About the Fall Cactus
The botanical name of the Fall cactus is schlumbergera. The name “Schlumbergera” was as a tribute given by the botanist Charles Lemaire to the French collector Frederic Schlumberger in the middle of the nineteenth century. This cactus originates in Brazil. The plant grows in rain forests on tree trunks. Trees are containing a rich supply of humus so this cactus is also very suitable as an indoor plant. It is used to indirect light and a higher humidity. The location can be the family room, the front room, the dining room and when you have a spacious kitchen it can be placed there as well. The plant will be very well suited for a hanging pot as it will accentuate the flowers even more.
In the Southern Hemisphere you have better luck to bloom the Fall cactus during the coldest months of the year.
Fall Cactus Care
The permanent location of my Fall cactus is at a north, north east side. A fine spot. On a south, south west window the light should be diffused by means of a sheer curtain or a blind. The plant should be protected against bright (sun)light. Don’t expose the plant to a hot source, like a fireplace or a heating vent; keep the plant away from draft. The room temperature should be between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit or 16-20 degrees Celsius. Give or take a few degrees either way. Water the plant regular but moderately. Add every two to three weeks some fertilizer for blooming plants. The fertilizer should be watered down by 50%. The soil should not be too dry. Use a plastic or wooden stick to check the potting soil. Does the stick stay clean then the plant needs water. Turn the plant at regular intervals while encouraging growth as the plant tends to grow towards the light. This way you avoid that you see lush bloom on one side only.
Care before Blooming
The time that the Fall cactus is blooming is in the month of November before this the plant:
- should preferably be put into a cooler room where temperatures should stay the same approximately 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit or 10-12 degrees Celsius, a few degrees more or less either way; do not expose the plant to a freezing temperature.
- should not have more than 10-12 hours of daylight
- watering should be reduced; no fertilizer
The bud forming will be the month following.
Fall Cactus Blooming
In November the Fall Cactus should be blooming. Water the plant once a week. To remove withered blossoms take the end of the segment into your fingers and turn the blossom gently. This stimulates the blossoming of the Fall cactus. When the cactus is back on its location lower the temperature somewhat. In these blossoming months do not turn the plant.
Give the Fall cactus after blooming a month rest. Very little or no water and of course no fertilizer during this month. When you see new segments forming you can start watering again. In February/March you can prune the Fall cactus. Give the plant fresh soil and a larger pot when necessary every 2-3 years, unless the soil is depleted from its nutrients or the roots are damaged. Also in these months you also can propagate a Fall cactus by taking off two or three segments (the same way you remove a withered blossom) and placing it in a 3 inch pot containing the same potting soil as the parent plant. Give it just a little water at the time to avoid rotting of the segments. It will take 2-4 weeks before segments are rooted.
The Fall cactus is a gorgeous plant when blooming. Even the greater part of the year when the plant is not blooming it is still a beautiful and trendy plant for its capricious grow.
Color variety of Fall cactus: orange, pink, purple, scarlet and white.