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A picture of a Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

Schlumbergera russelliana

Also known as

Holiday Cactus, Xmas Cactus

Schlumbergera truncata 02 by Lestat (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Partial Shade
Easy care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








10 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Christmas Cactus

A photo of Christmas Cactus
A photo of Christmas Cactus
A photo of Christmas Cactus
A photo of Christmas Cactus
A photo of Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus Overview

The species Schlumbergera russelliana is commonly known as Christmas Cactus. It is a frost-tender, epiphytic, perennial cactus that produces deep pink or sometimes red or white flowers in late autumn and winter, giving a wonderful Christmas display. Its showy, colourful flowers have different lengths of petals from the tips of the stems. It is best grown as a houseplant in a well-lit spot out of direct sunlight. As it is an epiphytic species, growing without the need for soil substrate on coastal rocks and trees, it is important to maintain moderate humidity. One of the ways this can be improved is by placing plants on stone or pebble trays filled with water.

Common problems with Christmas Cactus

Flower bud dropping is usually caused by fluctuating temperatures (too hot by day, too cold by night). However, overwatering can also cause flower buds to drop.

How to propagate Christmas 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, deep enough to keep it upright.

Special features of Christmas Cactus

Attractive flowers

Indoor plant

Makes a great addition to nearly any indoor setting. Make sure they do get a night rest without light though, to ensure flowers forming.

Pot plant

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

Other uses of Christmas Cactus

Ornamental, greenhouse, container, hanging basket, indoors


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