How to care for and propagate Schlumbergera Christmas CactusSchlumbergera Christmas Cactus care and propagation informationPin

Schlumbergera truncata

Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus, Holiday Cactus

This cactus is named for the seasons that it typically blooms in: between November to January. Depending on the variety, the flowers of Schlumbergera can be pink, red, or white.

Quick Look:

  • Partial shade

  • Typical water needs for a succulent

  • Plant grows up to 12″ (30 cm) tall
    Plant grows up to 12″ (30 cm) wide

  • Zone 11a (Minimum 40° F | 4.4° C)

  • Not cold hardy

  • Propagation by cuttings

  • Generally non-toxic to humans and animals

  • Winter Dormant

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Care and Propagation Information

General Care for Schlumbergera truncata “Christmas Cactus”

Schlumbergera truncata is a popular succulent, due in part to how easy it is to care for. There are a few crucial steps that new succulent owners often neglect, which can lead to “Christmas Cactus” not thriving as well as it could.

Watering

Many new “Christmas Cactus” owners tend to flood their plant with water every day or two, treating it like a typical houseplant. It's important to use the “soak and dry” method, and allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

Soil

Just like any other succulent, it's important to replace the original soil your Schlumbergera truncata is planted in. “Christmas Cactus” is usually planted in the same nursery soil as other plants, but it needs a well-draining soil.

Where to Plant

Schlumbergera truncata thrives indoors. It requires light shade, making it perfect for a windowsill. It is not cold hardy, so if you live in a zone that gets colder than 30° F (-1.1° C), it's best to plant this succulent in a container that can be brought indoors.

How to Propagate Schlumbergera truncata “Christmas Cactus”

Propagating “Christmas Cactus” is easy to propagate, making it perfect to give away to friends and family.

Cuttings

To grow Schlumbergera truncata from cuttings, use a sterile, sharp knife or pair of scissors. Cut a section from the main plant that has two or three segments, and allow it to callous for several days before placing on well-draining soil. Water whenever the soil has dried out completely.

Repotting

“Christmas Cactus” does not to be repotted as often as other cacti; it can happily sit root-bound in the same pot for several years.

Flowering

To encourage your “Christmas Cactus” to bloom, place it in an area with good humidity, and light as well as over 12 hours of darkness. This will encourage flower buds; after they have developed, your cactus can be exposed to more light.