(schlum-ber' ger-ah buck' lee-yii)
Common name: Christmas Cactus
Family: Cactaceae, Cactus
Height x width: 1-2' x 3'
Growth rate: moderate
Shape: scalloped, flat green stem segments 1-2" long, jointed together, rounded toothed (crenate) margins
Flowers: trumpet-shaped, narrow petals, stamens and style extend beyond petals (exserted) termed "zygomorphic"; many cultivars in colors including red, pink, yellow, white, purple; may need shorter fall days, especially if not cool, in order to flower; artificial night lighting may keep them from flowering
Temperature: warm, cool mid 50ºs during rest period
Watering: dry between waterings
Soil: epiphytic cactus mix, pH below 6 prefered
Pests and Problems: root rots if too wet, mealybugs, aphids
Growth habit, uses: hanging, flowering pot indoors
Other interest: hybrid of Brazil natives russelliana and truncata; several hundred cultivars exist; named for Frederic Schlumberger, a cacti collector near Rouen; formerly listed as Zygocactus
Other culture: in order to flower, and after flowering, provide at least a month rest of cool 50-55º and dry; shade from excessive mid-day summer sun which turns foliage red or scorches it; sudden fluctuations in the environment or culture will cause bud drop; place outdoors in filtered light in summer
Propagation: rooting of stem segments
The 6 or so species in this genus fall into 2 groups: those with flattened
stem segments as above, and those with stem segments like Opuntia.
The other main species seen in commerce is one of the parents--truncata--
which blooms earlier, and has stem segments with 2-4 sharp teeth on each
margin pointing forwards.
©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.
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