My lovely plant came from our local green thumb Marnie,who is our great neighbor. She told me that this cutting came from a plant that lived in the south a long time ago from her grandfather. She cut off sections of the stem to bring some new growth and brought them here.
What a beautiful plant in the Arctic, it is a wonderful thing! The popular house plant is known by a variety of names including Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus, Crab Cactus and Holiday Cactus. Botanically they are Schlumbergera cultivars or Zygocactus, and flower in white, pink, yellow, orange, red or purple.
It will bloom at Christmas also sometimes around Easter time if cared for properly.
The domestic conditions include:
1) Growing medium: Provide a source of humidity if you live in a dry environment. You can make a humidity tray by placing the pot on a waterproof saucer that is filled with gravel and halfway filled with water.
2) Watering:Caring for this plant can be a bit tricky as you need to take care not to overwater or underwater it.
3) Light: Keep the plant in a well-lit location (like near a window) away from direct sunlight (which can stunt growth and burn the leaves), drafts, heat vents, fireplaces or other sources of hot air. It is best to keep in a normal house temperature range (18 to 27 degrees C.)
4) Propagation: Propagate this plant by cutting off sections of the stem, one to three segments long, Allow each section to dry for a few hours before pushing them into a 3-inch pot that contains the same potting soil as the parent plant. Plant halfway down the first segment. Treat the cuttings as mature plants. In about four to six weeks, the cuttings should have rooted and will begin to show some new growth. They grow quickly, and should take in about two or three weeks. You can fertilize after the cutting has grown one new segment.
I am excited to see the buds open into a beautiful flower that will add color and warmth to any holiday season.