needs a lot of light but yes, it should not be direct. That is, if it is placed in the garden outdoors and in full sun, it will burn and its leaves can burn and wither. But inside the house, inside, you have to find a place that is not dark. So that it develops and grows well. Flowering and lighting go hand in hand.  You will see after a few days if the area where you placed your plant is ideal or not. If it shows off the leaves and flowers with color and vigorous, you’re in luck. Otherwise, you will begin to see how the leaves lose their intense color, fall, lose vitality, the stems wrinkle and wither.
  11. If you manage to have the beautiful and perfect Christmas cacti, you can make cuttings and you have several options in this regard. On the one hand, it can be done by seeds and on the other hand, by cuttings. The correct time to prevent the cuttings or the plant from dying, you will have to do it in spring. Never neither in winter nor in summer.
  12. How are the cuttings made? A leaf is cut and with that leaf, another plant can be made. A very common mistake is to cut it and directly plant it. Mistake. Before planting it again, the leaf must be dried. When it is cut, it will be moist and should never be transplanted like this. If done directly, it will dry out and rot. Therefore, he will die. It is best to dry it. With leaving it a day or two in the air, on top of a plate or wherever. When it is dry, it is planted.
  13. The roots must be very dry so that they do not rot. Beware of moisture, pests, fungi and excess water.
  14. When having it inside the house, you will also have to be very careful with possible air currents. We say it both in summer (be very careful with where it is placed and the air conditioning and fans) air currents or direct air can end up drying its leaves too much and directly, kill it. The same if it is in open air areas, such as on a terrace or balcony.  Protect it from the rain so that it does not break or drown. With direct heat, such as heaters, fireplaces, and stoves… the same thing happens with air. Great care. As a trick in these cases (with the heat) and water it but without reaching the extreme and charging it, it can be watered with sprayers. The water is better if it is warm and pours it on the ground and on top of its leaves. How is it based on spraying it will cool down, it will moisten but it will not puddle.

What do you need:

  •  Christmas cacti plant.
  •  Water to irrigate that is not calcareous.

Tips

On these dates you can find the most outstanding plants to decorate, give away or decorate, not only the most famous such as Poinsettias (the best known are the red ones) but there are also white, pink, yellow, orange, etc. And the Christmas cactus or also called Santa Teresa (although this name is less known).

It is a pity that it is a plant whose leaves last so little time, but if you can get hold of the typical Christmas ones, which are in red and white tones or even with both colors mixed, they are very pretty and are great for decorating. And give away at these holidays.

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