If you ask people to name one of their favorite activities during Christmas, most of them would come up with decorating their homes, offices, and Christmas trees. And why not, all Christmas decorative ornaments are so adorable and pleasing that they beautify and enhance the essence of Christmas perfectly. Out of the many options of decorating homes, flowers prove to be the best alternative. They decorate the house magnificently and spread the magically soothing scents all over the house. Christmas cactus is one such variety of holiday flowers that is used in abundance to bring special appeal to the house. This flower is named Christmas cactus simply because it blooms only during Christmas season. It is a tropical flower, native to Brazil, which resembles a typical cactus plant found in deserts. However, it requires little extra care and grows in various attractive colors, such as red, pink, peach, and white. Most of the Christmas cactus plants are hybrids of Schlumbergera truncata and S. russelliana. It was first hybridized in England about 150 years ago.
The flower was named by a Frenchman in the 19th century who collected a number of cacti. This flower is actually not a cactus but is named so because of the similar looks and blooming nature like that of a cactus. The plant has flat stems which are assumed as leaves and bears dark colored flowers. The history of these marvelous flowers is magnificent. With pine and fir, both trees thrive perfectly in harsh conditions. They are generally found in extremely colder countries. However, there are several nations where these trees do not grow. Therefore, people living in such countries have replaced Christmas tree with Christmas cactus. These places, in general, are pretty hot and dry during Christmas. Christmas cactus is decorated on Christmas just like any other pine or fir tree.
A month before the arrival of Christmas, the tips of the leaves of cactus plant start growing. With the passing of each day, the tips continue to grow and graduate into a bud that appears from the center. Amazingly, on the day of Jesus' birth, the buds turn into beautiful flowers as though a spell of magic has been cast on them. With the plant blooming, the festival becomes ultra colorful and warm. Once plant is fully grown, the flowers do not demand any modification in the exposure of light. Cactus plants make wonderful gift options for near and dear ones. If maintained carefully, they can continue to blossom until the month of March, unlike other flowers that turn dull and lifeless after few days once Christmas is over. Here are some aspects to consider while keeping cactus plants fresh and long lasting.
Light: Christmas cactus prefers diffused light but can thrive in bright light as well.
Water: After watering once, allow the soil to dry out completely. Ensure that the soil should not remain wet always.
Fertilizer: Add diluted water soluble fertilizer once in a month before winters. Withhold fertilizer after the plant blooms.
Temperature: Although Christmas cacti are comfortable under every temperature, but they ideally need 70-80 °F while growing and 55-65 °F while budding.
Christmas cactus can survive for several months if provided with proper care and maintenance. Check out more on Christmas cactus plant herein.