Plant of the week for Nov 28, 2020 'Christmas Cactus'

The Christmas Cactus is one of the most popular house plants due to its ease of cultivation. Although popular at or just before Christmas it often puts out blooms any where from October to February. These Cacti are happiest growing in a tropical rainforest hanging from the branches of trees but seem to do quite well in our homes with minimal effort. Because these plants are tropical they are subject to long periods of dry and wet conditions and are able to adapt to either. I suggest allowing the plants to dry out between waterings and don't treat them like a desert cactus as they will shrivel and die. These plants are triggered to bloom by cool nights. I suggest cooling to around 10 to 15 deg C to get best effect for about 3-4 weeks. I grow mine outside for the summer and bring them in at the end of September after a few weeks of the nights cooling off. This normally gives me a strong bloom from about end of October until about the end of November. Growing mine in a bright cool window seems to re-trigger the plant to bloom again around Christmas through January. One year both my red and white ones bloomed all winter nonstop until mid March! I was thinking they may be dyeing but they didn't and are still enjoying life in my living room. The Schlumbergera family is large and each variety is slightly different in care requirements. The Christmas Cactus in nature lives in shady locations in high humidity but in out northern climate they need shade outside in summer and bright light inside in winter. Thanks for reading the plant of the week please remember to check our Grower Coach channel on YouTube for a lot of specific information on plants and remember to subscribe, like and comment! Have a great winter! Ken Salvail