Schlumbergera kautskyi, also known as Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving cactus, is one of the easiest and most popular succulents to grow in your home or garden. It’s also been shown to have several positive health benefits, which makes it even more appealing as an addition to your collection of plants and houseplants.
Christmas cactus, or Thanksgiving cactus, is the perfect indoor plant to keep you company throughout the holidays or year-round if you live in a climate that allows it. It’s also one of the more diverse members of the Cactaceae family, with many different varieties to choose from depending on your preferences and needs.
Schlumbergera kautskyi belong to the Cactaceae family (the same family as the Saguaro cactus). As you may have guessed from its name, Schlumbergera kautskyi plants flower in winter, which makes them popular in colder climates where people tend to get stressed out during the holidays.
Here are a few interesting facts about this gorgeous species of cactus and how you can use them to enhance your home décor and well-being.
Origin and distribution
Schlumbergera kautskyi is a species of cactus that is native to Brazil. It is also known as the Thanksgiving cactus or Christmas cactus. This plant typically blooms around Christmas time, hence its common name.
The plant is found in the wild in humid, shady forest areas. The winter and summer seasons are often separated by a rainy season. The plant’s natural habitat is at an elevation between 400 and 1000 meters (1,300 and 3,200 feet).
The climate during this time of year tends to be cool with average high temperatures between 20°C (68°F) and 24°C (75°F). As this region has two different seasons – winter and summer – there are pronounced differences in precipitation from one season to the next.
Schlumbergera kautskyi propagation
Schlumbergera kautskyi can be propagated by stem or leaf cuttings. For stem cuttings, take a cutting that is 4-6 inches long and has at least two nodes. Place the cutting in a pot with moistened cactus mix or perlite. Water the cutting well and place it in a warm, bright location out of direct sunlight.
The cutting should root within 4-6 weeks. Once rooted, pot up the new plant into a larger container using cactus mix and water sparingly until established.
For leaf cuttings, wait until there are signs of new growth on your plant before taking any leaves for propagation. Take your cutting from a healthy-looking shoot with three to four pairs of leaves (this will help ensure success). Cut about 1/2 inch off the end of the stalk and remove all but one set of leaves.
Fill a small dish with enough water to cover the base of your cutting, then let it soak for five minutes. Drain excess water from the dish and put an inch or so of pebbles in the bottom to act as drainage holes. Now you’re ready to make your cut! With the base of your cutting submerged in water, carefully slice through the top node just below where the leaves begin.
Make sure not to slice through any parts of the stem. Remove one or two sets of leaves from this node and discard them. Place this node onto your pebbled dish, keeping it submerged in water for 10-15 minutes. When the time is up, gently lift the node out of the water and let it drain for 5 minutes.
Gently pat dry with a paper towel. You may now place this node in a new dish filled with cactus soil and give it full sun. Repeat these steps for every other node on your cutting until you have 2-3 nodes left without leaves. These will eventually produce roots once planted in soil as described above.
Schlumbergera kautskyi care information
Schlumbergera kautskyi is relatively easy to care for and can be grown indoors or outdoors. When growing outdoors, they prefer a sunny location with well-drained soil. When growing indoors, they should be placed in a bright location, but out of direct sunlight.
Schlumbergera kautskyi requires bright, indirect sunlight to thrive. They can tolerate some direct sun, but too much will scorch their leaves. If you notice the leaves of your plant turning yellow or brown, this is a sign that it’s getting too much sun.
Move your plant to a location with brighter indirect light and you should see an improvement within a few days.
Additionally, these plants require at least six hours of nightly rest in order to bloom properly. Put your cactus near a window facing away from the sun for six hours at night so it has time to recover before blooming again in the morning.
Schlumbergera kautskyi, also known as the Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving cactus, is a species of cactus that is native to Brazil. The plant grows in the rainforest and is epiphytic, meaning that it grows on other plants or trees.
The soil for this plant should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. A potting mix of two parts peat moss and one part perlite or sand will provide the perfect drainage and aeration for this plant.
The Schlumbergera kautskyi requires very little water to survive. In fact, too much water can be detrimental to the plant. The best way to water this cactus is to allow the soil to dry out completely before watering it again.
