Thursday, January 13, 2011

Whatever the holiday is.....

This is a plant that is blooming in the greenhouse at work. Beautiful red color of flowers and quite a few flowers on the plant. Also have a white tinged with pink that is also blooming, I'll take a photo of it and post it in the next couple of days.

The common holiday cacti (Thanksgiving Cactus, Christmas Cactus, Easter Cactus) comprise several closely related species in the genus Schlumbergera often called Zygocactus in older works. Commonly cultivated, numerous cultivars have been produced ranging from red, pink, lilac, purple, and peach to white and can appear in massive numbers on a single plant. They are originally forest cacti, growing as epiphytes at elevations between 3300 to 5600 feet above sea level in the Organ Mountains north of Rio de Janeiro in southeast Brazil, South America. They are called Flor de Maio (May Flower) in Brazil. Many modern holiday cactus cultivars are hybrids between Schlumbergera truncata and S. russelliana, first hybridized about 150 years ago in England.

Holiday cacti can be propagated quite easily by removing a single segment and planting it a quarter of its length deep in a pot filled with slightly sandy soil. It helps to put some kind of rooting hormone on the base of the cutting. Place the pot in a well lit area (but not in direct sunlight) and keep the soil moist. The cutting should begin showing signs of growth after two or three weeks. I have a tray of cuttings going in the greenhouse right now.

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