Christmas Cactus – Schlumbergera bridgesii

Christmas Cactus Flower
Christmas Cactus Flower

Christmas cactus is a member of a group sold as holiday cacti that includes the Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) and the Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri).

Christmas cactus has been kept as a holiday houseplant since the 1800’s. Early breeders crossed Schlumbergera truncata with Schlumbergera russelliana creating the beginnings of the hybrid plants you see today. It is comprised of wide, flat, green stem segments that resemble leaves. It easily propagates by removing one of the segments and placing it directly into the soil. It helps the rooting to speed up by using rooting hormone, but will happen even without the hormone as long as it does not rot due to overwatering.

This plant is one of the plants that remove chemical vapors from the air in our homes and offices. It is often given as a Christmas gift since it often blooms at that time.

May no gift be too small to give,
nor too simple to receive,
which is wrapped in thoughtfulness,
and tied with love.
~ L.O. Baird

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