RHS Collections

Schlumbergera 'Red' - Christmas cactus & brass pot combination

  • Position: bright but indirect light
  • Soil: good potting compost
  • Rate of growth: average
  • Flowering period: November to late January
  • Hardiness: tender (indoors only)
  • Current height: approximately 20cm (including pot)
  • Pot cover: includes an etched brass pot

    Known as the Christmas cactus because it puts on such a wonderful eyecatching floral display over the Christmas period, rightly justifying its name. But even when it is not in flower, this is an interesting houseplant. Although this is called a cactus it is not a sun lover as it originates from jungles and woodlands, attaching itself to trees.

    Please note: the shade of red for the Christmas cactus may vary and contain some paler markings than the photograph.

  • Home care: Because of where this plant comes from, it likes a bright spot but not in direct sun with a humid atmosphere - so you could stand it on a saucer of damp gravel to improve the humidity. It is an easy plant to care for, but if you want it to flower each Christmas there are a few rules to follow.

    Basically it needs 2 resting periods, so after it has flowered in late January reduce the watering and move to a cooler room with a temperature of approx 12-15°C. Water sparingly but don't let it dry out. Then from April to September increase the water and start to feed with a liquid houseplant fertiliser and move to a warmer room with a temperature of around 18-20°C. The flower buds should start to form in mid-September, so you will need to reduce the temperature and watering as before for the 2nd resting period. Once the flower buds have developed you again increase the temperature and watering. Then you should be rewarded with another lovely Christmas floral display! For healthy growth, it is best to repot every year at the end of March using a cactus potting compost or John Innes No.2 with added grit.
Schlumbergera 'Red' - Christmas cactus & brass pot combination
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