Red Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera

Sprouts of Bristol
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Scientific Name
Schlumbergera truncata (Schlumberger's cut-off cactus)

Common Name
Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus, Holiday Cactus, Crab Cactus, Claw Cactus

Native to coastal regions of Brazil

Named for the season in which it flowers, the Christmas Cactus will add a splash of colour to your home even while the leaves outside are brown and falling. The bright red-pink of our cacti stands out against their bright green stems. Its stems, truncated (as in its scientific name) into sections of spiky-looking foliage, sprout out from the centre of the pot in an explosion of foliage. Unlike other cacti, they prefer indirect light and humid air, but are still easygoing- and like other succulents, don't like to be too soggy! The christmas cactus will repay your care with bright blooms and bushy foliage.


Thrives in bright, indirect light, but can withstand most levels of light from low light to partial sun. Remember, the more light it gets, the less frequently it will need water!


Let half of the soil dry out in between watering; when it's in bloom, though, try ad keep it moist but not soggy as this will allow the blooms to last for longer. If it receives direct sunlight, make sure it gets enough water as it won't like too much drought.

Average humidity is fine, but your plant will benefit from an occasional misting or humidity tray.


Needs a well-draining pot and potting mix; look for specific 'cacti and succulent' soils with plenty of sand and other well-draining materials. Repot if necessary in spring, into the next size pot up, and about every three to four years as needed.

Use a high potassium feed every four waters in the flowering season, and an ordinary houseplant fertiliser every six waters otherwise.


Temperature should ideally be between 16-26°C- make sure it doesn't drop below 10°C in winter.

Yes, but too much nibbling won't be good for pets, small humans or the plant!

Sprouts Top Tips
To ensure it flowers, keep your plant drier in late summer/early autumn, and make sure it gets 12-14 hours of darkness a day.