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Christmas Cactus-not really a cactus..

Can you imagine a place where evergreens aren’t available? No Fraser, Douglas, or White Fir? WWHHHAATTT!!?!? What on earth would we decorate during Christmas time? I mean, have you tried to put a star on top of a palm tree?

Southern countries- like Central America, who we thank for our poinsettias and Latin America for our Christmas Cactus’ have this issue. But they do have poinsettias and cactus and with the colors that these two plants have to offer during the holidays, WOW!

I find it fascinating the history of a lot of these beautiful plants and the genius of the propagators and travel that it took to bring these fabulous plants to us. I did a blog on the history and care of the poinsettia about a week ago. If you missed it, you can find it here. So, this time, I thought I would research where we get our Christmas Cactus from.

Schlumbergera bridgesi, isn’t your traditional desert cactus at all. Quite the opposite, in fact, it’s found in the Rainforest of Latin America. So that tells you it likes humidity and not dry and arid environment. From what I gather, we owe a 19th Century Frenchman a thanks because he brought it to the world when he started collecting them from his travels to the rain forests.

Alright, so to keep your Christmas Cactus looking it’s best, here’s some tips. Water it when completely dry. Provide some humidity. You can spritz it to help with that. Or you can find a tray, put down some pea gravel and keep water in the tray. Place the plants that like more humidity than others and that will help balance the dry air. It prefers temperatures of 70 degrees and above, but at night it will tolerate 55-65 degrees. It also likes bright, but not direct sunlight. Of course, like most succulents (yes, it’s really not your typical cactus, more of a succulent), it doesn’t like to sit in water, so make sure it’s in well-draining soil.

I hope you found this blog fun and educational! Until next time, you’ll find me playing in the dirt…


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