Schlumbergera (Zygocactus)

Learn how to care for the Christmas Cactus!

Schlumbergera (Zygocactus)

Words by The Sill

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Learn how to care for the Christmas Cactus!

Schlumbergera, better known as Holiday cactus, are a genus of cacti found in southeastern Brazil. These cacti grow directly on trees or rocks in humid environments, unlike many cacti which thrive in deserts. 

Common names for the Schlumbergera, including Zygocactus, Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus or holiday cactus come from its flowering season.

General Care



Thrives in bright indirect to medium indirect light. Not suited for intense, direct sun. Extended periods of low light in the fall will help encourage winter blooms.


Water every 1-2 weeks, allowing soil to dry out half way down between waterings. Expect to water more often in brighter light and less often in lower light.

Schlumbergera can be sensitive to water with a high calcium content. Try using filtered water or leaving water out overnight before using. 


This plant can benefit from extra humidity when in bloom. 

Common Problems

SYMPTOM: Mushy leaves or black stems

CAUSE: Overwatered

SYMPTOM: Wrinkling leaves, dry potting mix

CAUSE: Thirsty plant, underwatered 

SYMPTOM: Blooms dropping

CAUSE: Fluctuations in temperature, cold drafts, or roots drying out or becoming water-logged


This plant is pet-friendly! Best practice is always to keep houseplants out of reach of small children and pets.

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