The Schlumbergera Truncata sometimes called the Christmas Cactus, is a stunning and rare, fleshy flowering cactus from the tropical forests of southeast Brazil. As the name suggests, its showy pink, pink and white, red and white, or yellow flowers erupt around the Christmas and New Year period turning this plant into an oasis of floral colour in the cold winter months.
Native to a warm and wet climate, this delicate cactus in its natural habitat can be found nestled in between tree roots with its trailing stems cascading down large boulders and into the branches of trees.
This cactus is truly a beautiful sight to behold, with its thick segments of vivid, glossy green foliage, vibrant umbels of cup-like flowers and cascading growing pattern that lend a sense of movement and life to any room or conservatory. With careful attention and nurturing, the Schlumbergera Truncata can grow to a height of around 90cm and will reward you with exotic blooms and lush foliage for many years.
Tips for nurturing your Schlumbergera Truncata
Place your plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight for around 4-6 hours per day. Diffused light is best, as too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves to become scorched.
During the summer when it is actively growing, the Schlumbergera Truncata prefers temperatures of 15-21°C (59-70°F), while in the cooler winter months around 7-12°C (44-53°C) is ideal.
Soil Type and Drainage
The Schlumbergera Truncata should be planted in a soil mix that is moist and well-draining, such as cactus mix and potting soil. The soil should also have excellent drainage, as this plant does not cope well with soggy soil.
This cactus prefers high levels of humidity of around 50–60%. As it is not native to a dry desert climate, it is important to mist the plant regularly, especially in the winter months when the air is drier and humidifiers can help to provide a much-needed boost.
It is important to ensure that the soil around the plant does not become overly dry, as this can cause the plant to become stressed. Water your Schlumbergera Truncata lightly every one to two weeks, and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
Schlumbergera Truncata is not at all poisonous and poses no risk to pets or children.
During late spring to early autumn, a monthly application of a balanced liquid fertiliser will help to encourage healthy growth and more blooms.
Troubleshooting Pests, Diseases and Common Problems
Schlumbergera Truncata is not particularly prone to pests and diseases, but if you do notice any, act quickly to treat them. Spider mites and mealy bugs can be treated with an insecticidal spray and scale insects can be removed with a cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol. Root rot can occur if the plant becomes waterlogged, so free-draining soil and reducing watering can help to prevent this.
Schlumbergera Truncata can be propagated by stem or leaf cuttings. Place a cutting around 8cm long into a pot filled with just damp cactus mix and leave it in a warm, bright spot. The cutting should root after a couple of weeks and will be ready to pot up in around 6-12 months.
The Schlumbergera Truncata is a stunning and rare cactus that is well worth careful and devoted attention. Its glorious foliage and dazzling blooms bring joy to the home throughout winter and its forgiving nature makes it perfect for beginners wanting to bring a touch of the exotic into their homes.