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Schlumbergera Truncata

by Sofia Lara
Schlumbergera Truncata succulent

Schlumbergara truncata is a graceful succulent that is popular because it tends to bloom lovely multi-colored flowers in the winter. It is a cascading epiphyte with many branches that can grow to a height of 12-inches or 30cm.

In Brazil, where the succulent originates, Schlumbergera truncata grows in trees or on rocks.

Oftentimes, you can see hummingbirds pollinate the flowers which can vary in color from red, pink, purple, orange, white, and with yellow pollen, and white filaments. The stems of this plant have no joints and form arching branches.

Schlumbergera truncata is given the nickname Christmas Cactus because it produces flowers in the winter season. It is also called Thanksgiving Cactus and Holiday Cactus.

Christmas Cactus comes from the Cactaceae family. Its genus is named after the Belgian horticulturist who discovered it, Frederick Schlumbergera. 

General Information:

Also known as: Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus, Holiday Cactus
Plant Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Brazil
Height: 12-inches (30cm) tall
Exposure: Partial to light sunlight
Water Needs: Water only when soil is dry to the touch, little watering during the winter months.
Soil Type: One part potting soil mixed with two parts peat moss, and one part sharp sand or perlite
Soil pH: Slightly Acidic (5.5 to 6.2 pH)
Tolerance: Drought

How to Grow and Care for Schlumbergera Truncata

Schlumbergera Truncata succulent grow and care

Schlumbergera truncata is a favorite of beginner-level horticulturists because it is very easy to grow and maintain.

Christmas Cactus is not a cold-hardy succulent. For this reason, it might be best to grow the plant indoors. If you live in an area which experiences a temperature drop below 30° F (-1.1° C), it would be advisable to grow Schlumbergera truncata in a pot and brought inside the home. 

1.   Sunlight

Schlumbergera truncata grows better when given partial sunlight. In the midwinter, it will be a good idea to give the plant full sunlight in the morning. Giving the succulent full sunlight during the summer months can turn the plant yellow and pale.

 2.   Watering

Schlumbergara truncata exhibits the same watering needs of most succulents. You cannot give it too much water or the roots will rot. Before watering Christmas Cactus, you must be sure the soil is free of moisture.

Schlumbergera Truncata grow and care

Insert a stick into the soil and if the end is dry, that means it is safe to give Schlumbergera truncata water.

3.   Pot and Soil

The best pot you can use for Schlumbergera truncate is one that is made of clay. This type of pot allows for proper evaporation along its sides; ensuring the complete dryness of the soil before giving the plant water.

Use a well-draining and well-aerated soil to plant Christmas Cactus. You can use cactus soil or regular potting soil that is made for succulents and sold at stores. You may also use one part potting soil mixed with two parts peat moss, and one part sharp sand or perlite. 

How to Propagate Schlumbergera Truncata

Schlumbergera Truncata pink

Schlumbergera truncata can easily be propagated through the use of cuttings.

Step 1 – Remove the cuttings from the main stem by using a pair of sterilized and sharpened garden shears or a knife. 

Step 2 – Place the cuttings in a dry and shaded area. Allow 1 to 2 days for the cuttings to harden and develop calluses. 

Step 3- Once the cuttings have hardened, place them on well-draining soil.

Schlumbergera Truncata grow

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Schlumbergera Truncata Toxic for Cats and Dogs?

Schlumbergera truncata appears on the website of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as producing adverse reactions when ingested by dogs or cats.

Dogs can experience vomiting and diarrhea while ataxia has been reported as a symptom for cats.

Why is my Schlumbergera Truncata Succulent Dying?

Your Schlumbergera truncata could be growing ill or be at risk of dying because of 2 possible factors: Overwatering and pest infestation.

1.   Overwatering
Similar to other succulents, Schlumbergera truncata is highly-susceptible to root rot when it is given too much water.
If the roots remain immersed in moist conditions, it will rot and develop infection. The infection could easily spread to other parts of the plant and lead to discoloration.
If you see sections of the succulent turning brown or black, cut it off with a sharpened and sterilized knife or pair of garden shears. Gently remove the plant from the soil.
Shake off excess soil and look for rotting roots. If you see rotting roots, cut them off right away. Leave the plant in an area where it can dry out completely.
Re-plant Christmas Cactus in a new pot that is filled with well-draining and well-aerated fresh soil.

2.   Pest Infestation
Schlumbergera truncata attracts different kinds of pests such as mealybugs and aphids. These pests make the plant their home and drink the sap which is a source of the succulent’s nutrients.
If the sap dries up, the plant will wither and die.
To keep pests away from Christmas Cactus remove dead leaves that have accumulated at the base of the plant. Mealybugs use dead leaves as their home.
You can also spray the plant with Neem Oil once-a-week. Mealybugs leave a white, cotton-like substance on the plant. You can remove this with a cotton ball that has been soaked in denatured alcohol.

Does Schlumbergera Truncata Produce Flowers

Yes, Schlumbergera truncata produces beautiful, multi-colored flowers in the wintertime.
To ensure successful flowering, Christmas Cactus must be given frequent exposure to bright light, maintained with night temperatures between 55° and 65° F (12° C and 18° C), and long nights where the succulents will be given thirteen hours or more of continuous darkness.

Last Updated on June 10, 2022 by Sofia Lara

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