This will ensure that the plant gets the moisture it needs without being overwatered. If you are keeping your Schlumbergera in a pot, it is important to keep in mind that clay pots tend to retain more water than other types of pots. Clay pots are also heavy and bulky which can cause them to damage the roots of your cactus over time.
As with most cacti, Schlumbergera kautskyi needs very little fertilizer. In fact, too much fertilizer can damage this plant. A low-nitrogen, high-phosphorus fertilizer is best for this cactus.
Apply the fertilizer sparingly, about once a month during the growing season. Be sure to follow the directions on the package. You want to add enough so that your plant will not be fertilized again until next month, but you don’t want so much that it becomes overfed and starts drooping.
Schlumbergera kautskyi prefers daytime temperatures in the range of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it can tolerate temperature extremes as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Schlumbergera kautskyi is known for its ability to thrive in high humidity environments. One of the benefits of keeping schlumbergera kautskyi plants indoors is that they can help increase your home’s relative humidity levels while they provide decorative interest at the same time.
The ideal humidity range is from 40-60% RH, with 50% being a good target level. As such, it is important to use an indoor humidifier or purchase a room humidifier if you have dry air and low humidity in your home during winter months or dry seasons (such as in Arizona).
Misting the leaves of these plants helps keep them hydrated, but be sure not to overwater them when doing so because overwatering will cause root rot.
Pruning this plant is important to encourage new growth and to keep it looking its best. When pruning, be sure to remove any dead or dying leaves and stems. Cut back the plant by about one-third of its overall size. As you are doing so, look for any browning on the stem.
If you see some browning on a stem then cut it out of the stem. As your plant grows, continue to do this pruning so that only 1/3 of your plant is left each time you trim it down. By doing this, you will have a nice bushy Christmas cactus as it continues to grow larger.
When to repot
The best time to repot your Schlumbergera kautskyi is in the spring after it has finished blooming. This will give the plant time to adjust to its new pot and soil before the blooming season begins again.
If you must repot during the blooming season, be careful not to damage the flowers. The plant can be repotted every two to three years, or when it becomes rootbound.
Schlumbergera kautskyi is a species of cactus that undergoes a period of dormancy or winter rest. This dormancy period helps the plant to conserve energy and survive in its environment.
The length of the dormancy period varies depending on the climate but typically lasts from October to February. During this time, the plant will not grow or produce flowers. It does have certain requirements for dormancy including temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) for about three months.
When the plant becomes active again, it will gradually start producing new leaves and flower buds. As soon as those flower buds begin to swell with color, they should be moved into an area with brighter light levels to encourage blooming.
Schlumbergera kautskyi flower & fragrance
These cacti are known for their stunning flowers, which bloom in a variety of colors including pink, red, white, and purple. The flowers of the Schlumbergera kautskyi are incredibly fragrant, and they fill the air with a sweet, floral scent that is simply intoxicating.
Schlumbergera kautskyi is a fast-growing cactus species that can reach up to 12 inches in height. It’s best grown outdoors where it will receive plenty of sunlight and thrive in hot climates.
It does well with a variety of soil types but prefers loose, well-drained soil. For the best results, add perlite or sand to improve drainage. Be sure not to overwater this cactus as it will rot and eventually die if too much water builds up in the potting mix.
While this plant is not poisonous, it can cause irritation if ingested. If you have young children or pets, it is best to keep this plant out of reach.
USDA hardiness zones
Schlumbergera kautskyi grows best in USDA hardiness zones 10-11, meaning that it can survive year-round outdoor exposure. These plants are extremely popular and are often used as a housewarming gift or a token of appreciation.
The plant is also perfect for beginning gardeners because they are easy to care for and maintain, requiring little more than watering when the soil feels dry.
Pests and diseases
This cactus species is resistant to most pests and diseases. However, like all plants, it can be susceptible to root rot if overwatered. It’s also important to watch out for mealybugs, which can attack the stems and leaves of the plant.
If you see any pests or diseases on your plant, be sure to take immediate action to treat them. The best way to keep a Christmas cactus healthy is to remember that they need a little less water than other succulents.
When watering, allow the soil to dry between waterings. Use a high-quality potting mix that drains well and use mulch around the base of the plant to reduce moisture loss from evaporation.