Just when you thought you could stash your spent Schlumbergeras in the basement,
you have one more assignment. You need to purge the excess foliage.
This is NOT the same as taking cuttings to root new plants.
I covered this last winter in the post, https://floweralley.org/2016/12/30/in-with-the-new/
In that case, you twist off healthy pieces that are three or more links long.
Purging is when you read the plant’s foliage to guide you on what should be removed.
I look for the shriveled sections and cut them off.
These plants have a form of triage.
When a shoot has too many branches to be supported, one gets bypassed and begins to die.
Cutting off the shriveled parts accelerates this process.
I cut all these pieces off of this one cactus.
You cannot tell it has been purged,
except that it is less cluttered and healthier in appearance.
Do not bother trying to revive and root these pieces unless it is a very special specimen that you only have one of.
I have tried various techniques. None have worked well for me.
You will be rewarded next year by taking this step now.
It is also a good time to shape up those lopsided plants.
If you can’t stand to toss a healthy branch in the compost,
dip it in a rooting hormone
and push the piece down in the soil around the mama plant.
Hey. It’s winter, you’re stuck inside. It’s an excuse to play with your plants indoors.