Schlumbergera – Christmas Cactus – Holiday Cactus –
There are 6, epiphytic or rock dwelling cacti, in the Cactaceae family, in this genus. They naturally occur in Tropical rainforest in Southeastern Brazil. They are grown for their attractive flowers. Erect then pendent, fleshy stems are divided into flattened, oblong or obovate, narrowly truncate, leaf like segments, usually with prominent indented notches, almost tooth like in some species. The areoles often have a few fine bristles, those near the tips of the upper segments bear open trumpet shaped, narrow petaled flowers, most in late winter and early spring, others in summer or autumn. Grow as a houseplant. Do not move once in bud.
Indoors, grow in epiphytic cactus potting mix in bright indirect light. Water moderately and maintain moderate humidity. Apply a high potash liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks when in growth, keep barely moist after flowering. Repot or pot on every 3 or 4 years in spring.
Prone to mealybugs.
S. opuntioides – Epiphyllanthus obovatus – This epiphytic or rock dwelling cactus from Southeastern Brazil grows 16″ tall and 9″ wide. It produces thick, egg to oblong shaped, deep green stem segments, up to 3″ long, often tinged red, bearing white areoles, with minute spines, on both surfaces and edges. In spring it bears deep pink flowers, to 2 ½” long. Allow a brief, dry period after flowering.