How to grow Schlumbergera from cuttings. 14 stunning colors

You’ll find Schlumbergera plants in garden centers or supermarkets during the holiday season, but for the widest range of varieties, it’s best to buy from specialist online retailers.

Schlumbergera are forest cactus in the wild, they grow in tropical rain forests, where they grow attached to trees. This means that you need different growing conditions to desert cacti. They must be kept out of strong sunlight and do best in a humid environment.

Schlumbergera will flower every year with the right treatment – the most important thing to remember is that they need two rest periods, one after flowering and one in autumn. The plants can last for years and are often passed down through generations.


How to Grow Schlumbergera
Grow your Christmas cactus in a warm, bright spot out of direct sunlight and mist a few times a week. To flower each year, Schlumbergera needs two periods of “rest” – lower temperatures and less watering – after flowering in late winter and again in September.

Schlumbergera blooming in a pot.
Give your plant a bright spot away from direct sunlight, which can burn the leaves, and an even temperature of 18-24°C. Try not to move the plant when it is in bud – this can cause the buds to drop. Schlumbergera needs two periods of “rest” to bloom: after flowering and again in September. Place them in a cooler room and reduce watering. This encourages flower buds to form.

How to plant a Schlumbergera
Repot your Schlumbergera every 1-2 years, when the root ball has filled the pot. The best time to do this is in March, when it has come out of its dormant period. Repot in a slightly larger pot – the roots like to sit tight. Use a cactus compost or John Innes No. 2 compost with some gravel mixed in for drainage. Christmas cacti grow quite wide, so a wider pot is better than a deep one, for stability.

How to care for a Schlumbergera
Water in spring and summer only when the top 2-3 cm of the compost is dry and allow any excess water to drain off – Christmas cacti will suffer if they sit in cold, wet compost. Water more sparingly during the winter and during the two rest periods.

Since Schlumbergera come from rainforests, they do best in a humid atmosphere. Mist your plant a few times a week, or place a stone-filled tray with water. Feed monthly in spring or summer with general fertilizer.

Schlumbergera does not need to be pruned, but the stems can become leggy or too long. Make the plant more bushy by removing the tips after the plant has flowered. You can also remove some of the older stems at the base at the same time.