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A picture of a Holiday Cactus

Holiday Cactus

Schlumbergera spp.

Also known as

Christmas Cactus, Mayflower, Easter Cactus

Schlumbergera truncata (1) by Dwight Sipler (CC BY 2.0)

Partial Shade
Easy care
Moderate watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








10 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Holiday Cactus

A photo of Holiday Cactus
A photo of Holiday Cactus
A photo of Holiday Cactus
A photo of Holiday Cactus
A photo of Holiday Cactus

Holiday Cactus Overview

The genus Schlumbergera consists of 9 species of bushy, perennial cacti. They produce showy, colourful flowers with different lengths of petals from the tips of the stems. These may be red, pink, orange, yellow, white or some shade in-between. Commonly known as Holiday Cactus or Christmas Cactus after the seasonal blooming period. As such, they provide a wonderful Christmas display and are an ideal Christmas gift. The plant is often grown as a houseplant in a well-lit spot out of direct sunlight, ideally with some humidity. These epiphytic species grow without the need of soil substrate on coastal rocks and trees around Mexico. The humidity can be improved by placing plants on stone or pebble trays filled with water.

Common problems with Holiday Cactus

Pest and disease free with only mealybug being a common pest. Flower bud dropping is usually cause by fluctuating temperatures. Too hot by day too cold by night. However, overwatering can also cause flower buds to drop.

How to propagate Holiday Cactus


Take stem segments in spring and place upright in moist compost, sand and perlite mix. Push the bottom of the cutting into the soil about 1cm or just deep enough to keep them upright.

Special features of Holiday Cactus

Indoor plant

A houseplant that makes a great addition to nearly any indoor setting. Make sure they do get a night rest without light though to ensure flowers forming.

Drought resistant

Fleshy stems store water for drier times, and flower formation depends on a dry time!

Pot plant

A good container plant – if properly repotted, it can be passed on from generation to generation.

Attractive flowers

Attractive leaves

Other uses of Holiday Cactus

Cultivated for their flowers.


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