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Schlumbergera - Christmas or Crab cactus
Photo by Alex W.Yorkshire UK
 


Schlumbergera  -  Christmas or Crab cactus

This Entry Has been Viewed 3047 times since 20/09/2004


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Culture notes

An epiphytic free flowering succulent that grows to around 300mm high and 400mm across and is suitable for pots or hanging baskets. The narrow pink to deep red flowers appear from November to January, and are approximately 50-70mm long, extending from the end of notched, flat jointed, bright green stems. The flowers usually last three to four days.

Cultivation

Grow schlumbergeras in an open compost mixture of equal parts (by volume) loam, Peat, leaf-mould and sharp sand, add 1 oz. bone-meal per gallon bucket of mixed compost.
In March/April pot the plants up into 150mm diameter pots and place in a well lit spot, avoiding direct sunlight, syringe the plants regularly.

When flower buds form, feed once a week with half strength potash liquid feed, do not allow the compost to dry out, or this will cause the flower buds to drop.
Maintain a minimum winter temperature of 13*C (55*F). Plants may be placed outside in a sheltered sunny spot throughout the summer to ripen the growth, returning them indoors in September.


Propagation

Take cuttings in June/July, by severing the stem at a joint. Allow the cut surface to heal before inserting into pots/trays containing a 50-50 peat and sharp sand mixture. Grow on, in a cool greenhouse or on a windowsill until rooted, then pot up into 70-90mm pots of Ji No1 compost(or similar) avoid placing them in direct sunlight.





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