Christmas cactus comes from the mountainous areas of Brazil, from rainforests abundant in moisture, and it lives on the branches of trees.
The spectacular red blooms are situated at the tip of the leaves. At our climate it is kept as a houseplant. It requires a well-lit place without direct sunlight. The optimal temperature that favors its blooming is 14-16 degrees.
Christmas cactus is unusual in at least two respects:
1. As opposed to the majority of cacti, it is not round and prickly, but grows flat, leaf-like branches
2. With skillful practice, its blooming can be timed for the period between Christmas and New Year.
Christmas cactus is very sensitive to watering. The soil should not be allowed to dry up, but it is not recommended to overwater it either. A daily supply of a small amount of water and feeding once a week is the best choice, especially when it is prepared for flowering; the plant needs nutrients regularly in this period.
It is very important not to change the location of the plant, because if the light starts coming from another direction, it tends to shed the flower buds. Similarly, rooms with excessively dry and warm air are unfavorable for flowering.
After flowering, the Christmas cactus can be cut back slightly. The cut shoots are suitable for propagating the plant; when planted in a pot filled with a peat and sand mixture, they root quickly.