Guest from Brazil


Latin name:
tropical America and Brazil.
Alternative name:
Christmas cactus.

The genus Schlumberger (Schlumbergera) includes 5 species of plants-epiphytes and succulents with shoots from flattened segments-segments, with a slightly rounded edge; in summer, flowers bloom on them. These plants are sometimes confused with closely related genera, such as Epiphyllum. Among the cultivated species, Schlumbergera gaertneri is popular, also called the "Easter cactus" for its spring flowering; the stems are intensely green in color, with flowers ranging from orangish-red to carmine-red, depending on the variety. In Schlumberger Russell (S. russelliana), more compact in comparison with the previous cactus, flowers are more or less intense red color, it is often grafted on erect cactus species to get trees with a drooping crown.

The truncated Schlumberger (S. truncata) has bright green stems with a red tint, flowers can be 7-8 cm long; the plant blooms from November to January.

There are many varieties belonging to this genus with white, lilac, purple and blue flowers.

Of great commercial value is the hybrid of Schlumberger Buckley (S. x bucklei) obtained from crossing the truncated schlumberger and Russell's schlumberger, called the "Christmas cactus" because its flowering period falls on Christmas holidays. Sometimes the plant pleases with its blooming flowers the second or even the third time a year, which depends on the variety and conditions of maintenance.


These plants, if the climate allows, for example, as in southern Europe, can be grown in the open ground in a lighted but protected from wind and direct sunlight place. In the northern regions of Central Europe, they are grown in pots as indoor plants or on balconies and terraces from May to September, and then brought into the house for the winter period. Usually use pots of small or medium size: 10-12 cm in diameter, filling them with earth for flower plants, peat, leaf humus and sand in equal parts. The main thing is to ensure good drainage, given that the schlumberger is an epiphytic plant (then it is found naturally on tree trunks and branches), and is very sensitive to rotting at the base of the stem. From the beginning of budding to the end of flowering, feed with a fertilizer solution, adding 10 g of any complex mineral fertilizer to a bucket of water.


Watering is carried out depending on the time of year. In winter, it is reduced, it should be especially scarce during the "rest" in the cold. Hard water for irrigation needs to be softened. In summer, water stagnation is avoided.


Transplanting into a new pot is desirable in the spring after flowering, using pots 2 sizes larger than the previous ones. After the plant reaches a certain size, you can replace part of the old soil with a new, fertile one instead of transplanting it. Make sure that the soil is light, pH 5-6, do not bury the plant - this can cause rotting. The root neck of the plant should be 1-2 cm away from the ground surface.


Propagate in spring or summer. Several segments of the stem are taken from the plant, kept in the shade for a day to allow the cut to dry, then planted in boxes or containers filled with a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts. Cuttings are lightly sprayed, avoiding too much moisture in the soil. The illumination can be different, the humidity is moderate, and the soil temperature is at least 20 °C.


Schlumberger requires a bright place, but it does not tolerate direct sunlight. In plants in the open sun, the segments acquire a reddish color. Shading is necessary, especially in the midday hours.


The ideal temperature for Schlumberger is 16-18 °C. The plant also tolerates a fairly low temperature well. But at temperatures below 10 °C, both growth and flowering stop. To promote flowering, plants are placed in the cold (6-7 °C) for at least 30 days at the beginning of winter.

Diseases and pests

Rotting of the root neck and roots is promoted by excessive watering, primarily in winter, or insufficient drainage of the soil in the garden or in a closed container. Gray rot (botridiosis) causes rotting and softening of the stem segments, its appearance is facilitated by increased ambient humidity and poor air circulation. Monitor the irrigation conditions and perform preventive treatment with the preparation against gray rot. Worms feed on sap from leaves and stems; remove these pests mechanically with a stiff brush or apply an appropriate anti-coccidal preparation. other pests on flowers, stems and leaves are attacked by thrips and mites, which are disposed of by chemical treatment. In summer, when there is an excess of light, excessively light leaves sometimes appear.


Check that there are no areas of dead tissue on the stems and leaves and the root neck is free of signs of lesions.

Choose well-formed plants with many buds.

Additional information

Because of its apparent similarity, schlumberger is often confused with epiphyllum, an epiphytic cactus whose growing conditions are similar to the requirements of Schlumberger species.

The most common types are Cooper's epiphyllum (Epiphyllum cooperi) with white and yellow flowers and epiphyllum oxypetalum (E. oxypetalum) with larger leaves and white, pink and red flowers depending on the variety. There are more than 200 hybrid forms of epiphyllum, previously known in the culture under the name "Phyllocactus "(Phyllocactus).

Care summary

Cultivation medium difficulty
Watering regular in summer, sparse in winter
Transplanting march-april
Appearance maintenance remove dead flowers
Location well-lit by ambient light
Temperature 16-18 °C
Flowering time may to september
Height 10-60 cm


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