by Andrew S.
(Ithaca, NY, U.S.)
I feel very confident that this is a Christmas Cactus. It has been doing very well. I got it 5-6 years ago from a friend and it was just one little tiny 3 segment piece, and this magnificent being is what it has developed into.
This past holiday season it flowered as well, which was awesome, it seemed to flower for a long time as well.
I was just wondering, will I need to give it a makeover and if so, at what point will I need to groom it? What would propagating it from said groomings look like?
Like I said, I'm very happy with how well this plant has done and would either love to have more, or to share it with others. Also, is it normal to plant multiple pieces in one pot, or to keep them separate? I typically plant things one piece per pot, but I am sometimes jealous of plants that I see in stores that can be much fuller.
Drought Smart Plants reply:
Hi Andrew, that's definitely a credit to your growing abilities - how satisfying to see a tiny cutting grow into a lovely plant.
Typically, you would groom these by pulling off the longest and most vigorous growths - these pull out easily, which leaves the buds for the flowers intact. They'll branch out more if you do this every year, eventually giving you the full look you're after. Alternatively, several cuttings per pot will make a faster plant. The cuttings will root easily in regular potting soil, and you can use rooting hormone for faster results if you wish. Keep in mind that these are a jungle plant or epiphyte, so they'll take a bit more water than some of the other desert plants.
See the page on Schlumbergera for more on their light requirements and how to get them to set more buds for flowering.