Uncle! Tio! Lo Zio!
You can stop twisting my arm.
I’ll tell you my Schlumbergera secrets.
They bloom from the ends. So if you want more blooms…
You need more ends. Three to five divisions off the main branch is best.
This means purging and pruning the leggy limbs.
They will branch out and produce more ends,
which means more blooms.
Less is more. Too many branches per stem means some don’t bloom. It’s like having too many children. The poor mama branch can’t give them all what they need to bloom.
I try to limit my branches to from three to five divisions and total branch length to about twelve segments. Leggy is ugly on a Schlumbergera. Think of a long Christmas cactus as a tall elf. That’s just wrong! The branches can’t support the blooms, which hang low and are harder to see.
It’s best to do this after they bloom, but I do it for folks who see it now and want it now.
Twist off the excess pieces at a joint. If this scares you, cut with sharp scissors, but tearing is best.
Purged segments should be shortened to root. About 3 links long is best. Leave the pieces out to harden off and callus over for several days. Do not put in water. The will rot, not root.
Then put the callused pieces in rooting medium. Label these by color/name/ date.
I take requests on facebook and put the future parent’s name on the label.
They need to be outside during the summer in indirect sunlight.
I put some in full sun this year.
They let me know this was a mistake by wrinkling up and turning red.
A green, smooth Schlumbergera is a happy Schlumbergera.
Feed them every few weeks with their water.
Do not over-water. They must be dry on top to get a drink.
But remember, this is a tropical plant not a desert plant.
The term “Cacti” is misleading.
That old saying about not watering them while they are blooming is nonsense.
Just don’t get carried away with water while they are blooming,
(Don’t argue. “Old wives tell lies”)
Not watering and feeding a blooming Schlumbergera is like not feeding a pregnant woman because she has gained weight …Don’t try that at home, men.
Give them indirect sunshine and warmth while blooming, but no air flow.
The buds and blooms drop off if they are near a vent or doorway.
It’s the shock of temperature changes.
Also, colors vary with temperatures. You may have two identical cacti in different temperatures and get different colors.
Surprise..There may also be two colors on one plant. I have peach and white coming off the same branch.
Turn, turn, turn…
They get uneven if you leave’um.
FINAL secret: Remove blooms as they wither, especially if there is a new bud beside them.