Christmas cactus

image image image image image image image

Christmas cactus was one of my  mothers favourite house plants. I remember the pink schlumbergera I gave to her so many years ago.Who knows how she managed to cultivate this same plant for so many years.Each summer she put it in the shadow of her garden,each fall back in the entrance hall again where each Christmas the cactus opened many many pink flowers to remind us spring is to come soon. Until the spring came my mother was not with us any more.Now I care for the plant wishing my mother would be here to admire the pink show of Christmas she loved that much. 

Cactus Flower - Charles Rennie Mackintosh


Drawing is probably of a pressed specimen as it appears flat; the base is at the bottom and the plant then branches repeatedly – about six times in the longest branch. Most branches end in either buds or regular flowers which are pinkish.

Drawing of S. russelliana, the type species, from the Botanical Magazine, 1839

Cultivar belonging to the SchlumbergeraTruncata Group
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Rhipsalideae
Genus: Schlumbergera
  • S. kautskyi (Horobin & McMillan) N.P.Taylor
  • S. microsphaerica (K.Schum.) Hoevel
  • S. opuntioides (Loefgr. & Dusén) D.R.Hunt
  • S. orssichiana Barthlott & McMillan
  • S. russelliana (Hook.) Britton & Rose
  • S. truncata (Haw.) Moran



49 thoughts on “Christmas cactus

  1. My wife gets great joy when someone comments on her collection of flowers she grooms each day. It does pick up the spirits when I see the colors so close to us from the windows. Your mom must have had great inner peace to devote her time to such delicate creations. Thanks for the video. A great holiday seaon to all, and looking forward to a New Years together at WP.

  2. How wonderful to have memories evoked by flowers! These flowers remind me of my Dad, as they were flowering at the time of his illness and death. Thank you for giving me the photos to help me think of him.

  3. Thanks for visitng my blog and liking my photos.
    I also have some vases with this flower, only difference is that mine are magenta and bloom sometimes 3 or 4 times between June and
    Ooctober. By the way, in Brazil they are named Silk Flower or May Flower, for sometimes they bloom earlier.

  4. Thank you for this touching post; when you wrote of how the Christmas Cactus reminds you of your Mother it struck a chord with me; geraniums are the plant that my Mum cultivated always as a houseplant, I really disliked them after always living with them year in and year out,but since she died, I now feel great affection for them. And am always reminded of her when I see them especially in bloom.

  5. Thank you for stopping by my blog – your photos are wonderful – I have 2 Xmas cactii in my greenhouse at the moment – and they just forming some flowers… not very Xmas timing but any is better than nothing! I have tried all different ways of getting them to flower and keeping them in the greenhouse except when in flower seems the only way to work for me. My son used to be able to persuade them to flower much better year after year.. I don’t have a very green thumb for house plants I’m afraid. Much better in the garden.

  6. Mine are deep pink – I have had some pale creamy ones but they don’t seem to flourish nor do the apricot coloured ones..
    Mine are still in the greenhouse even though it is now minus 2 outside but the heater is on and keeping them above 4 degrees.

      • Growing up in NYC I loved visits to botanical gardens and zoos. One main thing missing in our local area is plant nurseries. Ask for earth worms and there is no comprehension, so I don’t ask for lady bugs. Our tomatoes are doing fine, used local Philippine plants this time. When I see the color of a ripe tomatoes, only nature does coloring best.

      • I wish to visit NYC BG once, too.Plant nurseries, well .I guess I ‘we never been in one as big as they are in NYC.
        Earth worms and lady bugs-do you really need to buy them,don’t they live around your garden already?
        And tomatoes-they are always the best directly from the garden-the colour and the taste!BG in Ljubljana sells each spring many different sorts of tomato plants last spring I bought zebra tomato plants, then chocolate sort and various cherry tomatoes.Deer adored all of them, I tried only two “zebras” and one cherry-tomato ;(

      • Saw a lady bug in the veggie garden the other day, quite pleased of that. Worms- no and never to date and we had the soil turned over, and I hand weed good for the mind. There is a great absence of bug in the soil. My guess the Philippines islands are the results of volcanic erruptions, and that explains the soil too. Things are going great. Refresh my memory and save me a little searching back over your blog, what country are you posting from? I’m living at the extreme northern tip of Cebu island, Dann Bantayan township, not to be confused of a nearby island of that same name. It is beginning to be discovered by growing foreign interests for residence and investment.

      • I am from Slovenia,Ljubljana.We have lady bicugs and worms,plenty of them, but some other animals, too.The most exotic one:Proteus anguinus. And we do have interesting flora, many forests.
        But I will google your place;)

      • I wonder if, instead of earth worms, you mean the little red worms that live in compost? Well you can buy wormeries on the Net which include them, but we have always found if you that create a compost pile, the worms magically appear. Earthworms will also appear in an organic garden that is well dug. Ladybirds – which I think you call ladybugs, appear in your garden to feed on greenfly – so they are a blessing to see – but it does mean that you have greenfly on your roses!

      • Don’t have a good place for compost pile yet. As to types of worms, as your comment suggest, they will come, magic or otherwise. Earthworms are more familiar to me because in NYC, pull up a hunk of sod and there they are. Now living in a place where these things once taken for granted– follks here don’t know what you are talking about. We live in the northern province area and folks forty miles south of here have no idea the beauty they have never seen. A best friend I made before relocating from Mandaue City has never ridden the bus three hours to get here. This area is picture postcard rich. 😉 Thanks for responding to my dispair in not getting some simple things in my garden. When I say there are no bugs in the soil to speak of– that’s what I mean. Of course we get the airborne variety but not too alarming. All this has been helpful and such a great way to share. I’ve moved from the temperate zone to the tropical Philippines. It’s ‘garden clash’!

      • Well, I do have greenfly on my roses. my wisteria, my cherry-and a lot of lady bugs.Thou now a new sort of lady bugs has arrived, they are invasive and more orange as our old lady bugs…
        Worms-yes we do have them in nature, so there no one would buy them-that explains my complaint ..

      • There was a lot of concern here in the UK when American lady birds appeared in our gardens as they were bigger, more orange and more vicious – they actually bit you!… so maybe these are what you have got? Anyway, they seem to have settled in with our native bugs and are inter-breeding rather than wiping them out, so now we have many different colours and many different spots… and there is no longer a concern as they do the same job of eating aphids. If you look on Google they show you lots of colours etc.

      • Never thought of ladybugs being big or biting. Maybe they went through an adjustment period. 🙂 Glad to know there was no harm done to the flowers and vegetation. Air travel has done much to spread problems around the globe. Would love to read where it has done something good. The ladybug thing seems to have worked good.

      • Ok! I’m getting out the bug posts because I don’t know that much but glad for the info so far. lol

      • In our case it is ,as we call it: asian lady bird (Harmonia axyridis),a predator attacking our 3 and 7 dotted lady birds.
        In fall they “paint” walls in red-they gather together to hide for winter.Their secretion may produce allergic reaction.

  7. Of course we have coconut palms here. Trees I have no idea of the names, will take pictures one day of some of the remarkable ones I see while traveling. Orchid and roses yes. Since I’m not the flower person can’t give much more detail than this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s